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Family Issues

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Article Analysis

What Am I Being Asked to Believe or Accept in This Article? 

-          The fact of three decades of changing values and norms regarding family life in the US between late 1950s and middle 1980s;

-          General weakening of the normative imperative regarding marriage;

-          Changes in family attitudes were the most striking between 1960s and 1970s, 1980s – general flattering of trends;

-          Family changes parallel trends in socialization, religious, political and civil aspects.

Filling the Research Gap

There is plenty of research regarding family attitudes during 1960s and 1970s; the period of 1980s is still limited: this study fills in the literature gap;

-          The main purpose of the article is the linkage of trends in family attitudes within the frames of a number of trends in social values.

-          The final result of the study is various indicators regarding a lot of family issues.

Evidence to Support the Assertions - Based on
Data and Methods Used:

  1. GeneralSocial Survey
  2. Monitoring the Future
  3. Studying of American Families

General Social Survey

-          Conducted since 1972;

-          By National Opinion Research Center;

-          Collection of information: through face-to-face personal interviews.

Monitoring the Future

-          Conducted since 1976;

-          By Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan;

-          Collection of information: through self-administered questionnaires.

Studying of American Families

-          Panel study of mothers and children;

-          Conducted since 1961;

-          Most of the respondents were interviewed in person, some of them by telephone and by mail.

Alternative Ways to Interpret the Evidence

Extent of the three studies:

-          Sex Roles

-          Marriiage

-          Divorce

-          Childlessness

-          Premarital Sex

-          Extramarital Sex

-          Cohabitation without Marriage

Additional Evidence to Evaluate the Alternatives - Age, Gender and Family Interrelationships’ Breakdown, which Helped to Identify as Follows:

-          Data demonstrated impressive changes in family attitudes since 1960s;

-          Changes in values and norms regarding marriage and divorce, childbearing and gender roles was dramatic in 1960s and 1970s;

-          1960s and 1970s – shift from political party identification to individual thinking.


This study is:

1.  A remarkable trends’ convergence regarding the attitudes between a couple of family domains: connection of family behavior and attitudes.

2. A thought-provoking engine of social trends that are documented in the article.

3. A solid theoretical explanation of trends that prevents further thematically similar discussion.

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