Economic stress can be a factor in the breakup of families. When families fall apart, low income and unemployment are often part of the picture. This brief examines family breakup and tries to answer the following questions:
This brief concentrates on two types of families: two-parent families (married-couple households with children), and mother-child families (households maintained by a single mother living with her children). Data come from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which gathers information from a sample of families over a period of time (a panel).
Two-year family changes are estimated by combining results from the 1984 and 1985 SIPP panels, which cover two different biennial periods between December 1983 and April 1987. One-year changes are estimated by combining results from the 1984-1987 SIPP panels, which cover four different annual periods between December 1983 and April 1988.