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Racial Differences in Mother-Child Coresidence in the Past

Antonio McDaniel and S. Philip Morgan
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 58, No. 4 (Nov., 1996), pp. 1011-1017
DOI: 10.2307/353987
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353987
Page Count: 7
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Racial Differences in Mother-Child Coresidence in the Past
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Abstract

The authors argue that racial differences in contemporary family patterns in the United States reflect substantial cultural and historical continuity of African and Western European family patterns. Discussion focuses on the coresidence of mothers and young children. Using data from the Public Use Samples of the 1910 Census, the authors show that African American mothers were much more likely than European American, native-born mothers to have young children who were not coresidents. The authors argue that sending children to live elsewhere is a violation of Western norms. These norms were violated more frequently by European Americans and by African Americans in crisis situations. Nevertheless, racial differences remain strong. African American mothers, compared with European Americans, were especially likely to have young children not living with them when the mothers were enumerated in spouse-present situations. This finding suggests that mother-child coresidence norms were weaker for African Americans than for native-born European Americans.

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