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How Do Low-Income Men and Fathers Matter for Children and Family Life?

FRANK F. FURSTENBERG JR.

Annals, Vol.635 pp.131-240, 2011 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    How Do Low-Income Men and Fathers Matter for Children and Family Life?
  • Author: FRANK F. FURSTENBERG JR.
  • Subjects: Stratification; Consequences; Particularly; Demonstrate; Nonetheless; Furstenberg; Involvement; Comparison; Production; Unexplored; Education Law; Family Law; Healthcare Law; Public Health & Welfare Law; Real Property Law; Tax Law
  • Is Part Of: Annals, Vol.635 pp.131-240, 2011
  • Description: ... Given the understandable preference of low-income women for partners with stable earning potential that Tach and Edin document, it seems highly plausible that these two trends--losing ground in a higher-skilled market and declining marriage rates--are causally connected (Sweeney 2002). ... I have been examining the demands being placed on parents in different social strata as the timetable for growing up has lengthened (Furstenberg 2010). ... The parenting contract has been extended into the 20s, creating a dilemma for lower-income parents, who often lack the means to sustain their children's lengthier and more demanding transition to adulthood. ... Ultimately, lower-income parents, as Sum and colleagues note, will have to pick up the slack by working more years (as they have recently begun to do), thus further crowding out younger workers from the labor market. ... We saw, for example, a sharp, albeit temporary, decline in early single parenthood during the 1990s, when the economy generated more jobs and higher earnings for low-income males and the changes in the Earned Income Tax Credit provided more resources to low-income families. ... This decline can and must be reversed by a renewal of sex education programs that provide contraception information and an expansion of reproductive health services in underserved communities coupled with programs that give young adolescent women and men a vision of a future that does not involve childbearing at a very early age. ... The two articles by Carlson and Magnuson and by Berger and Langton on the consequences of fathers' participation on children's welfare provide scant evidence that we can alter current practices of involvement significantly enough to improve the welfare of children or their ultimate prospects of social mobility. ... We also can affect the supply of "good" dads by helping individuals and couples avoid unintended pregnancies by providing greater assistance and access to contraception for young couples who frequently enter parenthood before they are prepared to form families.
  • Language: English
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0002-7162 ; EISSN: 1552-3349
  • Source: Academic Law Reviews (LexisNexis┬«)

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