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Race, Family Structure, and Changing Poverty Among American Children
David J. Eggebeen and Daniel T. Lichter
American Sociological Review
Vol. 56, No. 6 (Dec., 1991), pp. 801-817
Published by: American Sociological Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2096257
Page Count: 17
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Poverty, Children, Poverty rates, African Americans, Family structure, Relative poverty, Parents, Workforce, Income inequality, Child growth
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The link between family structure and the changing economic well-being of American children since 1960 is examined using child records from the 1960, 1970, and 1980 Public Use Microdata Sample, and from the 1988 March Current Population Survey. We find that: (1) child poverty rates would have been one-third less in 1988 if family structure had not changed since 1960; (2) changing family structure accounted for nearly 50 percent of the increase in child poverty rates since 1980; (3) changing maternal employment patterns placed significant downward pressure on child poverty from 1960 to 1988, but could not prevent the overall rise in child poverty during the 1980s; (4) racial divergence in family structure since 1960 exacerbated the persistent black-white differences in children's economic status; (5) racial differences in parental work patterns since 1960 acted to reduce racial differences in child poverty; and (6) that changing family-size differentials between poor and nonpoor households exerted upward pressure on child poverty rates, especially among whites. Our results reinforce the view that child poverty and racial inequality cannot be separated from the issue of changing family structure in America.
American Sociological Review © 1991 American Sociological Association