Grandparent Coresidence and Foster Care Entry Over Time: Evidence From the NLSY79 and NLSY97

Haley Stritzel , University of Texas at Austin

Over the past few decades, an increasing proportion of children live with their grandparents, either with their parents in multigenerational households or with no parents present. At the same time, more children are entering the foster care system. Although research has considered the implications of foster care and grandparent coresidence for child well-being separately, fewer studies have considered links between these two trends. This study uses data on children born to teenage mothers in the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth 1979 and 1997 and multinomial discrete-time hazard models to investigate the predictors of entering foster or kinship care. Results indicated that grandparent coresidence reduced the risk of foster care entrance among children born to adolescent mothers in the 1979, but not 1997, cohort. These results support the hypothesis that the additional requirements and limitations imposed by the 1996 welfare reform weakened the role grandparents previously played in maintaining family preservation.

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 Presented in Session 4. Marriage, Family, Households, & Unions