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A paper on the family structure in 1950s in america

Parenting in America 1. The American family today Family life is changing. Two-parent households are on the decline in the United States as divorce, remarriage and cohabitation are on the rise.

And families are smaller now, both due to the growth of single-parent households and the drop in fertility. Not only are Americans having fewer children, but the circumstances surrounding parenthood have changed. While in the early 1960s babies typically arrived within a marriagetoday fully four-in-ten births occur to women who are single or living with a non-marital partner.

At the same time that family structures have transformed, so has the role of mothers in the workplace — and in the home. As a result of these changes, there is no longer one dominant family form in the U. Parents today are raising their children against a backdrop of increasingly diverse and, for many, constantly evolving family forms. By contrast, in 1960, the height of the post-World War II baby boom, there was one dominant family form.

Not only has the diversity in family living arrangements increased since the early 1960s, but so has the fluidity of the family. Non-marital cohabitation and divorce, along with the prevalence of remarriage and non-marital recoupling in the U. The growing complexity and diversity of families The share of children living in a two-parent household is at the lowest point in more than half a century: And even children living with two parents are more likely to be experiencing a variety of family arrangements due to increases in divorce, remarriage and cohabitation.

These changes have been driven in part by the fact that Americans today are exiting marriage at higher rates than in the past.

This share has remained relatively stable for decades. In the remainder of two-parent families, the parents are cohabiting but are not married.

The decline in children living in two-parent families has been offset by an almost threefold increase in those living with just one parent—typically the mother.

Furthermore, at least half of Asian and white children are living with two parents both in their first marriage. The shares of Hispanic and black children living with two parents in their first marriage are much lower. Among Hispanic children, two-thirds live with two parents. The living arrangements of black children stand in stark contrast to the other major racial and ethnic groups.

Children with at least one college-educated parent are far more likely to be living in a two-parent household, and to be living with two parents in a first marriage, than are kids whose parents are less educated. This share has remained stable since the early 1990s, when reliable data first became available. Hispanic, black and white children are equally likely to live in a blended family. This low share is consistent with the finding that Asian children are more likely than others to be living with two married parents, both of whom are in their first marriage.

The shrinking American family Fertility in the U. The share of mothers with three children has remained virtually unchanged at about a quarter. Family size varies markedly across races and ethnicities. Asian moms have the lowest fertility, and Hispanic mothers have the highest.

Similarly, a gap in fertility exists among women with different levels of educational attainment, despite recent increases in the fertility of highly educated women. The rise of births to unmarried women and multi-partner fertility Not only are women having fewer children today, but they are having them under different circumstances than in the past. While at one time virtually all births occurred within marriage, these two life events are now far less intertwined.

The majority of these births now occur to women who are living with a romantic partner, according to analyses of the National Survey of Family Growth. In fact, over the past 20 years, virtually all of the growth in births outside of marriage has been driven by increases in births to cohabiting women. Past analysis indicates that about one-in-five children born within a marriage will experience the breakup of that marriage by age 9.

In comparison, fully half of children born within a cohabiting union a paper on the family structure in 1950s in america experience the breakup of their parents by the same age. At the same time, children born into cohabiting unions are more likely than those born to single moms to someday live with two married parents. The share of births occurring outside of marriage varies markedly across racial and ethnic groups.

Racial differences in educational attainment explain some, but not all, of the differences in non-marital birth rates. New mothers who are college-educated are far more likely than less educated moms to be married. The increase in divorces, separations, remarriages and serial cohabitations has likely contributed to an increase in multi-partner fertility.

Research indicates that multi-partner fertility is particularly common among blacks, Hispanics, and the less educated. In 1970, the average new mother was 21 years old.

  • Oxford University Press, 1986 , pp;
  • The University of Chicago Press, 1989 , 14;
  • Stevenson and Wolfers maintain that divorce rates have declined since that time, while Kennedy and Ruggles find that the divorce rate has continued its rise;
  • What works for a family in one economic and cultural setting doesn't work for a family in another;
  • Parents today are raising their children against a backdrop of increasingly diverse and, for many, constantly evolving family forms.

Since that time, that age has risen to 26 years. The rise in maternal age has been driven largely by declines in teen births. While age at first birth has increased across all major race and ethnic groups, substantial variation persists across these groups.

The average first-time mom among whites is now 27 years old. The average age at first birth among blacks and Hispanics is quite a bit younger — 24 years — driven in part by the prevalence of teen pregnancy in these groups. Mothers today are also far better educated than they were in the past. This trend is driven in large part by dramatic increases in educational attainment for all women.

Parenting in America

Mothers moving into the workforce In addition to the changes in family structure that have occurred over the past several decades, family life has been greatly affected by the movement of more and more mothers into the workforce. This increase in labor force participation is a continuation of a century-long trend ; rates of labor force participation among married women, particularly married white women, have been on the rise since at least the turn of the 20th century.

While the labor force participation rates of mothers have more or less leveled off since about 2000, they remain far higher than they were four decades ago. About three-fourths of all employed moms are working full time. Among mothers with children younger than 18, blacks are the most likely to be in the labor force —about three-fourths are.

The relatively high proportions of immigrants in these groups likely contribute to their lower labor force involvement — foreign-born moms are much less likely to be working than their U.

  • Troubled youths were encouraged to drop out of high school;
  • Messner and Robert J;
  • As sociologist Steven Nock remarked in 2006;
  • In other words, Americans have reason to attribute a significant fraction of whatever prosperity the country enjoyed in the decades of the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties to the family patterns of the Fifties;
  • These changes, along with the increasing share of single-parent families, mean that more than ever, mothers are playing the role of breadwinner —often the primary breadwinner—within their families;
  • For the first time, a generation of adults must plan for the needs of both their parents and their children.

The more education a mother has, the more likely she is to be in the labor force. Along with their movement into the labor force, women, even more than men, have been attaining higher and higher levels of education.

In fact, among married couples today, it is more common for the wife to have more education than the husband, a reversal of previous patterns. These changes, along with the increasing share of single-parent families, mean that more than ever, mothers are playing the role of breadwinner —often the primary breadwinner—within their families.

The bulk of these breadwinner moms—8. Breadwinner moms are particularly common in black families, spurred by very high rates of single motherhood. Asian families are less likely to have a woman as the main breadwinner in their families, presumably due to their extremely low rates of single motherhood.

The flip side of the movement of mothers into the labor force has been a dramatic decline in the share of mothers who are now stay-at-home moms. In roughly three-in-ten of stay-at-home-mom families, either the father is not working or the mother is single or cohabiting. As such, stay-at-home mothers are generally less well off than working mothers in terms of education and income.

Except as noted, throughout this chapter a parent may be the biological or adoptive parent, or the spouse or partner of a biological or adoptive parent i.

For instance, if a child is living with two parents, both of whom are in their first marriage: Stevenson and Wolfers maintain that divorce rates have declined since that time, while Kennedy and Ruggles find that the divorce rate has continued its rise. See here for more on the challenges of counting same-sex couples in the U. Even smaller shares were living with no parent, or with a father only.

It may be the case that some families that began as stepfamilies may no longer identify as such, if the stepparent went on to adopt the children. Remarriages involving spouses who have no children from prior relationships would not create blended families. While it is still possible to have children beyond this point, about 99. Women who reached the end of their childbearing years in the mid-1970s came of age during the height of the post-World War II baby boom, a period typified by unusually high fertility.