Are Families in Decline or Are They Resilient?

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Position Paper: Are Families in Decline or are they Resilient? Emily Laubach Towson University The meaning of family changes over time, contexts, and cultures. This is partly because of how diverse the world is in the present day. The question “Are Families in Decline or are they Resilient?” is not easy to answer because modern family arrangements are more adaptable then in the past. However, there is more statistics indicating that families are in decline. First, the “traditional” family, which used to be defined as, the husband being the breadwinner and the wife being a full-time “homemaker”, has declined from 66 percent to 29 percent in 1972-2007 (Benokraitis, n.d, 3). This could be because of the changing dynamics of a family. For example, the rates of single parenthood are rising and each single parent has to be the breadwinner and “homemaker” of the family. Also, some adults do not end up getting married, almost 19 million Americans (Benokraitis, n.d., 3). Furthermore, children under the age of 18 living with two married parents went from 77 percent to 67 percent (Benokraitis, n.d, 3). That finding shows the increase of divorce among Americans. The article, “The Changing Landscape of Family”, states that women are spending less time with their children than before and there is a decrease in the number of children per family. This is partially because women have started to go back to work and the economy in the present day is not very stable so supporting a bigger family is not easily done. Today, 51 percent of all marriages end in divorce and only 38 percent consider themselves happy while being married (Lebey, 2005, 1). However, there are a lot of efforts that show families are more resilient and more “loving today than it was in the past.” (Benokraitis, n.d., 17). The first piece of information that specified that families are stronger
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