Family Formation in an Era of Family Change

  • Landale, Nancy Susan (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Using data from Waves I, II, and III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (ADD Health), the proposed investigation will provide a comprehensive analysis of the family formation behavior of young men and women in the contemporary United States. In particular, we will examine cohabitation, childbearing (nonmarital and marital), and marriage up to the age of 25. The proposed study differs from most prior research on early family formation in four key respects. First, our conceptual framework brings together theories, perspectives, and methods from the fields of family demography and human development. Using theories drawn from both fields, we will analyze the influence of individual and social environmental characteristics in adolescence on cohabitation, marriage, and parenthood in emerging adulthood. In addition, because we assume that decisions about family formation are made jointly with decisions about educational attainment and employment, we will emphasize links between early career development and family formation behaviors. Second, our research will focus both on specific family formation transitions and on the trajectories generated by the timing and sequencing of family formation behaviors, education, and employment. Third, in addition to analyzing the social demographic and developmental precursors of family formation behaviors, we will study the implications of family formation patterns for psychosocial well being in emerging adulthood, including psychological and behavioral adjustment, psycho-social maturity, and intimate relationship quality. Fourth, this project pays rigorous attention to the roles of race/ethnicity and gender in the processes of early family formation and in the implications for well being of divergent family formation patterns.
Effective start/end date8/15/047/31/05


  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $395,948.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $428,745.00
  • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development: $392,368.00


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