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  • Individual Author: Ross, Heather; Sawhill, Isabel V.; MacIntosh, Anita R.
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1975

    Single parent families, usually headed by women, are transitional in two important senses: they frequently represent a transitional stage between marriages; and they are a symptom of the transition from a "distributive" family structure, in which a man provides resources for financially dependent women and children, to a form characterized by less specialized marital roles and more equal sharing of the physical care and financial support of children. This book examines the social and public policy implications of these changes. It is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1, "Introduction," provides reasons for research and explanations for change. Chapter 2, "Families Headed by Women: Their Growth and Changing Composition," explores recent trends and family demography. Chapter 3,"Marital Instability," examines marriage from psychological, economic, and social perspectives. Chapter 4, "Race and Family Structure," discusses racial family differences and recent trends in female headedness among black families. Chapter 5, "Welfare and Female-Headed Families," examines the roles of...

    Single parent families, usually headed by women, are transitional in two important senses: they frequently represent a transitional stage between marriages; and they are a symptom of the transition from a "distributive" family structure, in which a man provides resources for financially dependent women and children, to a form characterized by less specialized marital roles and more equal sharing of the physical care and financial support of children. This book examines the social and public policy implications of these changes. It is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1, "Introduction," provides reasons for research and explanations for change. Chapter 2, "Families Headed by Women: Their Growth and Changing Composition," explores recent trends and family demography. Chapter 3,"Marital Instability," examines marriage from psychological, economic, and social perspectives. Chapter 4, "Race and Family Structure," discusses racial family differences and recent trends in female headedness among black families. Chapter 5, "Welfare and Female-Headed Families," examines the roles of eligibility, benefits, and incentives. Chapter 6, "What Happens to Children in Female-Headed Families?" evaluates existing knowledge and explores negative consequences for children. Chapter 7, "The Family in Transition," sums up the book's themes and suggests new directions for research and public policy. A bibliography is appended to each chapter. The book includes six appendices providing various types of statistical analysis, 50 statistical tables, and four figures. An author and subject index is included. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: McLanahan, Sara; Sandefur, Gary
    Reference Type: Book Chapter/Book
    Year: 1997

    Nonwhite and white, rich and poor, born to an unwed mother or weathering divorce, over half of all children in the current generation will live in a single-parent family--and these children simply will not fare as well as their peers who live with both parents. This is the clear and urgent message of this powerful book. Based on four national surveys and drawing on more than a decade of research, Growing Up with a Single Parent sharply demonstrates the connection between family structure and a child’s prospects for success.

    What are the chances that the child of a single parent will graduate from high school, go on to college, find and keep a job? Will she become a teenage mother? Will he be out of school and out of work? These are the questions the authors pursue across the spectrum of race, gender, and class. Children whose parents live apart, the authors find, are twice as likely to drop out of high school as those in two-parent families, one and a half times as likely to be idle in young adulthood, twice as likely to become single parents themselves. This...

    Nonwhite and white, rich and poor, born to an unwed mother or weathering divorce, over half of all children in the current generation will live in a single-parent family--and these children simply will not fare as well as their peers who live with both parents. This is the clear and urgent message of this powerful book. Based on four national surveys and drawing on more than a decade of research, Growing Up with a Single Parent sharply demonstrates the connection between family structure and a child’s prospects for success.

    What are the chances that the child of a single parent will graduate from high school, go on to college, find and keep a job? Will she become a teenage mother? Will he be out of school and out of work? These are the questions the authors pursue across the spectrum of race, gender, and class. Children whose parents live apart, the authors find, are twice as likely to drop out of high school as those in two-parent families, one and a half times as likely to be idle in young adulthood, twice as likely to become single parents themselves. This study shows how divorce--particularly an attendant drop in income, parental involvement, and access to community resources--diminishes children’s chances for well-being.

    The authors provide answers to other practical questions that many single parents may ask: Does the gender of the child or the custodial parent affect these outcomes? Does having a stepparent, a grandmother, or a nonmarital partner in the household help or hurt? Do children who stay in the same community after divorce fare better? Their data reveal that some of the advantages often associated with being white are really a function of family structure, and that some of the advantages associated with having educated parents evaporate when those parents separate.

    In a concluding chapter, McLanahan and Sandefur offer clear recommendations for rethinking our current policies. Single parents are here to stay, and their worsening situation is tearing at the fabric of our society. It is imperative, the authors show, that we shift more of the costs of raising children from mothers to fathers and from parents to society at large. Likewise, we must develop universal assistance programs that benefit low-income two-parent families as well as single mothers. Startling in its findings and trenchant in its analysis, Growing Up with a Single Parent will serve to inform both the personal decisions and governmental policies that affect our children’s--and our nation’s--future. (publisher abstract)

  • Individual Author: Edin, Kathryn
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2000

    Current theories of marriage under-predict the extent of non-marriage, have not been adequately tested, or do not apply well to women with low-socioeconomic status. Furthermore, scholarly research on marriage attitudes among low-SES women suffers from a lack of up-to-date qualitative work. This study draws on qualitative interviews with 292 low-income single mothers in three U.S. cities. Inductive analysis reveals five primary motivations for non-marriage among low-income single mothers. Most mothers agree that potential marriage partners must earn significantly more than the minimum wage, but also emphasize the importance of stability of employment, source of earnings, and the effort men expend to find and keep their jobs. Mothers place equal or greater emphasis on non-monetary factors such as how marriage may diminish or enhance respectability, how it may limit their control over household decisions, their mistrust of men, and their fear of domestic violence. Affordability, respectability, and control have greater salience for African American mothers, while trust and domestic...

    Current theories of marriage under-predict the extent of non-marriage, have not been adequately tested, or do not apply well to women with low-socioeconomic status. Furthermore, scholarly research on marriage attitudes among low-SES women suffers from a lack of up-to-date qualitative work. This study draws on qualitative interviews with 292 low-income single mothers in three U.S. cities. Inductive analysis reveals five primary motivations for non-marriage among low-income single mothers. Most mothers agree that potential marriage partners must earn significantly more than the minimum wage, but also emphasize the importance of stability of employment, source of earnings, and the effort men expend to find and keep their jobs. Mothers place equal or greater emphasis on non-monetary factors such as how marriage may diminish or enhance respectability, how it may limit their control over household decisions, their mistrust of men, and their fear of domestic violence. Affordability, respectability, and control have greater salience for African American mothers, while trust and domestic violence have greater salience for whites. The author discusses these findings in relation to existing theories of marriage and in light of welfare reform. (author abstract).

  • Individual Author: Feldman, Ruth
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2000

    This study examines determinants of father involvement, the parents’ convergence on marital satisfaction, and mothers’ and fathers’ interactive behavior in dual-earner families at the transition to parenthood. Sixty dual-earner Israeli couples and their five-month-old firstborn child were interviewed and videotaped in infant–mother and infant–father interactions. Interactions were coded globally for 21 interactive behaviors and composited into measures of parent sensitivity and infant readiness to interact. Five determinants of each parent’s involvement in house and childcare were assessed as predictors of parent–infant interactions: the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, the amount of time each parent spends with the infant during the week and on weekends, and the range of childcare activities the parent typically performs. Marital convergence was indexed by the absolute difference score between mothers’ and fathers’ marital satisfaction. Father sensitivity was related to the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, to the amount of time the father...

    This study examines determinants of father involvement, the parents’ convergence on marital satisfaction, and mothers’ and fathers’ interactive behavior in dual-earner families at the transition to parenthood. Sixty dual-earner Israeli couples and their five-month-old firstborn child were interviewed and videotaped in infant–mother and infant–father interactions. Interactions were coded globally for 21 interactive behaviors and composited into measures of parent sensitivity and infant readiness to interact. Five determinants of each parent’s involvement in house and childcare were assessed as predictors of parent–infant interactions: the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, the amount of time each parent spends with the infant during the week and on weekends, and the range of childcare activities the parent typically performs. Marital convergence was indexed by the absolute difference score between mothers’ and fathers’ marital satisfaction. Father sensitivity was related to the sharing of household and childcare responsibilities, to the amount of time the father spends with the child on weekends (but not during the week), to the range of childcare activities father performs, and to marital convergence. Mother sensitivity was related only to the sharing of responsibilities between spouses. The range of the father’s childcare activities predicted maternal interactive sensitivity. Infant readiness to interact with the father, but not with the mother, was related to the sharing of childcare responsibilities, to the range of father’s childcare activities, and to marital convergence. Results further specify the differential associations between the marital and the parent–child relationship for mothers and fathers and point to the importance of the father’s instrumental involvement in childcare to the development of fathering. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: National Center for Family and Marriage Research
    Reference Type: Dataset
    Year: 2000

    Description: These maps present geographic variation in the adjusted marriage and divorce rates for over 3,000 counties in the United States. The estimates are from county court record data of numbers of marriages and divorces and U.S. Census data from 2000. Researchers can use these data to examine geographic concentrations of marriage and divorce. The county-level marriage and divorce data are provided in a spreadsheet, which contains the county-level number of divorces, population, married population, divorce rates, adjusted divorce rates and geocodes (FIPS).

    Population: Individuals that have been married and/or divorced by U.S. County.

    Periodicity: Data compiled from 2000 Census data.

    (information adapted from the publisher)

    Description: These maps present geographic variation in the adjusted marriage and divorce rates for over 3,000 counties in the United States. The estimates are from county court record data of numbers of marriages and divorces and U.S. Census data from 2000. Researchers can use these data to examine geographic concentrations of marriage and divorce. The county-level marriage and divorce data are provided in a spreadsheet, which contains the county-level number of divorces, population, married population, divorce rates, adjusted divorce rates and geocodes (FIPS).

    Population: Individuals that have been married and/or divorced by U.S. County.

    Periodicity: Data compiled from 2000 Census data.

    (information adapted from the publisher)

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