Child Well-Being and the Long Reach of Family Relationships

  • Kelly MusickEmail author
  • Ann Meier
Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI, volume 2)


We build on Fingerman and colleagues’ emphasis on the multifaceted and variable nature of family relationships while demonstrating the long reach of earlier family context (family structure, relationships, and resources) on young adult well-being. Using three waves of data from the National Survey of Families and Households, we examine links between adolescent family context, young adult schooling and relationships, and young adult psychological well-being. Information from parents and children at various points in the life course provides leverage on temporal order and allows for some progress in sorting out the processes linking parent–child relationships and child well-being. We elaborate on family context by considering family structure and parental conflict in adolescence, specific dimensions of parent–child relationships over time, and constellations of family relationships, i.e., a child’s closeness with both, one, or neither parent. Our findings point to strong and persistent links between family relationships and young adult well-being.


Young Adulthood Child Relationship Family Context Adolescent Mother Harsh Parenting 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Policy Analysis and ManagementCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

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