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Family Diversity

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Emily Cleveland

on 27 April 2010

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Transcript of Family Diversity

Forms of Family
Nuclear family

Extended Family

Reconstituted Family

Single parent family
Two parents and children
Family Diversity
Laura Mead & Emily Cleveland
Usually consists of grandparents, parents, and children
More commonly known as a step family
Consists of one parent (usually female) and children
Living Arrangements of Children Under 18 Years Old: 1960 to Present (Numbers in thousands). Based on Current Population Survey of 2009
- "One of 3 children in the United States today is born outside of marriage...Recent estimates suggest that 54% of American children will spend some time living apart from one of their parents, usually their father, by the time they are 15."
- 78% of children with cohabitating parents fall into this group, while only 33% of kids with married parents will spend time apart from a parent before the age of 15.
- Causes of singleness (most probable to least):
Out of wedlock child bearing
- In secondary schools, children who live in single-mother families score 1/3 of a standard deviation lower on math and science compared to children who live in two-parent families.
- However, children who live in two-parent families where one parent is a stepparent will still score 1/4 of a standard deviation lower than children living with two biological parents.
This book covers a "variety of possibilities" of family groups such as:
biological/adoptive and blended two parent homes
same sex couples
also includes:
Age 7 & up
All Families are Different by Dr. Sol Gordon
Who's in a Family by Robert Skutch
- "From 1980 to 1997, the number of adults on probation, in jail or in prison more than tripled, rising from 1.6 million to 5.7 million...But few have noticed or commented upon the effect of the increase on family life, parenthood, employment, and earnings."
- Moreover, children that live with two biological parents will receive the highest grades, while children with a biological mom and an unmarried partner will get the lowest.
"The Future of Family"
The story of Kevin and his brothers exploring different types of families such as:
single parent families
gay/lesbian families
mixed race couples
divorced parents

Ends with a blank space in which the reader is to "draw a picture of your family.
Children's Books
Research 1 : American Sociological Review
“Family Structure, Parental Practices and High School Completion”
Nan Marie Aston and Sara S. McLanahan, 1991
Are two parent families more likely to provide educational encouragement and supervision than single parent and stepparent families?
Single parents and step parents report less parental involvement in school work and less supervision outside the home.
Contrast between single parents and two parent families: Time available
Single parents more likely to have close communication with the child
Often make the child their confidante
Contrast between stepparents and two parent families: Communication
Stepparents have connection with non-biological children
Biological parent will often shift their communication to the new spouse
Do changes in parents’ marital status lead to changes in parenting practices and children’s school performance?
Leads to less time for:
Monitoring homework
Supervising children
- Use multiple assessments types to accommodate all learning styles..
- Avoid assessments that make value judgments regarding family structure
Collaboration with Stakeholders
- Professionalism is paramount!
- Maintain positive communication with parent/guardian units
- Always refer to your administrator when dealing with family conflict issues
- Never make assumptions about custody issues
- Avoid allowing parents/guardians to speak to you about other parents
- Use multiple assessments types to accommodate all learning styles..
- Avoid assessments that make value judgments regarding family structure
- Expect family diversity in your classroom
- Welcome all family representations warmly and with Christ’s love (remember, you can separate a person’s actions from who they are as a person)
Content Knowledge
- Watch curriculum for family diversity bias of all kinds
When gathering information, avoid special interest groups who would have an agenda for promoting their particular view of the family
Management and Organization
- Realize that parental involvement in classroom activities may be limited by family structure. Single parent families and families in crisis will not have as much time to participate in parent/student activities
- Avoid exhibiting personal beliefs/bias in the classroom
- Don’t quantify family structures
- Be sensitive to possible family diversity “problem areas”
- Divorces in progress
- Separation
- Custody battles
- Parental health issues
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