FCD 3355

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  1. Married couples vs. Cohabitating couples
    Cohabitators tend to be: younger, less educated, have less income, less likely to own their homes, more likely to be non-white and more likely to have been sexually abused
  2. Premarital cohabitation:
    Many see cohabitation as chance to test compatibility
  3. The cohabiting relationship:
    • Twice as likely to be interracial
    • Cohabiting women tend to be several years older than married women and earning more than their partners
    • Cohabiting couples tend to be more non-traditional in their roles
    • Relationships tend to be short-term, less than one year. Either break up or get married in that time frame.
    • Cohabitors tend to be less happy with relationships. Higher incidence of depression, more sex outside of relationship
  4. Cohabitation and Legal Issues:
    • Domestic partners-joint residence and finances plus statement of loyalty and commitment
    • Residence- are both partners on the lease?
    • Joint bank accounts- either partner can withdraw all money
    • Power of attorney for finances- without this, court decided who is in control of finances
    • Credit cards and charge accounts- if both parties are on the account, both are responsible
    • Health care decisions- power of attorney for health care
    • Children-
    • Co-parenting agreement that spells out rights and responsibilities of each partner
    • Nomination of guardianship that adds language to a will or living trust
    • A consent to medical treatment form that gives the co-parent the right to authorize medical procedure for a child
  5. Cohabiting Families and Children
    • More than 40% of cohabiting heterosexual households contain children under the age of 18
    • Study of economically disadvantaged 6 and 7 yr. olds; more problem behaviors among children in various types of unmarried families, including cohabitation.
  6. Same Sex Couples Relationship
    • Quite similar to heterosexual relationship: need to resolve issues of division of labor, power and decision-making, sexual exclusitivity
    • Same-sex partners of both genders tend to have more equality and role sharing than in heterosexual marriages
    • Discrimination may add stress to their relationship
    • Stress may lead to higher rates of domestic violence in same-sex relationships vs. heterosexual couples
  7. Same Sex Couples and Raising Children
    • 2008- 565,000 same sex couples, approx. 1/2 of same sex couples have children under age 18
    • In addition to raising children from a prior marriage, also become parents through adoption, foster care, sexual intercourse or artificial insemination
    • For lesbian couples, one partner may give birth to a child that both partners parent
    • Children are generally well-adjusted, with no noticeable different terms of behavior, cognitive abilities or emotional development
    • No evidence that children of same-sex couples are confused about their gender identity or more likely to be homosexual
  8. Fertility Trends in the U.S.
    • Lower rates of fertility due to increased employment for women outside the home
    • Hispanics have highest birth rate and whites have lowest
    • Higher education, better off financially, less children
    • Ideal is have 2.5 children
    • Stigma for large families: mothers seen as uneducated, ignorant of birth control, not attentive enough with children
  9. Decision to Parent or Not to Parent
    Social pressures: strong norms against childlessness; have to justify not having children
  10. Motivations for Parenthood:
    Emotional Significance
    Emotional significance of parenthood has become important to personal identity and sense of meaning
  11. Motivations for Parenthood:
    Value of Children
    • Parents can have influence on children they may not have at work
    • Children add liveliness to a household with fresh and novel responses to life
  12. Motivations for Parenthood:
    Social Capital Perspective
    links that parenthood provides to social networks and their resources
  13. Financial costs of having a child
    • In a husband-wife family, 42% of expenses are attributed to children
    • Average cost of raising a child born in 2007 to age 18 is $269, 040 (middle income family)
  14. Opportunity Costs of having a child
    • Opportunities for wages and investments that parents forgo, usually mothers
    • Career advancement, loss of family income
    • Loss of free tie and stress as costs of leading two lives: family and career
  15. Impact of Children on Marital Happiness
    • Young children stabilize marriage but add to stress
    • Parents report lower satisfaction than non-parents; more children, lower marital satisfaction
  16. Early Parenthood: Pros and Cons
    • Pros:
    • Physical health, greater freedom later in life, more spontaneity, less of generation gap
    • Cons:
    • Forgo education, slower start on career ladder, lack of maturity
  17. Late Parenthood: Pros and Cons
    • Pros:
    • Patience, maturity, more money and confidence
    • Cons:
    • Physical limitations, sense of limited time, may not live to see grandchildren
  18. Impact on Children
    Benefit from financial and emotional stability; may have anxiety about parents health and mortality
  19. Single Moms
    • Increase in single moms; can support themselves and less stigma about out of wedlock births
    • "single mothers by choice"- older women with education, established jobs, economic resources
  20. Adolescent Parents
    • U.S. has highest teen pregnancy, abortion and birthrate of any industrialized nation
    • Teen parents: lack of education, limited job prospects, strong chance of living in poverty
  21. Informal adoption-
    not legally formalized
  22. Public adoption-
    through liscensed agency
  23. Private adoption-
    arranged, between adoptive adn biological parents, usually through an attorney
  24. Open adoption-
    birth and adoptive parents meet or have some knowledge of each other's identity
  25. Issues with Adoption of Older Children
    Majority of older adopted children work out well, but disruption and dissolution increases with children's age
  26. Disruption-
    child is returned to agency before adoption is finalized
  27. Dissolution-
    Child is returned after adoption is finalized

    Child may be emotionally damaged or impaired due to drug-addicted parents, physical abuse or previous broken attachments
  28. Attachment disorder-
    Defensively shut off willingness and ability to make future attachments
  29. Advantages of Parenting in Modern America
    • Higher level of education for parents; likely exposed to knowledge about child development and child rearing
    • Technology allows parents to keep track of children
    • More fathers emotionally involved
    • Internet offers information on virtually any situation
  30. Disadvantages of Parenting in Modern America
    • Parenting role often in conflict with work roles
    • Children raised in pluralistic society with diverse and conflict values: school, peers and television
    • Knowing that they have major influence on their children can make parents anxious
  31. Difficulties for new moms and dads
    • Bothered by sleep disruption, going out and sexual expression
    • Moms may feel isolated and disconnected
    • If dad's involvement meets mom's expectations, the earlier the transition
    • If the relationship quality is high, the transition is easier
  32. Rossi's comparison of transition to parenthood
    • the transition to parenthood is unlike other roles, such as work
    • Culture pressures us to become parents, once done, can't undo it.
    • Most parents have little or no previous experience in childcare, especially new fathers
    • Unlike other adult roles, the transition is abrupt and sudden
    • Requires changes in couple's relationship
Card Set:
FCD 3355
2011-10-27 06:15:13
Family Relationship pt

Chs. 6-11
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