International Journal of Sociology of the Family

Volume 25, Number 2 (Autumn 1995)

A Cross-National Analysis of Family and Household Structure
Xuanning Fu & Tim B. Heaton (Department of Social Sciences, Brigham Young University, Hawaii, USA)
Profound demographic change has taken place in the past few decades in many countries, including decreases in fertility & household size, & increases in divorce & nontraditional living arrangments. Cross-national variations in these trends are analyzed by utilizing 2 international data sets. Fertility, marriage/divorce, & household structure are modeled as separated domains of family life & tested in a LISREL model. The correlations across these domains are examined along with indicators of socioeconomic development & cultural context. Findings indicate that the level of economic development has direct & negative associations with all three family domains. Culture has an independent effect on family demographics, but it does not override the forces of development. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 1-32]

Age at Menarche among Adolescent Females in Zambia: Implication for Family Formation
Vijayan K. Pillai (University of North Texas, USA)
Examines the relationships between age at menarche & 2 fertility related variables - expected age at marriage & expected number of childen - based on questinnaire data from 525 secondary school-going females ages 13-21 in Zambia. It was found that age at menarche ranged from ages 10 to 18. The association between age at menarche & expected age at marriage was weak but positive. The association of age at menarche with expected number of children was weak but negative. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 33-38]

Impact of the Gulf War on Marriage and Divorce in Israel
Hayim Granot (School of Social Work, Bar-Ilan University, Israel)
During the Gulf War in 1991, Iran fired 39 Scud missiles at Israel's civilian population, generating a great deal of anxiety among family members. The country was divided into civil defense zones to compare statistics on marriage & divorce rates for the area experiencing the greatest war-related anxiety (Tel-Aviv) with national rates & those of less affected areas. Against expectation, findings do not indicate higher marriage & divorce rates for greater Tel-Aviv than for the rest of the country, which was less affected by the war. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 39-46]

Intergenerational Relationships in Taiwanese Families
Robert Strom, Shirley Strom, Yuh Ling Shen, Shing Jing Li & Hwey Lin Sun (Office of Parent Development, Arizona State University, USA)
Inventory data from 751 nonconsanguineous Ss from urban & rural Taiwan, including 234 grandparents, 241 parents, & 276 grandchildren, were used to examine intergenerational relatioships, especially to grandparents & aspects of their relationships that could be improved. Multi-univariate analyses of variance & other tests revealed that main effects influencing responses about grandparent performance were generation, gender & age of grandchild, frequency of grandchild care by grandparent, generations living together, & amount of time grandparent & grandchild spent together. Recommendations are made to improve behavior of grandparents & guide the development of educational programs for them. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 47-65]

African American Private Household Workers, White Employers and Their Children
Mahnez Kousha (Macalester College, Minnesota, USA)
African-American household workers have often functioned as surrogate mothers to white children, operating as counselors & mediators in family affairs, & trying to protect children against strict parental rules. They often devised a variety of strategies for handling child care as part of their domestic work. Relationships between white employers & children & African-American workers & the latter's attempts to establish independent relationships are analyzed, based on interviews with 12 such workers ages 62-82. While some employers have stepped aside & let the workers develop close relationships with the children, others have tried to regulate such relationships. White women employers have played a crucial role as primary social control agents in these interclass & interracial relationships. The dimensions of these relationships are weighed in analyzing the various outcomes that occur over time among those involved. Family dynamics, successes, losses, & accommodations are explored. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 67-89]

A Sociological View of the Never Married
Craig J. Forsyth & Elaine L. Johnson (Southwestern Louisiana University, USA)
Contrary to the traditional attitude that those who remain single are deviant or inadequate is an emergent new style of singlehood. An increasing number of individuals are pursuing singlehood consciously & voluntarily, casting the role of the never married in a more positive posture. Seeking to identify new explanations of never being married, interviews were conducted with 204 persons age 35+ who had never married. Also, census data from 1970, 1980, & 1990 were compared, revealing an increasing number of never married. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 91-104]

Children in One-Parent Families
Benjamin Schlesinger (Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Results of a review of selected studies 1978-1983, primarily Canadian & American, regarding the impact on a child of living in a one-parent family are presented in outline format. The strengths of one-parent families are discussed briefly, & suggestions are made for further research. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 105-114]

Husbands, Wives and Welfare: The Effect of Welfare Guarantees and Taxes on Family Labor Supply
Howard Gensler & W. David Walls (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)
Data from the US Census Bureau's Current Population Surveys 1979-1990 reveal that effective welfare guarantee levels & the effective tax rate on earned income both significantly affect labor supply. The effects of these welfare program parameters are economically small: a $1,000 increase in the expected welfare guarantee level reduces annual labor supply by about 2.7 hours for males (Ms) & 1 hour for females (Fs); a 10% increase in each spouse's own effective tax rate on earned income reduces annual labor supply by about 2.3 hours for Ms & 17 hours for Fs. However, Ms & Fs behaved asymmetrically with respect to the spouse's effective tax rate: increasing the F's tax rate caused both to work less, while increasing the M's tax rate caused the M to work less & the F to work more. Thus, Fs appear to be the dominant worker in households of married welfare recipients. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 115-124]

Measurement of Attitude toward Inter-Caste Marriage: Development of a Likert-Type Scale
Saroja Krishnaswamy & R. Kamath (Department of Human Development, University of Agricultural Sciences, Karnataka, India)
An attitudinal scale was developed to measure the attitude of postgraduate students in India toward intercaste marriage as related to: family relations, social change, & marriage problems; desirability in context of present caste society & mate selection; & general affective evaluation of intercaste marriage. A draft scale of 130 items based on statements about the dimensions of intercaste marriage collected from postgraduate students in 2 universities was modified by 48 faculty experts to 83 statements & administered to a standardization sample of 200 students from 9 departments of postgraduate studies at Karnataka U, Dharwad. Likert type analysis was employed to select 50 items. Indices of item analysis reflected sound validity of the scale in addition to good content validity, ensured by procedural details of the test construction steps. [Int. J. Sociol. Fam. 25(2), 1995: 125-145]

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