NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED505287
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Jan
Pages: 40
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-0-6623-2018-2
It's All in the Past? Exploring the Repercussions of Parents' Early Conjugal and Parental Histories on the Family Life Course of Their Children
Juby, Heather; Marcil-Gratton, Nicole
Human Resources Development Canada
It has long been accepted that the social and economic well-being of adults is determined principally by their passage through childhood and that well-adjusted children emerge most often from healthy families. Creating the stability, emotional warmth and security of a healthy family environment is a challenge to parents at the best of times, but to do so in the current situation of family disruption and reconstitution is even more so. With parents separating more often, and earlier in their children's lives, family life experiences are likely to become increasingly diverse. Too much research has attempted to understand the impact of family change on child development without first properly defining the relevant aspects of family history. The National Longitudinal Survey on Children and Youth (NLSCY) provides a unique opportunity for improving the definition of the family life course. Detailed data on the children's family history, including the conjugal and parental life of both parents before the child's birth and, where applicable, after separation, permit a detailed classification of family trajectories. Combining this with information on the child's emotional and intellectual development should provide a potent tool to explore which life experiences are more or less propitious for the different aspects of child development. In this study, we explore how different elements of parents' and children's family life course interact, focusing particularly on the relationship between the parents' conjugal and parental behaviour before the union in which the target child was born, and after the child's birth. More specifically, we analyse the impact of a number of elements related to the context at birth, such as the rank and type of the parents' union, and whether or not they have children from an earlier union, on the likelihood that parents separate. Based on the results of these analyses, we define a series of summary family history variables that can be incorporated into analyses of child outcomes. A bibliography is included. (Contains 5 figures, 5 tables and 7 footnotes.)
Human Resources Development Canada. Service Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0J9, Canada. Tel: 1-800-926-9105; Fax: 613-941-1827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Resources Development Canada, Applied Research Branch