Changing Families, Weakening Bonds

1263 Words6 Pages
At the core of every marriage is family, family structure, and family values. These values are passed down from generation to generation. However in recent years the standard North American family has shifted. With the increase in divorce and cohabitation; marriage is not the only space in which a family/ children can be raised. With the rise in divorce, there has been in an increase in the number of step-families in the American society. Equally as important, with the recent change in laws, most couple decide to cohabitate. Both step parents and cohabiting parents challenge the institution of marriage; thus, forcing society to form new ways of defining family. The working definition of cohabitation is an arrangement where two or more people who are not married live together in an emotionally and or sexually intimate relationship on a long term or permanent basis. However, most cohabiting couples tend to have children. Cohabitation is seen as a less stable environment to raise children, when compared to those couples who marry. Cohabiting couples are less likely to share financial responsibilities. Equally because cohabitation does not provide the security of marriage, cohabitating couple tend have short term relationships. In “Reflections on “Family Structure and Child Well-Being...”” compares cohabiting parents with single parents. The article argues that while cohabitation is not better than marriage, “findings showed that cohabiting parents were closer to single parent families than married parent families in terms of economic disadvantage” (Thomson, McLanahan, 2012, 45). Thomson and McLanahan (2012) argue that children who grow with both biological parents who are cohabiting have more similarities with children who grow up... ... middle of paper ... ...Family, 75(5), 1070-1083. doi:10.1111/jomf.12053 Sweeney, M. M. (2010). Remarriage and stepfamilies: Strategic sites for family scholarship in the 21st century. Journal of Marriage & Family, 72(3), 667-684. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00724.x Thomson, E., & McLanahan, S. S. (2012). Reflections on “Family structure and child well-being: Economic resources vs. parental socialization”. Social Forces, 91(1), 45-53. Retrieved from,uid&db=aph&AN=85098986&site=ehost-live Troilo, J. (2011). Stepfamilies and the law: Legal ambiguities and suggestions for reform. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 52(8), 610-621. doi:10.1080/10502556.2011.619937 Turunen, J. (2013). Family structure, gender, and adolescent emotional well-being. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 54(6), 476-504. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.810982
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