Family Transitions and Social Integration

Robin S. Hognas, University of Wisconsin at Madison

A long tradition of research has shown that social integration has important implications for long-term outcomes, including mental and physical health, women’s longevity, and mortality. In recent decades, however, Americans may have become more socially isolated than in previous decades, although we know little about why. At the same time, research has also shown that fragile families experience multiple partnership transitions between the birth of a child and that child’s fifth birthday and multipartnered fertility is common in these families. This study extends prior research to examine the link between these family transitions and levels of social integration among fragile families. Results suggest that partnership transitions are associated with less social integration for both men and women. Results further suggest that race, gender, and education do not moderate this relationship.

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Presented in Session 136: Family, Immigration, and Social Integration