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One-Parent Families in Contemporary Cambodia


Non-marital births and divorce remain rare in Cambodia. Due to dramatic levels of adult mortality reached during the late 1970s, growing up with a single parent is not. Using nationally representative, cross-sectional data, we estimate that about 12% of children under age 18 co-reside with only one of their biological parents. Using longitudinal data representative of the Mekong River Valley, we find this proportion to be declining. Nearly half of these children live in nuclear families (single parent with or without a step-parent), even though they live in multigenerational families more frequently than children who live with both their parents, especially, when young and not living with their mother. Last, we consider differences in socioeconomic conditions and child educational outcomes by number of co-residing parents.

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