Coresidence and Geographic Proximity of Mothers and Adult Children in Stepfamilies

TitleCoresidence and Geographic Proximity of Mothers and Adult Children in Stepfamilies
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsSeltzer, JA, Yahirun, JJ, Bianchi, SM
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
KeywordsAdult children, Demographics, Other

Children who live with or near a parent provide more care and receive more help from parents than geographically distant children. Stepfamily ties may be weaker than ties between biological kin, but little is known about the geographic proximity of step- versus biological kin. The authors used data from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 13,239 mothers and 45,675 biological and stepchildren) to show that stepchildren and stepmothers are less likely to live together, less likely to live nearby, and less likely to move closer than biological children and mothers. When mothers have only stepchildren, they are less likely to have a coresident child or a child nearby than mothers with both step- and biological children. Coresidence and geographic proximity are lower in stepfamilies formed after divorce than after widowhood. The findings are consistent with a legacy of conflict and strain and the likely competing needs of biological and stepmothers.


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Endnote Keywords

Coresidence/Families in middle and later life/Geographic proximity/Intergenerational relations/Stepfamilies

Endnote ID


Citation Key7875