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The SSRC Library allows visitors to access materials related to self-sufficiency programs, practice and research. Visitors can view common search terms, conduct a keyword search or create a custom search using any combination of the filters at the left side of this page. To conduct a keyword search, type a term or combination of terms into the search box below, select whether you want to search the exact phrase or the words in any order, and click on the blue button to the right of the search box to view relevant results.

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  • Individual Author: Hummer, Robert. A.; Hamilton, Erin. R.
    Reference Type: Journal Article
    Year: 2010

    Robert Hummer and Erin Hamilton note that the prevalence of fragile families varies substantially by race and ethnicity. African Americans and Hispanics have the highest prevalence; Asian Americans, the lowest; and whites fall somewhere in the middle. The share of unmarried births is lower among most foreign-born mothers than among their U.S.-born ethnic counterparts. Immigrant-native differences are particularly large for Asians, whites, and blacks.

    The authors also find racial and ethnic differences in the composition and stability of fragile families over time. Although most parents of all racial and ethnic groups are romantically involved at the time of their child's birth, African American women are less likely to be in a cohabiting relationship than are white and Hispanic mothers. Over time, these racial and ethnic differences become more pronounced, with African American mothers having the lowest rates of marriage and cohabitation and the highest breakup rates, and Mexican immigrant mothers having the highest rates of marriage and cohabitation and the lowest breakup...

    Robert Hummer and Erin Hamilton note that the prevalence of fragile families varies substantially by race and ethnicity. African Americans and Hispanics have the highest prevalence; Asian Americans, the lowest; and whites fall somewhere in the middle. The share of unmarried births is lower among most foreign-born mothers than among their U.S.-born ethnic counterparts. Immigrant-native differences are particularly large for Asians, whites, and blacks.

    The authors also find racial and ethnic differences in the composition and stability of fragile families over time. Although most parents of all racial and ethnic groups are romantically involved at the time of their child's birth, African American women are less likely to be in a cohabiting relationship than are white and Hispanic mothers. Over time, these racial and ethnic differences become more pronounced, with African American mothers having the lowest rates of marriage and cohabitation and the highest breakup rates, and Mexican immigrant mothers having the highest rates of marriage and cohabitation and the lowest breakup rates.

    Fragile families have far fewer socioeconomic resources than married families, though resources vary within fragile families by race and ethnicity. White mothers, in general, have more socioeconomic resources than black, Mexican American, and Mexican immigrant mothers; they are more likely to have incomes above the poverty limit, more likely to own a car, less likely to have children from a prior relationship, and more likely to report living in a safe neighborhood. Access to health care and child care follows a similar pattern. The exception is education; black and white unmarried mothers are equally likely to have finished high school, and Mexican immigrant and Mexican American mothers are less likely to have done so.

    The authors argue that socioeconomic differences are by far the biggest driver of racial and ethnic differences in marriage and family stability, and they support reforms to strengthen parents' economic security. They also discuss how sex ratios and culture affect family formation and stability. In particular, they note that despite severe poverty, Mexican immigrant families have high rates of marriage and cohabitation—an advantage that erodes by the second generation with assimilation. To address the paradox that marriage declines as socioeconomic status improves, they support policies that reinforce rather than undermine the family ties of Mexican immigrants. (author abstract)

  • Individual Author: Bratter, Jenifer; Damaske, Sarah
    Reference Type: Report
    Year: 2010

    Capturing the conditions of children of color living in single-parent families has become more complex due to the growing presence of interracial households. This analysis assesses the size and poverty status of single-female headed families housing multiracial children. Using data from the 2000 Census, we find that 9 percent of female-headed families house either children who are classified with more than one race or are classified as a single race different than their mother’s compared to only 3 percent of married couple families. Logistic regression analyses assessing the odds of poverty status for families finds that being a multiracial family does not constitute a uniform advantage or disadvantage for female headed households. Rather, these families, like most families of color, are more likely to experience poverty than white monoracial families. The two exceptions are White multiracial families who are more likely to be in poverty relative to this reference group and Asian multiracial families who have similar poverty rates as white monoracial families (and a lower rate...

    Capturing the conditions of children of color living in single-parent families has become more complex due to the growing presence of interracial households. This analysis assesses the size and poverty status of single-female headed families housing multiracial children. Using data from the 2000 Census, we find that 9 percent of female-headed families house either children who are classified with more than one race or are classified as a single race different than their mother’s compared to only 3 percent of married couple families. Logistic regression analyses assessing the odds of poverty status for families finds that being a multiracial family does not constitute a uniform advantage or disadvantage for female headed households. Rather, these families, like most families of color, are more likely to experience poverty than white monoracial families. The two exceptions are White multiracial families who are more likely to be in poverty relative to this reference group and Asian multiracial families who have similar poverty rates as white monoracial families (and a lower rate than Asian monoracial families). (author abstract)