University of Wisconsin–Madison
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Are Complex Families Becoming More Common?

In earlier research, we examined the levels of family complexity for Wisconsin children under 10 whose parents were not married when they were born. In that study, we looked at how often either parent had later children with a different partner. We found high levels of this type of family complexity; about 60 percent of nonmarital children born in 1997 who were their mother’s first-born had at least one half-sibling by the time they were 10. The current report expands on this earlier research by adding two cohorts of children to the original group, born 5 and 10 years later, in order to look at whether complexity is increasing over time from a child’s perspective.


Child Support, Child Support Policy Research, Complicated Families & Multiple-Partner Fertility


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