Did you know in a national study of high school seniors, 76 percent said it was "extremely important" to have a good marriage and family life? Did you know a husband-wife family in the U.S. may spend as much as a third of their annual income on a child? Did you know that in 1948, nearly half of the public said there were some racial or ethnic groups with whom they would prefer not to work, including African Americans, Mexicans, Filipinos, Chinese, Jews, and Italians; in 1993 only 9 percent felt this way? Did you know in 1997, only 17 percent of households conformed to the traditional model of a wage-earning father, a stay-at-home mother, and one or more children? Did you know that nationwide, between 1986 and 1995, the rate of reported child abuse or neglect increased 49 percent, from 33 per 1,000 children to 46 per 1,000? Did you know that 43 percent of all U.S. first marriages end in divorce, compared to two out of five marriages in Britain, Denmark, and Sweden and one in ten in France and other European countries? Did you know that one out of three Americans is now a stepparent, stepchild, a stepsibling, or some other member of a stepfamily? These are just the beginning of a wealth of facts and ideas found in our textbook, Marriages and Families, by Nijole V. Benokraitis. In this paper, I will use supporting details from our text to discuss the different choices, constraints, and challenges that are faced in many different issues regarding the family and its ever-changing structure and functioning in contemporary American society.
In chapter 18 of our text, many sh...
... middle of paper ...
...parents, violence, remarriages and stepfamilies. The amazing thing is that through time we can see these families grow and we can track distinct changes in American society. The progress we have already made has taken some time, but America has made great strides to move forward more every day to achieve that progress. Until the end of time, family structure and functioning will continue to change and evolve to meet the people of the time's needs. As long as we move forward as well accepting any and all challenges, we will make progress within our own families as well.
Benokraitis, Nijole V. Marriages and Families: Changes, Choices, and Constraints. 3rd ed.
Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ. 1999.
Skolnick, Arlene S. and Jerome H. Family in Transition. 10th ed. Addison-Wesley
Longman, Inc., NY. 1999.
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