Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Postboks 1096 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway.
Proceed With Caution? Parents' Union Dissolution and Children's Educational Achievement
Version of Record online: 13 JAN 2014
Copyright © National Council on Family Relations, 2014
Journal of Marriage and Family
Volume 76, Issue 1, pages 161–174, February 2014
How to Cite
Sigle-Rushton, W., Lyngstad, T. H., Andersen, P. L. and Kravdal, Ø. (2014), Proceed With Caution? Parents' Union Dissolution and Children's Educational Achievement. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76: 161–174. doi: 10.1111/jomf.12075
This article was edited by Robert Crosnoe.
- Issue online: 13 JAN 2014
- Version of Record online: 13 JAN 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 29 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Revised: 27 AUG 2013
- Manuscript Received: 19 SEP 2012
- birth order;
- child/adolescent outcomes;
- child school achievement/failure;
- family structure;
- relationship processes/dissolution;
- sibling relations;
- within-family design
Using high-quality Norwegian register data on 49,879 children from 23,655 families, the authors estimated sibling fixed-effects models to explore whether children who are younger at the time of a parental union dissolution perform less well academically, as measured by their grades at age 16, than their older siblings who have spent more time living with both biological parents. Results from a baseline model suggest a positive age gradient that is consistent with findings in some of the extant family structure literature. Once birth order is taken into account, the gradient reverses. When analyses also control for grade inflation by adding year of birth to the model, only those children who experience a dissolution just prior to receiving their grades appear relatively disadvantaged. The results illustrate the need to specify and interpret sibling fixed-effects model with great care.