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Informal Child Support Contributions in Black Female-Headed Families


Key reforms to child support enforcement have aimed at increasing formal child support awards, levels and receipts. However, the role of child support contributions outside the formal child support system has been largely ignored. This study draws critical attention to these informal child support contributions, with chief focus on informal child support receipts of Black mothers. The study finds that Black mothers are significantly more likely to receive informal cash and in-kind child support contributions relative to other mothers, especially when non-resident fathers are also Black.

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  1. The interaction effect between Black mothers and father involvement is not statistically different from zero, signifying that the positive effect of father involvement is not unique to Black female-headed households. Other interaction effects (not shown) such as mother’s race interacted with education do not yield statistically significant findings.


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Correspondence to Terry-Ann L. Craigie.

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Craigie, TA.L. Informal Child Support Contributions in Black Female-Headed Families. Rev Black Polit Econ 39, 259–265 (2012).

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  • Informal child support
  • Black mothers