This project examines the intergenerational link among childhood family structure history and the turbulence, type, and quality of relationships young people form during the transition to adulthood. It will provide new knowledge about the intergenerational influences of family change, informing current policy discussions regarding marriage and family formation. The study aims to fill a gap in the existing research base by taking a longitudinal, intergenerational approach to understand how parents' union formation and dissolution behaviors ultimately affect their children's own early union formation behaviors. The proposed study will investigate: 1) which dimensions of family structure turbulence are most predictive of children's later relationship patterns; 2) how childhood family structure turbulence influences young adults' own relationship turbulence, type, and quality; and 3) how the association between family turbulence and young adulthood relationship turbulence, type, and quality may be mediated by turbulence in adolescent relationships. The project will use data from 3 waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health that includes detailed information on the respondents' parents' relationship histories as well as relationships the respondents themselves formed in their adolescent and young adult years. The study will use structural equation models to examine both direct and indirect (mediating) influences, and all analyses will be conducted separately by gender subgroups. Relevance: This research will inform the current policy focus on healthy marriage and the creation of successful marriage promotion programs, by better understanding the factors that influence the relationships young people choose. Understanding links between parents and children's relationship experiences may help prevent intergenerational cycles of family turbulence and thus improve child outcomes in future generations. ? ? ?
|Ryan, Suzanne; Franzetta, Kerry; Schelar, Erin et al. (2009) Family Structure History: Links to Relationship Formation Behaviors in Young Adulthood. J Marriage Fam 71:935-953|