ERIC Number: ED277934
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov-7
Reference Count: 0
The Transition of Divorce: An Analysis of Public Policy.
Duffy, Mary E.; Jorgensen, Karen
A growing number of families are headed by single women. A longitudinal study was conducted to identify major goals of these women. Data from mailed questionnaires and telephone interviews were collected from 136 divorced women. Results from the first year of the study revealed the goal most often identified by the women was financial independence, followed by career development and romantic interpersonal relationships. The role of public policy in facilitating or impeding the women's potential achievement of financial independence was analyzed through literature review. The analysis suggests that public policies in the United States are characterized by beliefs in individualism and the sanctity of the two-parent family. Policies affecting single parent families often fail to account for the systematic discrimination against women. Most public policies do not promote the personal growth of women who become single parents but instead reinforce stereotypical roles for women. Work training programs, for example, usually prepare women for female-intensive, low-paying jobs which perpetuate poverty for the women and their children. When society accepts the single parent family as a legitimate and long-term family unit, sees that the economy demands that women be prepared for employment, and recognizes that long-term investments in women can reap higher rewards than can short-term programs, public policies may begin to facilitate the growth of women. (NB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the National Council on Family Relations (Dearborn, MI, November 3-7, 1986).