Unequal Childhoods, Equal Relationships? The Role of Parent-figures in the Transition to Adulthood
Ariane Ophir1, Paula Fomby2, Marcia Carlson1
1University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2University of Michigan
Young adults who transition to adulthood from a socially disadvantaged position are also more likely to navigate complex family relationships. Although the parent-child relationship has been at the center of family complexity research, we know little about other parental figures in young adults' lives, their relationship quality, and its implications for young adults' well-being. Relationships that young adults have with parental figures is particularly important in the context of diverse pathways to adulthood. These relationships may have positive consequences for young adults’ wellbeing that could mitigate the direct effects of family instability in childhood. Using the Transition to Adulthood Supplement (TAS) form the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (n=2,362), we aim to contribute to our understanding of the types and quality of parental relationships that young adults from different family complexity backgrounds have and how they mediate the consequences of family instability on outcomes such as independence and well-being.