Family Structure as a Social Determinant of Child Health

Sheila Barnhart, Keith M. Kilty, Diane Loeffler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Maternal marital status may contribute to health disparities among children; marriage often associates with better outcomes. Using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, we tested separate structural equation models to compare direct and indirect relationships between maternal economic hardship, parenting stress, and adolescent self-rated health among 3,146 married and unmarried mothers. Although parenting stress did not associate with adolescent health for either group, economic hardship directly associated with poorer adolescent self-reported health for only unmarried mothers, and unmarried mothers had a stronger negative relationship between economic hardships and parenting calling for policies to address these disparities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-154
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Poverty
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Family structure
  • adolescent health
  • economic hardship
  • parenting stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Sociology and Political Science


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