Parenting across Racial and Class Lines: Assortative Mating Patterns of New Parents Who Are Married, Cohabiting, Dating, and No Longer Romantically Involved

Joshua R. Goldstein, Princeton University
Kristen Harknett, Princeton University

The assortative patterns of married couples in the United States have received great attention both because of what they reveal about this country's social structure and because of their implications for the reproduction of inequality. Married couples, however, represent a shrinking share both of American couples in general and of couples having children. In this paper, we examine the assortative mating patterns of new parents. Using new data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being study, we describe the patterns of educational and ethnic pairing among new parents and look at how race and class differences between mother and father influence union formation and dissolution.

Presented in Session 149: Nonmarital Fertility