Family Structure

Topics: Family, Marriage, United States Census Pages: 7 (1346 words) Published: October 15, 2014


Traditional Family Structure Has Been Replaced with Modern Family Structure Debra Currier
Troy University

Author Note
This paper was prepared for Social Scientific Inquiry SS3375 Abstract
With today’s diverse lifestyles the traditional family structure is constantly changing. They typical 9-5 work schedule is a thing of the past. It has become difficult to get the entire family around the dinner table together. Most would agree that the traditional family structure is a model of the past. This study was created to explore the different types of family units of students in SOC3375, Term 1 2014. This study analyzes the modern families parenting makeup, their working habits and how they eat together as a family. This information is then weighed against the traditional family structure to gain better understanding of today’s family makeup.

The purpose of this research was to either deny or support the following hypothesis: Among students enrolled in SS3375 most believe that the traditional family structure has been replaced with the modern family structure. A survey was created using surveymonkey.com. The survey list 10 questions that pertain to the makeup of the family, work habits of the family and whether they eat together at the dining room table as a family. Questions 1-8 and 10 are all dichotomous questions meaning that they can only have two different responses to the question. In this survey yes and no were the answer options. Question number 9 has a contingency answer available in the event that the first two do not apply. There were 20 participants in the survey including myself.

I did not ask any demographic questions such as sex, age, location, or income. When I created the survey I did not think that these questions would factor into the results of my survey. As I analyze the results I see that I made a mistake by not asking these questions. I do not believe that sex of the participants would have played a role in analyzing the answers since the answers were a straight yes or no without any opinions. I do think that knowing the age of the participant would give insight on what era they grew up in and how families functioned at the time. Income could make a big difference in how the question was answered. Money is a common cause of problems such as divorce. Poverty stricken areas tend to produce more single parenting and families go without necessities. One question that would have been pertinent in describing today’s family and how it is different from a traditional family would be the ethnicity makeup of the family. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau census brief, Households and Families: 2010, interracial or interethnic opposite-sex married couple households grew by 28 percent over the decade from 7 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010.”(“2010 Census Shows Interracial”)  There were 20 participants in the survey, including myself. I will review the results of the questions and then summarize the data in relation to the hypothesis.

Eating dinner together as a family every night is a characteristic of a traditional family. To find out how many families in SS3375 were exhibiting this behavior, the first question I asked was if your family sits down at the table and eats dinner together at least three times per week. 40% said yes and 60% said no. I was surprised I expected the percent of families that did sit down together to eat to be lower.

The second question asked if there were two parents in the household. The percentage of students that said yes was 75% and the percent that said no was 25. Traditionally before the 1960’s there were two parents in most households. “During the 1960’s single parenting rates soared to 50%” (Stanley 14). Question three asks if the mother is working and question eight asks if the father is working. The percentage of students that said yes the mother is working was a staggering 85% with no at 15%. Traditionally the mother...
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