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American families taking 'divergent paths,' study finds
Date:9/10/2013

nic and educational divide in American families had a lot to do with economic resources, a factor that was especially important during the Great Recession," he said.

But there is one group that still closely reflects what has traditionally been considered the "typical" American family, Qian said. Ironically, that group is immigrants.

Regardless of education and race or ethnicity, immigrants tend to be married at a higher rate, are less likely to cohabit (except for Hispanics), and divorce and remarry at a lower percentage when compared with their U.S.-born counterparts.

"Immigrants aren't likely to experience multiple marital transitions," he said. "An overwhelming majority married, stayed married, or remained divorced among the few who failed the first marriage."

While American families went through many changes in the 2000s, the study found that there were some areas in which family situations continued to stabilize. For one, the surge in cohabitation seen in the past decades appeared to have slowed.

In addition, the decade was a period of relative stability in living arrangement among American-born children, with the percentage living with two married, working parents increasing from 41 percent in 2000 to 43 percent in 2008-2010.

The number of children living with cohabiting couples stayed stable at about 5 percent, and those living with unmarried mothers also stayed stable, at about 15 percent.

"The percentage of children living in poverty also was little changed by type of living arrangement," Qian said.

"That is good news because any stability in children's living arrangement presumably thwarted even larger increases in the proportion of children living in poverty during the Great Recession, when nearly 22 percent of children were officially poor."

Qian said the fate of America's children, especially those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, remains one of the biggest
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Contact: Jeff Grabmeier
grabmeier.1@osu.edu
614-292-8457
Ohio State University
Source:Eurekalert

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