Family Matters: Household Size in Relation to the Well-Being of Aboriginal School-Aged Children Living Off-Reserve


  • Jacqueline Quinless Senior Associate, DPRA Canada



Using a life-course perspective and data taken from the 2006 Aboriginal Peoples Survey (APS) Children and Youth supplement, this study applies a creative analytical approach using combined regression techniques and a two-way interaction effect between Aboriginal family structure (lone-parent families and coupled families) and household size to examine the effects on three dimensions of Aboriginal children’s well-being. In all three regression models, household size had a noticeable effect in relation to different family structures (i.e., lone-parent compared to coupled families) and on children’s well-being outcomes, while controlling for other important social and economic factors such as age, gender of parent, and income. The most valuable finding in this study is that, regardless of whether a child resides in a lone-parent family or a coupled family, the number of people living in the household has an effect on their well-being. In particular, the findings show that as household size increases, a child’s engagement in social activities increases, their parent(s) perceive them to be better school performers, and the number of chronic health conditions they have decreases.