White Teens Suffer More from Family Change

DENVER, May 1 (UPI) — White teens who go through family changes such as moving or divorce seem to take it harder than their African-American peers, U.S. researchers found.

Study author Paula Fomby of the University of Colorado in Denver tracked some 8,000 U.S. teens from adolescence in the mid ’90s to young adulthood for seven years.


“We were interested in what distinguished white teenagers from black teenagers, and entertained various explanations offered by other research and theories. Our study reveals two findings. One, the sheer number of adults that are around to give teenagers or their parents support varies by ethnic or racial group,” Fomby said in a statement.

“Additionally, adjustment to economic hardship trumps the growing pains introduced by other family changes such as divorce or remarriage.”

The study, published in The Journal of Marriage and Family, found teens who had several family changes engaged in more delinquent behavior, became sexually active earlier or became parents outside of marriage more often than those teens who always lived in the same family arrangement — either married parents or a single parent.

The study also found white adolescents are more likely to become sexually active earlier and experience a non-marital birth than African-American teens.

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