Brown, Susan L. (2022). Union and Family Formation During Young Adulthood: Insights From the Add Health. Journal of Adolescent Health.
vol. 71 (6, Supplement)
Family formation patterns among US young adults are shifting, reflecting an accelerating retreat from marriage coupled with significant increases in cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing. Drawing on a selection of published longitudinal studies, this article reviews key contributions to the literature on these trends in union and family formation that have stemmed from research conducted using the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, or Add Health. Add Health is integral to deciphering the adolescent precursors to young adult union formation and childbearing, allowing researchers to gauge the roles of multiple social contexts such as family, schools, peers, and adolescent romance, with attention to variation across racial-ethnic groups and by socioeconomic status. In turn, researchers use Add Health to assess how young adult family formation behaviors are related to numerous indicators of health and well-being, ranging from mental and physical health to relationship quality and stability, interpersonal violence, and crime. With its sibling and couples samples, genetic data, and detailed partnership histories for both different- and same-sex relationships, Add Health is an invaluable data source for tracking the familial experiences (formation and dissolution) of a large cohort from adolescence into middle age.
Journal of Adolescent Health
Brown, Susan L.