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Headship and Household Composition among Blacks, Hispanics, and Other Whites

Marta Tienda and Ronald Angel
Social Forces
Vol. 61, No. 2 (Dec., 1982), pp. 508-531
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2578239
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2578239
Page Count: 24
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Abstract

Differences in the prevalance of extended living arrangements are examined among black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white female-headed and husband/wife households to evaluate the relative merit of the cultural equivalent and cultural variant explanations of extended structure. Results based on logit analyses indicate that the greater prevalence of extended household structure among Hispanics and blacks is related both to cultural circumstances that lead to extended family structure, and the attempt of households to cope with economic hardship. For each of three measures of extended structure, female headship-frequently associated with economic disadvantage-is significantly related to a higher incidence of extended structure. This may also indicate a greater incentive to find surrogate replacements for absent spouses. Persisting differentials among minority households compared to non-Hispanic whites suggest that the cultural variant explanation of extended household structure deserves closer scrutiny to distinguish clearly processual components from structural components in the analysis of family organization among racial and ethnic groups.

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