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Heterogeneity in Census Identification of Parent-Child Relationships Within Same-Sex Households

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Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP,volume 7)

Abstract

Prior research utilizing Census Bureau data on same-sex partners has typically examined the predictors of children being in same-sex households, but has paid little attention to how characteristics of parents might vary across different types of parent-child relationships. In this chapter, we draw upon the 2009–2011 American Community Surveys to examine the degree to which individual- and state-level characteristics actually vary across same-sex households containing different types of relationships between the householder and child(ren) in the home. Our results indicate that both individual characteristics, as well as state-level laws on second parent adoption and same-sex marriage, affect the odds of identifying particular parent-child relationships. Findings emphasize the need to pay closer attention to the variation within the reported household structures of same-sex parents to improve understandings of the manner in which children come to be in the household and how parents choose to identify their relationships on surveys. In addition, these results have important implications for survey construction given the ways in which complex families identify relationships on survey instruments and current survey limitations for capturing non-heteronormative relationship structures.

Keywords

  • Same-sex families
  • Same-sex parenting
  • Familial relationships
  • Quantitative research

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Fig. 9.1

Notes

  1. 1.

    Note that, although these differences appear to be large, they were not tested for statistical significance.

  2. 2.

    We compute the intraclass correlation with the formula: p = t00/(t00 + π2/3), where t00 is the level 2 variance component, and π2/3 is a constant used to calculate the level 1 variance component (Long and Freese 2006; Raudenbush and Bryk 2002, FN2).

  3. 3.

    We also ran models including variables measuring states with civil unions, as well as states with state-level Defense of Marriage Acts. These variables were not statistically significant in any model, and we retained only the single measure of relationship recognition–same-sex marriage–in the final model.

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Baumle, A.K., Compton, D.L.R. (2020). Heterogeneity in Census Identification of Parent-Child Relationships Within Same-Sex Households. In: Farris, D., Bourque, A. (eds) International Handbook on the Demography of Marriage and the Family. International Handbooks of Population, vol 7. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35079-6_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-35079-6_9

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