In the last several decades, the American family has undergone considerable change, with less than half of all adolescents residing with two married biological parents. Using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, we construct an elaborate measure of family structure and find considerable heterogeneity in the risk of antisocial and delinquent behavior among groups of youth who reside in what are traditionally dichotomized as intact and nonintact families. In particular, we find that youth in "intact" families differ in important ways depending on whether the two biological parents are married or cohabiting and on whether they have children from a previous relationship. In addition, we find that youth who reside with a single biological parent who cohabits with a nonbiological partner exhibit an unusually high rate of antisocial behavior, especially if the custodial parent is the biological father.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Antisocial behavior
- Blended households
- Cohabiting stepfamilies
- Family structure
- Intact cohabiting families