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ERIC Number: EJ866886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 95
ISSN: ISSN-1088-8691
Is Maternal Marriage Beneficial for Low-Income Adolescents?
Bachman, Heather J.; Coley, Rebekah Levine; Chase-Lansdale, P. Lindsay
Applied Developmental Science, v13 n4 p153-171 2009
The present study investigated the association of mothers' marriage and changes in young adolescents' cognitive and socioemotional development and changes in family processes. Analyses employed longitudinal data from the "Three-City Study" to track maternal partnerships for 860 low-income adolescents (10-14 years-old in Wave 1) across a 16 month period. No short-term benefits or risks emerged for youth when mothers entered marriage, with few changes in family or maternal functioning linked with marriage formation as well. In contrast, adolescents in stably married families experienced improved academic, behavioral, and psychological well-being compared to youth in stable cohabiting or single-parent families. Stable marriage was similarly linked to improvements across multiple domains of home and mothers' functioning. These patterns were not moderated by the male partner's identity (biological father or stepfather). Results support the benefits of stable marriage on youth development, but suggest that policies supporting movements into new marriages may not result in improved adolescent or family functioning, at least in the short term. (Contains 5 tables.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Illinois; Massachusetts; Texas