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How Families Still Matter

How Families Still Matter
A Longitudinal Study of Youth in Two Generations


  • Date Published: October 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521009546

£ 30.99

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About the Authors
  • How Families Still Matter casts doubt on the conventional wisdom about family decline during the last decades of the twentieth century. The authors draw from the longest-running longitudinal study of families in the world - the Longitudinal Study of Generations, conducted at the University of Southern California - to discover whether parents are really less critical in shaping the life choices and achievements of their children than they were a generation ago. They compare the influence of parents (on self-confidence, values, and levels of achievement) on the Baby Boomer generation with that of Baby-Boomer parents on their own Generation-X children. The findings may surprise many readers. Generation-X youth showed higher levels of education, career attainments, and self-esteem than their parents as youth, and similar values were found across generations. They indicate the 'resilience' of family bonds across generations even against the backdrop of massive social and family changes since the 1960s.

    • Examines the effects of divorce and maternal employment on two successive generations of youth, with surprising results
    • Compares how the experience of family life and growing up for Generation Xers was similar and different from that of their Baby Boomer parents
    • Is the longest-running longitudinal study of families in the world, covering 1970 through 2001
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a very theoretically sophisticated study which operates on a number of levels at the same time. This book is a valuable source for anyone trying to theorize generational and cohort change/development …'. Sociology

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2002
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521009546
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.332kg
    • contains: 48 b/w illus. 10 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Families, generations, and achievement orientations of youth
    2. Models and methods of intergenerational influences
    3. The changing contexts of family life since the 1960s
    4. Educational and occupational aspirations of youth across generations
    5. Self-esteem: self-confidence and self-deprecation of youth
    6. Value orientations: youth's individualism and materialism across generations
    7. Continuity and change in family influences across generations
    8. Why families still matter.

  • Authors

    Vern L. Bengtson, University of Southern California

    Timothy J. Biblarz, University of Southern California

    Robert E. L. Roberts, California State University, Northridge

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