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Stepdad or Mom’s Boyfriend?

Families

Stepdad or Mom’s Boyfriend?

Families

When men live with the children of their spouse or partner, only some respondents identify them as the stepfather.

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As blended families become more common, the definition of fathering extends well beyond men’s own biological or adopted children.

There are 4 million men who live with the children of a spouse or partner, according to the Men’s Fertility report out today. A subset of those men — 1.8 million — do not live with biological or adopted children of their own. 

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Men who live with younger children of their spouse/partner are less likely to be identified as a stepfather

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Of those men, the majority — 59.9 percent — are identified as a stepfather to one or more children in the household and 40.1 percent are not. 

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Age Makes a Difference

Men who live with younger children of their spouse/partner are less likely to be identified as a stepfather: 43.8 percent of men living with children 0-5 years old and 54.7 percent of men living with children 6-11 years old.

Identifying men as stepfathers is higher when children are older. Almost 65 percent of men who live with children of a spouse or partner who are aged 12-17 (and no biological or adopted children of their own), are identified as a stepfather. 

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These data come from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, which collects detailed information about U.S. families’ economic well-being, as well as complete fertility histories of adults.  For information about how parent/child relationships are determined in the SIPP, please see the subsection, "Measurement of Fatherhood in the SIPP" in the Men’s Fertility report.

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Brian Knop and Lindsay M. Monte are family demographers in the Census Bureau’s Fertility and Family Statistics Branch.

 

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This story was posted in: Families


Tags: Families and Living Arrangements
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