This nonjudgmental, inclusive, and far-reaching text focuses on the diverse patterns of family structure prevalent in our society today. Family Diversity presents empirical research on the internal dynamics, social environments, support factors, prevalence of discrimination, and common stereotypes that account for the issues surrounding current family relations. By examining the history and nature of foster and adoptive, single-parent, lesbian/gay, step- and grandparent family units, Pauline Irit Erera is able to challenge both the idealized family prototype and the hegemony of the traditional structure. 

Single-Parent Families

Single-parent families

Single-parent families, perhaps more than any other family type, are considered by many to be problematic (Kamerman & Kahn, 1988). Viewed against the backdrop of an idealized nuclear family, the increase since the 1970s in divorce, unmarried childbearing, and single-parent families has been looked on with alarm.

Single-parent families face numerous stresses, foremost among which is economic hardship. The stresses of single parenthood are exacerbated by discrimination and punitive attitudes toward female heads of families, and especially toward African American women. The stigma against single-parent families is reflected in social policy, political discourse, social science research, and the attitudes of many helping professionals.

With the demise of what was once a family wage, it now takes two wage earners to maintain even a modest ...

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