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Family Structure, Gender, and Parental Socialization

Elizabeth Thomson, Sara S. McLanahan and Roberta Braun Curtin
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 54, No. 2 (May, 1992), pp. 368-378
DOI: 10.2307/353068
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353068
Page Count: 11
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Family Structure, Gender, and Parental Socialization
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Abstract

Analyses of data from the 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households demonstrated that parents' gender did not account for family structure variations in parental socialization. Among parents (n = 3,738) of children aged 15 to 18, male and female single parents reported less restrictive rules than did married parents, while stepmothers, stepfathers, and cohabiting male partners reported significantly less frequent activities with and positive responses to children than did original parents. Some evidence was found for the primary alternative explanations for these differences—that two adults are more effective than one, and that stepparents are relative strangers to children.

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