Parental Marital Status and Children's Wellbeing

Content type
Commissioned report

December 2012


Lixia Qu, Ruth Weston

Commissioning Body

Australian Government Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

This paper compares the wellbeing of children in married- and cohabiting-parent families. It examines the impact of cohabitation as a setting for raising children, by investigating the different family characteristics, parenting practices, inter-parent relationships, family stability and transitions, and socioeconomic characteristics of married and cohabiting parents, as well as single parent families. Data is taken from 'Growing Up in Australia: The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children' (LSAC), for families with young children over a four year period, from children aged 4/5 to 8/9.


Qu, Lixia and Weston, Ruth, Parental Marital Status and Children's Wellbeing (November 30, 2011). FaHCSIA Occasional Paper No 46, December 11, 2012, Available at SSRN: or