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Family Structure and Social Mobility

Timothy J. Biblarz, Adrian E. Raftery and Alexander Bucur
Social Forces
Vol. 75, No. 4 (Jun., 1997), pp. 1319-1341
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2580673
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2580673
Page Count: 23
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Family Structure and Social Mobility
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Abstract

Different types of family structures experienced during childhood have varying effects on men's socioeconomic attainment and social mobility. Holding origin occupational characteristics constant, men (both white and African American) from a mother-headed family structure do as well as men from two-biological-parent families. In contrast, there is a negative effect of other types of family structures (father-headed, stepfamily) on socioeconomic attainment. Also, intergenerational occupational inheritance - from male family head to son or from female family head to son - is strongest when the mother is present, weakest when the mother is absent. The farther alternative family structures take sons away from their mothers, the more the intergenerational transmission process breaks down.

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