Marriage or Cohabitation: The Consequences of a Separation on School Performance of Girls and Boys

Solene Lardoux, Université de Montréal
David Pelletier, Université de Montréal

While cohabitation has become a common alternative to marriage for family formation, few studies have compared the development of young children living with their cohabiting or married biological parents. Moreover, the effects of the dissolution of a marriage or a cohabiting union have seldom been contrasted. Using a sample of 1188 children from the QLSCD, we intend to better understand the relation of union type at birth and parental separation with children’s school achievement. Differentiating girls from boys, we find a positive association between being born to cohabiting parents and reading/writing achievement for girls, but not for boys. Parents’ union dissolution is often negatively associated with school achievement, but the extent of this association varies by union type at birth, school subject, and sex of child. Family structure and other covariants influence the probability to be near the top of the class differently for boys and girls.

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Presented in Poster Session 7