Living Arrangements and Child Outcomes in Cambodia
Patrick Heuveline, University of California, Los Angeles
Savet Hong, University of California, Berkeley
Non-marital births and divorce were rare in Cambodia, but growing up without both parents was not. The 1970s mortality crisis left many widowers and, foremost, widows with children. We analyze childhood living arrangements with both nationally representative, cross-sectional data and longitudinal data representative of one-fifth of rural Cambodia. We find over 15% of all children not living with both biological parents, and over 40% among those having experienced parental death. A large majority of children nonetheless live in (intact or step-) nuclear households, or in multigenerational households which are more prevalent when children co-reside with only one, and even more so, neither of their biological parents. Living in household types other than these modal ones is most common among children living with only their biological mother (16%), or living without either biological parent (36%), especially after age 12 (49%), and may indicate weaker kinship availability for these children.