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Unformatted text preview: ROBERT CROSNOE AND SHANNON E. CAVANAGH University of Texas at Austin Families With Children and Adolescents: A Review, Critique, and Future Agenda This decades literature on families with chil- dren and adolescents can be broadly organized around the implications for youth of fam- ily statuses (e.g., family structure) and family processes (e.g., parenting). These overlapping bodies of research built on past work by empha- sizing the dynamic nature of family life and the intersection of families with other ecolog- ical settings, exploring race/ethnic diversity, identifying mechanisms connecting family and child/adolescent factors, and taking steps to address the threats to causal inference that have long been a problem for family studies. Contin- uing these trends in the future will be valuable, as will increasing the number of international comparisons, exploring new kinds of fam- ily diversity, and capturing the convergence of multiple statuses and processes over time. Since the 2000 review issue of this jour- nal, the population of families with children and adolescents in the United States has been transformed by the aging of baby boomers through their prime childbearing years, the flow of immigration, and race/ethnic differences in fertility and union formation (Hernandez, Den- ton, & Macartney, 2008; U.S. Census Bureau, 2005). It has also experienced great fluctua- tions in economic stability and both cultural Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1700, Austin, TX 78712-1088 ( Key Words: adolescence, childhood, family policy, family process, family structure, parenting. and legal change in many aspects of family life, including nonmarital fertility and same-sex mar- riage (Rosenfeld, 2007; Wu, 2008). Concurrent with this demographic and economic change, these families have taken center stage in many policy debates of the new century, especially efforts to break the intergenerational transmis- sion of inequality by targeting the educational experiences of youth (e.g., No Child Left Behind, universal pre-K; Fuller, 2007) and the marital and labor force experiences of parents (e.g., job training, marriage promotion; Duncan, Huston, & Weisner, 2007; Nock, 2005). The last decade, therefore, has been a time in which the well-being of children and ado- lescents has served as a useful barometer of the well-being of families in an ever changing social landscape. Not surprisingly, then, researchers interest in families with children and adoles- cents, especially those in the United States, has continued to grow. Since 2000, Journal of Mar- riage and Family ( JMF ) has featured just under 100 articles focusing on such families. A similar, although less widespread, trend has been seen in other journals in multiple disciplines. With the knowledge produced by this activity, we stand on the cusp of a paradigm shift in which we will be able to establish causal pathways and unpack...
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This note was uploaded on 11/10/2011 for the course SOCIOLOGY 920:272 taught by Professor Mouzon during the Fall '09 term at Rutgers.

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