By Jason DeParle and Sabrina Tavernise
Source: New York Times, February 17, 2012
LORAIN, Ohio — It used to be called illegitimacy. Now it is the new normal. After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.
Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white women in their 20s who have some college education but no four-year degree, according to Child Trends, a Washington research group that analyzed government data.
New York Times Article
Child Trends Report
By: Pamela J. Loprest and Austin Nichols
Source: Urban Institute
This study analyzes the impact of mental health problems and mental health treatment on low-income mothers’ employment, using the 2002 National Survey of America’s Families. We find that all mothers, low-income mothers, and low-income single mothers in very poor mental health are significantly less likely to work. Instrumental variables regressions show that mothers receiving mental health treatment are significantly more likely to work. These findings suggest that mental health problems are an important barrier to work among low-income women and that access to treatment for these problems can substantially improve the probability of work for this group.
Full text (PDF)
Rates, Characteristics Vary by Race and Gender
By: Wendy Wang
Source: Pew Research Center, Social & Demographic Trends
From Executive Summary:
This report analyzes the demographic and economic characteristics of newlyweds who marry spouses of a different race or ethnicity, and compares the traits of those who “marry out” with those who “marry in.” The newlywed pairs are grouped by the race and ethnicity of the husband and wife, and are compared in terms of earnings, education, age of spouse, region of residence and other characteristics. This report is primarily based on the Pew Research Center’s analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) in 2008-2010 and on findings from three of the Center’s own nationwide telephone surveys that explore public attitudes toward intermarriage. For more information about data sources and methodology, see Appendix 1.
Full report (PDF)
Cohabiting Couples and Their Money
D’Vera Cohn | Pew Social & Demographic Trends
November 22, 2011
This note discusses how the new alternative measure of poverty released by the Census Bureau treats cohabiting couples.
Under the traditional measure of poverty, unmarried couples who live together are counted as separate units. Under the alternative metric, called the Supplemental Poverty Measure, the assumption is that cohabiting couples pool their funds and share expenses just as married couples do. The result: A lower share of cohabiting couples is considered poor under the alternative metric than under the official measure.
Supreme Court to hear in vitro case
David G. Savage | Los Angeles Times [Washington Bureau]
November 15, 2011
If reproductive technology allows a child to be conceived after a father’s death, can the child claim Social Security survivor’s benefits? Justices will decide a mother’s case [Astrue vs Capato]
Work and Family: Latin American & Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance
By: Laura Chioda
Source: World Bank
From Press Release:
Work and Family: Latin American & Caribbean Women in Search of a New Balance states that more than 70 million additional women have entered the labor force in the region since 1980, marking an unprecedented growth in female participation in the labor market. Three decades ago, only 36 percent of working age women were in the labor force. Since then female participation in LAC has risen faster than in any other region in the world. These results are closely linked to females scoring huge successes in education where they have been outperforming men on a number of indicators.
Girls are today more likely than boys to be enrolled in secondary and tertiary schooling and also more likely to complete both. But as the gender parity gap closes, new challenges arise, the report warns. A first generation of gender policies has addressed disparities and ensured equal access to services ranging from education to health. However, a new set of policies is needed now to help women balance the demands of their careers and family lives, experts say.
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Trends in High School Dropout and Completion Rates in the United States: 1972–2009
By: Chris Chapman, Jennifer Laird, Nicole Ifill and Angelina KewalRamani
Source: National Center for Education Statistics
This report updates a series of NCES reports on high school dropout and completion rates that began in 1988. The report includes national and regional population estimates for the percentage of students who dropped out of high school between 2008 and 2009, the percentage of young people who were dropouts in 2009, and the percentage of young people who were not in high school and had some form of high school credential in 2009. Data are presented by a number of characteristics including race/ethnicity, sex, and age. Annual data for these population estimates are provided for the 1972-2009 period. Information about the high school class of 2009 is also presented in the form on on-time graduation rates from public high schools.
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Child well-being in the UK, Spain and Sweden: The role of inequality and materialism
By: Ipsos Mori and Agnes Nairn
Source: UNICEF UK
This research reveals how children and families in different societies tackle complicated issues in their everyday lives in very different ways. It clearly exposes some of the specific pressures faced by children and families in the UK, uncovering new dimensions to family life, and sheds new light on the motivations and responses of children and families when dealing with inequality and materialism.
Our findings paint a complex picture of the relationship between well-being, materialism and inequality across Spain, Sweden and the UK. Time with family and friends and activities outside the home emerge as central to children’s subjective well-being, and material goods appear to be used by children often as social enablers rather than as direct contributors to their own happiness.
Full Report (PDF)
From the Economist
Asians are marrying later, and less, than in the past. This has profound implications for women, traditional family life and Asian politics. http://www.economist.com/node/21526329
Are Cohabiting Parents Bad For Kids?
By: Jennifer Ludden
Source: National Public Radio, Morning Edition
As more and more U.S. couples decide to have children without first getting married, a group of 18 family scholars is sounding an alarm about the impact this may have on those children.
In a new report out on Tuesday, they say research shows the children of cohabiting parents are at risk for a broad range of problems, from trouble in school to psychological stress, physical abuse and poverty.
The study is put out by the National Marriage Project and the Institute for American Values, groups whose missions include strengthening marriage and family life. It suggests a shift in focus is needed away from the children of divorce, which has long been a preoccupying concern for such scholars.
Audio and transcript are available.
The story is based on “Why Marriage Matters: Thirty Conclusions from the Social Science, 3rd edition“, from AmericanValues.org.