Living Arrangements, Parenting &Developmental Outcomes

Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal focuses on the developmental trajectories of young children growing up in low-income families, many of whom were born to teenage mothers, specifically examining the effects of living: arrangements on young children's developmental outcomes. We use longitudinal survey data from two large-scale demonstration projects focused on improving outcomes for economically disadvantaged parents and their children-- New Chance and the Comprehensive Child Development Program. We also use observational data based on structured, videotaped observations of mothers and their children conducted on a subset of the New Chance participants. This combination of survey and observational measures, and our use of longitudinal data on a large sample of teen mothers and other economically disadvantaged families, provides a unique opportunity to capitalize on data collected for other purposes that have not been widely used to answer an important set of research questions. Specifically, we will address the following questions: (1) Is there an association between living arrangements and parenting behavior? (2) If differences in parenting exist, are they mediated through the impact of living arrangements on economic, social and psychological resources? (3) Are changes in living arrangements related to parenting behavior and if so, is the type of change important? (4) Are living arrangements and changes therein related to young children's developmental outcomes? If so, how? Our multidisciplinary approach draws from the investigators' respective fields of sociology, developmental psychology and economics. Our aim is to identify patterns of living arrangements that would be most beneficial to young mothers and their children as well as those that could pose risks. Answering these questions will provide valuable information on how living arrangements affect the development of young children growing up in poverty. Such research is essential for understanding how new social welfare policies might affect family. well-being. Additionally, understanding the role of living arrangements and the pathways through which it influences children's development can help identify areas that are more amenable to policy interventions in the absence of family economic improvements.
Effective start/end date9/1/015/31/05


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $172,664.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $173,349.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $183,320.00


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