Journal Article

Changing family structures and adolescent well-being in The Netherlands

E Spruijt and M De Goede

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 10, issue 1, pages 1-16
Published in print April 1996 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online April 1996 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI:
Changing family structures and adolescent well-being in The Netherlands

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  • Marriage and the Family


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What are the effects of changing family structures on the well-being of youngsters? This article examines the effects of physical health, thoughts of suicide, mental health, relational well-being, and employment situation of yougsters from four family structures: stable intact families, conflict intact families, single-parent families, and stepfamilies. Data were used from the Dutch national panel study USAD (Utrecht Study of Adolescent Development), a study of developments as they occur in the life course of young people during the 1990's. Results are presented from over 2500 respondents between fifteen and twenty-four years of age. Their parents were also interviewed on a number of adolescent well-being variables. Young people from single-parent families show the lowest score on the different indicators of well-being, they are more likely to have relational problems and to experience unemployment compared with youngsters from stable intact families. Adolescents from conflict intact families and stepfamilies have moderate scores. These effects remain after control for family income, gender, age and educational level.

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Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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