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Economic Conditions and Children's Living Arrangements

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Abstract

Household and family living arrangements have become increasingly visible in public policy discussions, especially with the passage of the landmark Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).1 The legislation-a response to a trend of rising rates of childbirth outside of marriage-emphasizes the reinforcement of marriage as the preferred arrangement for families with children. PRWORA also attempts to influence children's living arrangements in another way-by mandating multigenerational households for teen parents who have not completed high school. Although the population of teen parents receiving welfare is small, the focus on their living arrangements signals policymakers' interest in shaping living arrangements beyond marriage.

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