Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, Princeton University, 285 Wallace Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544.
More Kin, Less Support: Multipartnered Fertility and Perceived Support Among Mothers
Article first published online: 29 JAN 2007
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 69, Issue 1, pages 237–253, February 2007
How to Cite
Harknett, K. and Knab, J. (2007), More Kin, Less Support: Multipartnered Fertility and Perceived Support Among Mothers. Journal of Marriage and Family, 69: 237–253. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2006.00356.x
- Issue published online: 29 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 29 JAN 2007
- fragile families;
- kin networks;
- social networks;
- social support;
Recent research has documented the high prevalence of having children with more than 1 partner, termed multipartnered fertility. Because childbearing is an important mechanism for building kin networks, we theorize that multipartnered fertility will influence the availability of social support for mothers. Analyzing 3 waves of data from the Fragile Families study (N = 12,259), we find that multipartnered fertility is negatively associated with the availability of financial, housing, and child-care support. Our longitudinal evidence suggests a bidirectional relationship in which multipartnered fertility reduces the availability of support, and the availability of support inhibits multipartnered fertility. We conclude that smaller and denser kin networks seem to be superior to broader, but weaker kin ties in terms of perceived instrumental support.