Race/Ethnic Differences in the Wellbeing of Co-Resident Grandchildren in the U.S., 1978-2009

Patrick M. Krueger, University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

We examine whether detailed family structures (including four family structures that include the presence of grandparents) are associated with child health and school progress across eight race/ethnic groups in the US. Our data come from the 1978 to 2009 waves of the National Health Interview Survey, which are nationally representative, and provide information on all individuals living in sampled households. Notably, family level socioeconomic status, the health of caregivers, and family demographic characteristics attenuate (a) the relationship between family structure and wellbeing, and (b) race/ethnic differences in the relationship between family structure and wellbeing. Our results suggest that it is the characteristics of families, rather than family structure per se, that largely shapes children’s wellbeing.

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Presented in Poster Session 6