Physical and Mental Health Trajectories of Children across Families’ Structures with a Special Focus on Same-Sex Parents: Evidence from Swedish Register Data

Guilherme Chihaya, Umeå University
Anna Baranowska-Rataj, Umeå University
Karina Nilsson, Umeå University

A fundamental problem of research on health outcomes of children raised in different family structures, in particular those raised by same-sex parents, is how to deal with the numerous transitions between family forms and their interrelationship with health. Children living in a given family configuration may have followed several paths until getting there, and the same may be said about their health histories. This uses high quality register data from Sweden, following children from birth throughout their early infancy. Marital histories of parents are combined with histories of medical prescriptions and hospitalizations to provide a picture of how family forms and health outcomes co-evolve over children’s early childhood. We draw on the descriptive methods of sequence analysis to systematically group trajectories into meaningful typologies and to better understand how timing, order, and length of spells living in several types of family correlate to physical and mental health outcomes of infants.

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Presented in Session 155: Health of Sexual Minorities