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The Primary Individual and the Family: Changes in Living Arrangements in the United States since 1940
Frances E. Kobrin
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 38, No. 2 (May, 1976), pp. 233-239
Published by: National Council on Family Relations
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/350383
Page Count: 7
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Census data on living arrangements are presented to show that increasing proportions of the adult population in the U.S. are living alone or apart from relatives. Those involved are primarily either quite young (males) or relatively older (females). This paper proposes a view of the relationship of family membership to the life cycle which includes three stages during adulthood: (1) premarital independence, (2) marriage, and (3) postfamily independence. The development of such clear stages implies that segregation by age, both within and outside families, is increasing, and that the family is declining as a locus of primary relationships.
Journal of Marriage and Family © 1976 National Council on Family Relations