Fragile Families: A study of health and well-being in families with unwed parents

Although recent public policy has focused increased attention on the importance of fatherhood responsibilities, this attention is evolving in the absence of solid information about how fathers can help or hurt the well being of families. This project will follow a birth cohort of children, along with their mothers and fathers, in the five cities included as part of the Foundation's Urban Health Initiative to improve its understanding of health and well being problems faced by unwed parents and their children. The cohort studies will be done in Baltimore; Detroit; Oakland, CA; Philadelphia; and Richmond, VA, providing useful information about both young children and adolescent mothers and fathers. The study will test: (1) whether the participation of unwed fathers in early family life improves the health and development of newborns; (2) whether alternative public policy approaches (related to welfare and child support) affect the participation of unwed fathers in early family life; and (3) whether adolescent mothers' health and well being are helped or hindered by the presence of unwed fathers.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $1,370,000.00

Awarded on: 1/22/1998

Time frame: 2/1/1998 - 1/31/2002

Grant Number: 30978


Sara Smith McLanahan
Project Director