Marital Disruption, Remarriage and Child Well-being in China

Hu, Yang (2020) Marital Disruption, Remarriage and Child Well-being in China. Journal of Family Issues, 41 (7). pp. 978-1009. ISSN 0192-513X

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Family changes in China are characterized by a dual rise in marital disruption and remarriage. However, the implications of these changes for child well-being remain understudied. I analyze data from the 2015 China Education Panel Survey to profile and explain well-being disparities between children in intact, disrupted and remarried families. Child well-being is poorer in disrupted than in intact families. Remarriage, particularly of both parents, is associated with further harm to children’s well-being. Mothers’ remarriage is associated with a broader range and greater extent of damage to children’s well-being than that of fathers. Neither social selection nor economic and non-pecuniary resources explain poorer child well-being in disrupted families and stepfamilies than in intact families. Household structure only explains why children in disrupted families, but not in stepfamilies, fare less well than those in intact families. Variations in child well-being with parents’ marital status are consistently explained by poor parent-child relations and parental conflict. Reflecting on the theories of selectivity, resource deprivation and structural instability, the findings highlight the need to consider China’s distinctive sociocultural and institutional settings in configuring the implications of ongoing family changes for child well-being.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Family Issues
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Journal of Family Issues, 41 (7), 2020, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2020 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Journal of Family Issues page: on SAGE Journals Online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? child well-beingchinagenderhousehold structuremarital disruptionremarriageresourcerelationship qualityselectionsocial sciences (miscellaneous) ??
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Deposited On:
23 Mar 2020 10:05
Last Modified:
17 Dec 2023 01:47