ERIC Number: ED293636
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Symposium: Social Implications and Alternatives for Families and Children in the Next Decade.
Weisberg, Phyllis G.
A number of major social and demographic trends are having a profound effect on American families with young children. Among these are changes in the characteristics of poverty in families with preschool-age children, curtailment of formerly available financial support or changes in the means of obtaining such support, and the increasing cost of raising children. The "new face of poverty" is associated with out-of-wedlock birth, and with divorce and desertion. The result is that young children increasingly live under conditions that threaten their growth and development. The composition of American society has changed due to nearly 2 decades of low birth rates; increased longevity; medical advances and care; and several social trends, including later marriage, later child bearing, and the preference for smaller families. Increasing costs of raising children, and pessimism about the future of the economy, may also have caused changes. Children experience additional stress due to divorce, and to membership in step- and single-parent families. Family support programs developed to help children and their families face developmental threat and emotional stress range from information and referral services to day care and parent education programs. Most of these programs are initiated and supported by the families they serve, but government, business, industry, and advocates have important roles to play in this area. (RH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Association for Childhood Education International Convention (Salt Lake City, UT, April 21-24, 1988).