Essay on African American Family Structure And African Americans

Essay on African American Family Structure And African Americans

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The unit of a family is the most prominent essential for all of us. As social human beings, we seek social support in order to thrive, and that is where family comes into play. A family is where you receive love, support, encouragement, and many other social benefits. The total number of households in the United States increased from 63 million in 1970 to 113 million in 2008 (Weeks, 2012). The family has influenced multitudes of people in many ways. The traditional family in the United States consists two-married individuals providing care and stability for their biological offspring also know as the nuclear family. However, the term of a true family has ultimately changed over the last 50 years especially for African Americans. The research question is which family structure impacts and influences the most for African Americans.
James Stewart illustrates the African-American family structure as “an institution that interacts with other institution forming a social network” (Stewart, 1990). In his research, Ruggles mentioned that the modern black family has seen a change in tradition, where it has been viewed as predominantly single parent, specifically black matriarchy (Ruggles, 1994). It is also mentioned that in the US, African American women are disadvantaged compared to whites in terms of marital status. At every age, blacks are more likely to be either divorced or widowed than are other racial/ethnic groups (Weeks, 2012). In addition, as female-headed households increased and married-coupled household decreased; African American families were already headed by a female than are whites or Hispanic household at any time during between 1970 and 2000 (Ruggles, 1994.)
In her research, Niara Sudarkasa exhibited an...

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...cially in the urban, single, low-income African Americans (Kelch-Oliver, 2011). One of the ways to have an immediate impact for families going away from the traditional nuclear family is to implement the multigenerational relations within family (Bengtson, 2001). Kelch-Oliver (2011) explored in details by conducted a qualitative individual interviews with 14 African American grandchildren ages 10-16 and their 6 grandparent caregivers. The results showcased that not only the majority of grandchildren were content living with their grandparents but also they experienced adjustment issues in terms of family disruption and parental loss. In this study, the researcher had a very low sample size, so the results aren’t as generalized in terms of external validity. However, I would suggest increasing in sample size and also comparing to other parts of the United States.

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