Assets Reconsidered: Alternative Assets and Parental Well-Being

Kimberly Turner, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Growing interest in the causes and consequences of wealth and asset accumulation has paralleled increasing wealth inequality in the U.S. Though disadvantaged individuals possess few traditional financial assets, they invoke “survival strategies” that reflect forms of alternative assets – resources that represent ranging dimensions of human, cultural, social, and political capital – to meet their basic needs. Though these “survival strategies” have received tremendous scholarly attention, the cumulative effect of alternative assets and how these resources relate have been little explored. In this paper, I use data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study to develop a comprehensive measure of alternative assets to examine the relationship between accumulated alternative assets and parental well-being with respect to health/mental health and economic outcomes. I find that alternative assets blend together differently for mothers and fathers and that the link to well-being varies by the gender and race of the parent.

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Presented in Poster Session 5