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Reynolds Farley photo

Family Types and Family Headship: A Comparison of Trends among Blacks and Whites

Publication Abstract

Farley, Reynolds. 1971. "Family Types and Family Headship: A Comparison of Trends among Blacks and Whites." The Journal of Human Resources, 6(3): 275-96.

The decrease in the proportion of husband-wife black families in recent decades has led to discussions of the breakdown of the Negro family. This hypothesis is examined, along with the hypothesis that the economic status of black men accounts for the instability of black families. The findings indicate that a growing proportion of adult Negroes are heading families. Differential rates of increase, especially the sharp rise in headship rates among black women, explain the changing distribution of families by type. Rather than confirming a trend toward a breakdown of the black family, these data report the changing living arrangements of adults. Available information indicates that socioeconomic status is positively related to the likelihood that a man will head a husband-wife family.


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