It’s Only a Matter of Time: How the Timing of Parental Marriage Affects a Child’s Care Outside of the Home

Student Author(s)

Charlotte Korson

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Sarah Estelle

Document Type


Event Date



Studies have shown that when parents are married, their children benefit; however, less is known about the timing of marriage and its effects. Marriage is a decision parents make together thus it would appear there would be a spiral effect on their children. An important aspect in a child’s life is time spent outside of the home. And if parental decisions affect their child, it would be expected that their decision to marry would be a factor on whether or not their child is placed in care outside of the household. This path has not been explored in economics thus driving the research question at hand looking at how the timing of marriage relative to the birth of the child affects the emphasis parents place on their child’s care outside of the home. The research question is answered with the implementation of the Fragile Families and Child Well-Being Survey. “Fragile families” are those who grow up outside of the traditional home. And according to the survey, they are at higher risk of failure on several levels, including education. The study at hand will challenge this statement. Regression analysis is employed to uncover the consequences that stem from the timing of marriage. The timing of marriage does have an effect on whether or not the parents place their children in care outside of the home.

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