Maternal Re-Partnering and Non-Resident Father Investments in Children

Lawrence M. Berger, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Maria Cancian, University of Wisconsin at Madison
Daniel Meyer, University of Wisconsin at Madison

A considerable body of research suggests that paternal re-partnering is associated with decreased non-resident father investments in children. Fewer studies, however, have examined the influence of maternal re-partnering on non-resident father investments. We use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to examine associations of maternal re-partnering (cohabitation or marriage formation with a new partner) with non-resident father visitation and child support payment, paying particular attention to the role of residential moves that may accompany new partnerships. Preliminary results from standard regression models with extensive controls, as well as random effects and fixed effects regressions, reveal consistent evidence that maternal re-partnering is associated with decreased father involvement and increased geographic distance between mothers’ and fathers’ households. We find less consistent evidence of links between maternal re-partnering and formal child support payments. Finally, new partner births are consistently associated with decreased child support payments, but less consistently with father-child contact.

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Presented in Session 4: Family Instability: Causes and Consequences I