Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Americans Ambivalent Toward Single-parent Families

Date:
April 22, 2009
Source:
Wiley-Blackwell
Summary:
The increase in single-parent families was a dramatic social change of the 20th century. However, relatively little is known about the evolution of attitudes toward single-parent families. A new study in the Journal of Marriage and Family shows ambivalent acceptance of divorce rather than a full embrace of it.

The increase in single-parent families was a dramatic social change of the 20th century. However, relatively little is known about the evolution of attitudes toward single-parent families. A new study in the Journal of Marriage and Family shows ambivalent acceptance of divorce rather than a full embrace of it.

Results of the study show that critical depictions of divorce plummeted in magazines and journals during the 20th Century. The decline was not driven by any increase in favorable depictions of divorce, however, but by the virtual disappearance of normative debate over whether divorce was good or bad, reflecting an ambivalent acceptance of divorce.

There was even less evidence of any softening of attitudes toward nonmarital childbearing during the 20th century. Popular and scholarly articles were as likely to include negative depictions of nonmarital childbearing at the end of the century as they had at its beginning. And they remained highly likely to depict both divorce and nonmarital childbearing as harmful – especially to children -- throughout the century.

“My findings raise an important question as to why Americans form single-parent families at very high rates and yet continue to express deep ambivalence toward them,” Usdansky states. “Couples in many European countries form single-parent families at similarly high rates but are less worried about the result. Americans place more emphasis on marriage as a personal goal and as the ideal setting in which to raise children.”

Margaret L. Usdansky, Ph.D., of Syracuse University explored depictions of single-parent families in samples of popular magazine and social science journals. By collecting original data spanning the 20th century, Usdansky was able to analyze attitudes toward single-parent families over this period and how they varied depending on whether the family resulted from divorce or nonmarital childbearing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley-Blackwell. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Usdansky et al. A Weak Embrace: Popular and Scholarly Depictions of Single-Parent Families, 1900 - 1998. Journal of Marriage and Family, 2009; 71 (2): 209 DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00592.x

Cite This Page:

Wiley-Blackwell. "Americans Ambivalent Toward Single-parent Families." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422132846.htm>.
Wiley-Blackwell. (2009, April 22). Americans Ambivalent Toward Single-parent Families. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422132846.htm
Wiley-Blackwell. "Americans Ambivalent Toward Single-parent Families." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090422132846.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) — New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) — Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) — Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) — A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins