Stepfamily Prevalence in Northern Sweden 1750-2007

Jani Turunen, Stockholm University

Stepfamilies have always existed but whereas they today are almost exclusively formed as a result of divorce and separation the cause of historic times usually been the one parent's early death. Living in a stepfamily has been assumed to be negatively associated with the child outcomes because of increased competition with new family members for resources as well as negative discrimination, the so-called ”Cinderella effect”. Using church record data from northern Sweden we will present time series of stepfamilies spanning over the pre-industrial era of the mid- and late 18th century, the period of industrialization, the beginning and the peak of the Swedish welfare state and all the way up to modern time. The time period spans over high mortality and low divorce regimes to today’s society with very low levels of parental death and high divorce rates. The time series will be presented separately for stepfather and stepmother families.

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Presented in Session 237: Determinants and Implications of Intergenerational Co-Residence across the World