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ERIC Number: EJ941243
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Oct
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 53
ISSN: ISSN-0022-2445
Effect on Preschoolers' Literacy when Never-Married Mothers Get Married
Fagan, Jay
Journal of Marriage and Family, v73 n5 p1001-1014 Oct 2011
Healthy Marriage programs in the United States aim to promote marriage primarily among low-income individuals. There is little research assessing whether children fare better when their never-married mothers get married. The present study uses the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey-Birth Cohort to test the hypothesis that children have higher literacy scores when their mothers who had never married when the children were 9 months old had married when the children were 48 months old (N = 2,800). A small positive effect was found, but only when marriage was compared with cohabitation. The association between marriage and literacy is partially explained by mothers' increased household income. The children of mothers who were single noncohabitants or married and then divorced or separated were also doing better with respect to literacy than children of cohabiting mothers. Future research is needed to better understand how cohabitation is associated with negative effects on children's literacy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey