ERIC Number: ED183432
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Implications of the Present Economic Position of Middle-Aged Divorced and Widowed Women: Another Generation of the Elderly in Poverty.
Borker, Susan R.; Loughlin, Julia
The paper explores the present economic and social position of over 5,000 middle-aged women (39-53) and examines the relationship of their present status to their future financial security. The women were interviewed six times from 1967 to 1976; black respondents outnumbered whites approximately three to one. Results indicate that while the economic status of women seems to be improving, the poverty of the increasing numbers of female-headed households suggests that this improvement is an illusion. Data indicate that women who are now between 40 and 55 will have serious economic problems as they age. Those who are divorced or widowed have almost complete economic responsibility for their children, and this responsibility limits their ability to accumulate assets. For black women the picture is especially bleak. These women enter the labor force at wages well below those of white women. Also, a larger proportion of black women are widowed or divorced, and the amount they receive in alimony and child support is smaller than that of white women. Although during the next 20 years many women will invest in education and training, and affirmative action programs may reduce sex related wage discrimination, it is unlikely that women will approach income equality with men in the same age bracket. Therefore, the problem of poverty among elderly women seems likely to persist for this group of women now in their middle years. (Author/KC)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association (Boston, MA, August 27-31, 1979)