Family Instability and Pathways to Adulthood in Cape Town, South Africa

Rachel E. Goldberg, Brown University

This project employs longitudinal data from metropolitan Cape Town, South Africa to examine the influence of family instability during childhood and early adolescence on individuals’ pathways to adulthood. A growing body of research in the US indicates that family instability, measured in terms of parental partnership changes, influences adolescent outcomes at least as much as family structure. This project extends the family instability perspective to a setting with high levels of family instability due to factors other than parental partnership change and with nontrivial levels of non-parental caregiving. Rather than focusing on individual life domains or single life course transitions, in line with a life course perspective the analysis utilizes latent class cluster analysis and multinomial regression to examine the influence of family instability on pathways to adulthood that span multiple life transitions across multiple domains.

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Presented in Session 64: Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries