Presentation on theme: "Trends in U.S. Families. NO children? 19% of married couples in the U.S. never have children The more education a women has, the less likely she is."— Presentation transcript:
Trends in U.S. Families
NO children? 19% of married couples in the U.S. never have children The more education a women has, the less likely she is to have children. Latino women are much less likely to remain childless than white and African American women. Reason why? Sense of freedom, to be able to change jobs and do spontaneous things. More money: It costs average middle-income American family $222,360 to raise a child from birth to 18. (not including college) 22 percent higher than it was in 1960, adjusted for inflation. Less stress Do not like children Current trends indicate that the proportion of women who never bear children is likely to increase. Many childless couples are not childless by choice. Rather they are infertile. Some adopt and other turn to reproductive technologies.
Discussion What benefits do children offer parents? What are the advantages, if any, in having children? Is it selfish for married couples to choose not to have children? Do you see yourself having children in the future? If not why? If so, how do you think having children will affect your life?
Figure 16.6 What Percentage of U.S. Married Women Never Give Birth? Source: By the author. Based on Bachu and O’Connell 2000: Table A.
Postponement of first marriage Since 1970, the avg. age of first-time brides and grooms has sharply increased. The avg. first-time bride is older than at any other time in U.S. history. Percentage of unmarried women has doubled since However, they have not postponed the age at which they first set up housekeeping with someone of the opposite sex. Most opt for cohabitation (adults living together in a sexual relationship without being married) instead of marriage. 8 times more common today than 1970 Half of all couple who marry today have lived together before marriage. Major difference between cohabitation and marriage is commitment.
Figure 16.9 Cohabitation in the U.S. Source: By the author. Based on Statistical Abstract 1995: Table 60; 2002: Table 49. Note: Broken line indicates the author’s estimate.
Figure 16.8: Americans Ages Who Have Never Married Source: By the author. Based on Statistical Abstract 1993: Table 60; 2002: Table 48. *Author’s estimate.
The role of grandparents About 4% of white children, 7% of Latino children, and 14% of African American children are cared for by grandparents. The reason for skipped generation families include parents being incapable of taking care of their children due to Death of parents Parents are ill Parents are homeless Parents are addicted to drugs Parents are in prison
“Sandwich Generation” People, typically between the ages of 40 and 55, who find themselves sandwiched between two generations. Responsible for providing for their children’s needs and caring for their aging parents. Many large companies have begun to offer elder care assistance to their employees: Seminars Referral services Flexible work schedules
Divorce and children Each year more than 1 million children learn that their parents are divorcing. Children of divorced parents appear to: experience psychiatric problems Less likely to complete high school or attend college Do slightly better emotionally than children who grow up in conflict-ridden homes Studies indicate that adjustment is better if the child lives with the parent of the same sex. Can count on another “second adult” for support Grown up children of divorced parents Have less contact with either mother or father Are less likely to marry Are more likely to divorce
Figure 16.11: The “Where” of U.S. Divorce Source: By the author. Based on Statistical Abstract 2002: Table 111, and earlier editions. Note: Data for California, Colorado, Indiana, and Louisiana, based on earlier editions, have been decreased by the average decrease in U.S. divorce.
Divorce Men and women experience divorce differently. Women are more likely to feel that the divorce is giving them a “new chance” at life. The spouse that initiates the divorce is usually able to get over it sooner. Many divorced maintain contact because of children. A few can remain friends and some continue sexual relations. Financial effects on divorce are usually harder for women, especially mothers with small children. Their standard of living drops a third. Most eventually remarry, although length of time today is longer than in the past. Most remarry other divorced people Men are more likely than women to remarry Women who are more educated and independent (no children) are less likely to remarry than those who have graduated from high school and/or younger mothers. Divorce rate of remarried people without children is about the same as that of first marriages; remarriages in which children are present; however, are more likely to end in divorce.
Figure What Percentage of Americans are Divorced? Source: By the author. Based on Statistical Abstract 1995: Table 58; 2002: Table 46. Note: Only these racial-ethnic groups are listed in the source. *author’s estimate.
Figure The Probability that Divorced Women Will Remarry in Five Years Source: By the author. Based on Bramlett and Mosher Note: Only these groups are listed in the source.
Figure The Marital History of U.S. Brides and Grooms Source: By the author. Based on Statistical Abstract 2000: Table 145.
The Future of Marriage and the Family Even with all of its problems, the institution of marriage is “here to stay.” The vast Majority of Americans will continue to marry and find it vital to their welfare. Patterns of marriage and family life, however, are subject to change Current trends point to further increase in: Cohabitation More births to single women Longer postponements of first marriages Greater numbers of married women in the workforce
Discussion Should the legal system make it more difficult for married couples to obtain a divorce, especially when children are involved? What rights should be given to children before, during, and following a legal divorce? What can the society do, if any, to strengthen families and marriages in American society?