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Stepfamily instability in Canada - The impact of family composition and union type

TitleStepfamily instability in Canada - The impact of family composition and union type
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsHeintz-Martin, V., Le Bourdais C., and Lapierre-Adamcyk É.
JournalZeitschrift für Familienforschung (Journal of Family Research)
Pages196 - 218
Keywordscanada, domestic partnership, event history analysis, family, family composition, father, mother, north america, partner relationship, partnership, stability, step-parents, stepchild, stepfamily instability, type of union, women

The aim of this paper is to analyze stepfamily instability in Canada by applying the proportional hazards model to the information collected in the 2001 General Social Survey on family. More specifically, we examine the effect that the family composition and the type of conjugal union exert on the risk of separation, and test whether the impact of cohabiting union varies over time and between Quebec and the other provinces, depending of its stage of institutionalization. The analysis shows that stepmother families face a lower risk of separation than those formed around a stepfather, and that cohabiting stepfamily couples are more unstable than married ones. The risk of union dissolution among stepfamily couples has increased over time, for married as well as cohabiting partners, but the effect of cohabitation relative to marriage does not appear to significantly differ across periods or regions.

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