• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Family Structure

Family structure refers to the configuration of family members in a household. In light of demographic changes in the United States over the past 50 years, the term family structure is typically used by social scientists to refer to one of the following arrangements: married-parent households, single-parent households, and cohabiting-parent households. Family structure is linked to child well-being and has implications for parents’ use of early care and education settings. This entry examines recent demographic changes in family structure in the United States, how family structure affects children, and implications for the use of early care and education.

Demographic Changes

Over the past 50 years, the marriage rate in the United States has seen a dramatic decline. In 1960, 72% of adults were married. By 2008, this ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles