Prevalence, Trends and Characteristics of Skipped-Generation Households

Rachel Dunifon, Cornell University
Natasha Pilkauskas, Cornell University

In 2012, approximately 2.9% of U.S. children lived in a skipped-generation household, or a household with a grandparent and grandchild but no parent present. Despite the significant share of children who live in skipped-generation households, surprisingly little is known about these families. This paper addresses that gap in the literature by using two large nationally representative data sets, the American Community Survey (2000-2012) and the Survey of Income and Program Participation (1996, 2001, 2004, 2008) to study the prevalence, characteristics and geographic variation of skipped-generation households over time. We use these two data sets to compare and contract estimates across samples and to exploit the relative strengths of each data set. Descriptive analyses study demographic characteristics, household complexity, public program participation, and health and disability. This paper increases our understanding of skipped-generation families, and in doing so, highlights potential areas for policy and practice intervention.

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Presented in Session 229: Nonmarital and Diverse Families