Send to

Choose Destination
Popul Bull. 1992 Aug;47(2):1-44.

New realities of the American family.



The demographic, social, and economic characteristics of American families have changed dramatically over the past few decades. While the male breadwinner/female homemaker model was long traditionally typical,l contemporary families may be openly made up of single-parents, remarried couples, unmarried couples, stepfamilies, foster families, extended or multigenerational families, or 2 families within 1 household. Families are now most likely to have 3 or fewer children, a mother employed outside of the home, and a 50% chance of parental divorce before the children are grown. These trends are common not only in America, but in most industrialized nations around the world. In fact, family trends are so fluid that the US Census Bureau and workplace policy find it difficult to keep pace. This report presents and discusses social and demographic trends behind the ever-changing face of the American family. Households and types of families are further defined, as are the living arrangements of children, young adults, and the elderly. Marriage, divorce, and remarriage trends, age at marriage rates, and interracial marriage are then discussed. Next examined are declining family size, teenage parents, contraception and abortion, unwed mothers, and technological routes to parenthood. The changing roles of family members and family economic well-being are discussed in sections preceding closing comments on the outlook for the American family.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center