The Effects of Stepfamily Formation for the Ninth Grade School Performance of Children: A Longitudinal Analysis Using Danish Register Data, 1986–2015

Jonas Helgertz , University of Minnesota/Lund University
Anna Tegunimataka, Lund University

Despite the prevalence of stepfamilies in today’s contemporary North American or European countries, the study into its consequences for the children exposed remains understudied. This paper contributes to this literature, using Danish longitudinal register data covering the time period 1986-2016. Through unique longitudinal information on partner links, including both marriage and cohabitation, we track the biological parents’ marital and cohabitation status, as well as the socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of both the parents and their partners. We investigate the importance of the timing of stepfamily formation as well as the influence of the socioeconomic resources provided by both biological parents and step-parents. Lastly, through examining how outlined exposures affect the child’s performance in standardized tests in math and the Danish language, in the ninth grade of elementary school, we investigate whether stepfamily formation is particularly important in the formation of distinctly different types of academic skills.

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 Presented in Session 122. Family Contexts and Child Well-being