Entering a stepfamily – Children’s Experience of Family Reconstitution in Sweden 1970-2000

Zeitschrift fur Familienforschung (Impact Factor: 0.77). 01/2011; 23(2).


In this article, I use the Swedish Level of Living Survey data to study children's experience of family reconstitution, or the first formation of stepfamily in Sweden 1970 to 2000. I set out to analyze relative risks for acquiring a stepparent for boys and girls of different ages and socioeconomic backgrounds, here measured as parent's educational attainment. The results show no educational differences in the stepfamily formation process. There are however clear gender differences in the family reconstitution process where the likelihood of gaining a stepparent varies by the child's gender. Other factors that have effect on the child's likelihood of entering the first stepfamily are the time lived with a single parent as well as the child's age in interaction with the child's sex. Although there are no educational differentials in stepfamily formation, one needs to account for the social gradient in the processes leading to children being in the risk pool. Particularly children of higher educated parents have a significantly lower risk of being born out of union or experiencing a parental union dissolution and thus being exposed to the risk of entering a stepfamily.

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