Abstract

This paper investigates whether the inclusion of nonnuclear adults in a household facilitates the labor force participation of single and married mothers. Results based on a sample of extended and nuclear households show that the extension mechanism facilitates the labor market entry of married mothers, but not of single mothers. Interactions between extended structure, ethnicity, and poverty, however, suggest a complex relationship. For extended family households, the gender and employment characteristics of nonnuclear adults affected the labor force participation of single mothers, but the number of nonnuclear members was inversely associated with the market activity of married mothers. Policy implications are discussed in the final section.

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