Why Do I Love These People? "Halftime" Chapter With Annotations
 
While not a complete list, below is citation information for the particular material used in the "Halftime" Chapter in Why Do I Love These People?
 
Whenever possible, we've provided links to the source material; however, please note that all of the links will take you out of The Factbook site. And while we've done our best to provide current links, those external sites may remove or change their material. Some links will forward you to a source website: still others will direct you straight to a PDF- or other document- download.
 
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For instance, a much higher percentage of children lived in stepfamilies during the Colonial period of the United States than do today.

See, for example:

Lorena S. Walsh, "'Till Death Us Do Part': Marriage and Family in Seventeenth Century Maryland," The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Anglo-American Society, Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, eds., Univ. of North Carolina Press (1979). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0807813605/qid=1123776483/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books
 
Darrett B. and Anita H. Rutman, "'Now-Wives and Sons-In-Law': Parental Death in a Seventeenth-Century Virginia County," The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Anglo-American Society, Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, eds. Univ. of North Carolina Press (1979). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0807813605/qid=1123776483/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books
 
Coontz, Stephanie, "The American Family and The Nostalgia Trap," Phi Delta Kappan (March 1, 1995). Archived at: http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc3.asp?DOCID=1G1:16765761
 
For a further discussion, see our page on Stepfamilies.
 
 
 
Parents died young and remarried continuously. In late 17th century Virginia, fully half of all children would lose at least one parent by the time they were thirteen. Almost half of those would lose the other parent as well and be orphaned.

Darrett B. and Anita H. Rutman, "'Now-Wives and Sons-In-Law': Parental Death in a Seventeenth-Century Virginia County," The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Anglo-American Society, Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, eds. Univ. of North Carolina Press (1979). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0807813605/qid=1123776483/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books
 
 
 
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common to take in orphans as wards and to share the house with boarders. Sharing a house with another family was common a hundred years ago.


See, for example:

Lorena S. Walsh, "'Till Death Us Do Part': Marriage and Family in Seventeenth Century Maryland," The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Anglo-American Society, Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, eds., Univ. of North Carolina Press (1979).. Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0807813605/qid=1123776483/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books
 
Darrett B. and Anita H. Rutman, "'Now-Wives and Sons-In-Law': Parental Death in a Seventeenth-Century Virginia County," The Chesapeake in the Seventeenth Century: Essays on Anglo-American Society, Thad W. Tate and David L. Ammerman, eds. Univ. of North Carolina Press (1979). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0807813605/qid=1123776483/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books
 
Coontz, Stephanie, "The American Family and The Nostalgia Trap," Phi Delta Kappan (March 1, 1995). Archived at: http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc3.asp?DOCID=1G1:16765761
 
________, "Family Structures," Encyclopedia of American Social History. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, Reproduced in the History Resource Center, Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. Archived at: http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/HistRC Document No. BT2313027032 (1993).
 
For more information about historical make-up of households and families, see our section on Family Structures and our page on Household demographics.

 
 
Living with mom and grandma was routine in the late 1800s for African-Americans and Mexican-Americans because adult male mortality was so high.


________, "Family Structures," Encyclopedia of American Social History. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, Reproduced in the History Resource Center, Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. Archived at: http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/HistRC Document No. BT2313027032 (1993).

 
 
The number of adoptions is not rising – it has only held steady, during some decades when the overall family population has surged. The result: the percentage of U.S. families who adopt has dropped almost by half since 1973.
 
 

See, for example:

Anjani Chandra and Joyce Abma, "Adoption, Adoption Seeking, and Relinquishment for Adoption in the United States," Division of Vital Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Advance Data, Number 306 (May 11, 1999). Archived at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad306.pdf
 
________, "Persons Seeking to Adopt: Numbers and Trends," National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (March 2005). Accessed at: http://naic.acf.hhs.gov/pubs/s_seek.cfm on August 13, 2005.
 
Stolley, Kathy S., "Statistics on Adoption in the United States," Adoption, Vol. 3, No. 1, The Future of Children, a publication of The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. (Spring 1993). Available at http://www.futureofchildren.org/usr_doc/vol3no1ART2.pdf

 
 
In the U.K., adoptions were four times more popular just thirty years ago.


________, "Society: Adoptions," National Statistics Online, National Statistics, United Kingdom . Accessed at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=592 on August 19, 2005.


For more information, please go to our Adoption page.

 
 
In fact, the so-called “traditional” family may never have been a majority, even in the 1950s and 1960s, the supposed golden age for family. If you define a traditional family as male-breadwinner/mother-homemaker, then even in the peak year of 1960, over 40% of all U.S. children were being raised in “non-traditional” families. If you add to that definition the standard that the children were from both parents’ first (and only) marriage, then never have a majority of children lived in a traditional family.


Stephanie Coontz, "The American Family and The Nostalgia Trap," Phi Delta Kappan (March 1, 1995). Archived at: http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc3.asp?DOCID=1G1:16765761
 
This may actually be a high estimate. Donald Hernandez, a former Chief of the Marriage and Statistics Branch for the U.S. Census Bureau, has estimated that, in 1950, only 45 percent of children were born into such a family: it was the breadwinner-dad / stay-at-home mom families that were the exception. And 45 percent was the highest percent he found during that period. (And if you have any remaining doubt that of just how far shows like "Ozzie and Harriet" were from reality – well, Harriet herself wasn't a stay at home mom: she had a full time job performing as a stay at home mom.)

Donald Hernandez essay, Linda Burton, Donald Hernandez and Sandra Hofferth, Families, Youth and Children’s Well Being, Issue Series on Research and Social Policy, Amer. Sociological Assn., pp. 18-20. (1998). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/091276435X/qid=1123776777/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books
 
 
 
In fact, when young families starting moving to the suburbs in the 1950s, it was controversial. Many sociologists decried that it was breaking the extended family apart as the older generations were left behind in the cities. It was considered unwise to be having so many babies, reversing a 300-year-long trend to bear fewer children. In other words, the golden age for family was not considered so golden at the time.
 

See, for example,

William Petersen, "The New American Family: Causes and Consequences of the Baby Boom," Commentary, pp. 1-6 (January 1956).
 
________, "The American Family in Trouble,” Life, Vol. 25, p. 83 (July 26, 1948).
 
_______, "Abolish Family?" Science Digest, Vol. 25, p. 40 (January 1949).

 
 
Now, for the commonality of divorce. Never has a single statistic been so overly relied upon to indicate what is going on. Marital disintegration is traumatic to children and families, but divorce is only one measure of disintegration. So are death and desertion.
 

According to sociologists, the divorce statistics are misleading for several reasons. For example, a mere recitation of the total number of divorces over a course of a few years does not prove an increase in the number of divorces, because it doesn't take into account growth in the population or age of the population. Growth of the population will of course increase the number of divorces, and a younger population will have more divorces than an older one. But there's a fundamental problem in using divorces as a measure, no matter what number you use. Because you can't measure the success of marriages that endure by the ones that fail. To do so makes just as much sense as using the number of fatalities from homicide, a leading cause of death for some demographics, to measure the nation's health. Of course, homicide is horrendous and tragic – but it doesn't even measure the health of those most affected, let alone those who aren't murdered.
 
For a further explanation of the misuse and misinterpretation of divorce statistical information, see, for example, "Marital Dissolution: Divorce, Separation, Annulment and Widowhood," by Kimberly A. Faust, and Jerome N. McKibben in Handbook of Marriage and the Family, 2nd edition, Ch. 17, pp. 475-476.
 
And for a brilliant and insightful discussion about how divorce numbers alone should not be used to measure marriages, see Ray H. Abrams's essay, "The Concept of Family Stability," Annals of the Amer. Acad. of Political and Social Science, Vol. 272, pp. 1-8 (November 1950).
 
 
 
Desertion was a huge problem a hundred years ago. Men simply left their families. They didn’t bother to get a divorce, or they couldn’t. Separation also didn’t show up in the divorce statistics.

 
See, for example,

________, "Conference of Family Desertions," Charities, pp. 483-486 (May 9, 1903).
 
________, "Family Desertion a Pressing Social Problem," Charities, pp. 657-659 (April 15, 1905).
 
________, "Broken Families," Charities, p. 665-670 (April 15, 1905).

 
 
In the late 1940s, for instance, the divorce rate spiked. There was one divorce for every four marriages – unheard of. But for every divorced family there were 1.5 separated families. So actual marital disintegration was much higher than the divorce rate captured.
 

See, for example,

Kimberly A. Faust and Jerome N. McKibben, "Marital Dissolution: Divorce, Separation, Annulment and Widowhood," Ch. 17, pp. 477 Handbook of Marriage and the Family, 2nd edition, edited by Marvin Sussman, Suzanne K. Steinmetz, and Gary W. Peterson, Plenum Press, New York, 1999.
 
________, Facts on File Yearbook, 1947, Facts On File, Inc., p. 428 (1950).
 
Ray H. Abrams, "The Concept of Family Stability," Annals of the Amer. Acad. of Political and Social Science, Vol. 272, pp. 1-8 (November 1950).
 
Louis I. Dublin, “Look at the Bright Side of Marriage: Some Facts and Figures Concerning American Family Life,” Parents' Magazine, Vol. 23, pp. 11, 68-70 (Dec 1948).
 
 
 
Marriages were never as stable as we imagine they used to be. Just because divorce was uncommon doesn’t mean kids didn’t have to endure instability. A hundred years ago, a third of all U.S. children lived in a single-parent family by their mid-teens, whether the missing parents had died, or deserted them, or separated.
 

See, for example,

Ray H. Abrams, "The Concept of Family Stability," Annals of the Amer. Acad. of Political and Social Science, Vol. 272, pp. 1-8 (November 1950).
 
Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., "Divorce and the American Family," Annual Review of Sociology, Vol. 16, pp. 379-403 (1990). Archived at: http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0360-0572%281990%2916%3C379%3ADATAF%3E2.0.CO%3B2-G
 
For more information on family instability, go to our section on Families in Crisis.

 
 
The laws on divorce have changed so significantly that any measure of the historical divorce rate is just not apples to apples. Divorces were uncommon because they were hard to get. The sudden rise in divorce in the 1970s stemmed from a change in its legal availability, not a sudden and drastic change in the level of marital unhappiness.


Kimberly A. Faust and Jerome N. McKibben, "Marital Dissolution: Divorce, Separation, Annulment and Widowhood," Ch. 17, pp. 478-479, 480 Handbook of Marriage and the Family, 2nd edition, edited by Marvin Sussman, Suzanne K. Steinmetz, and Gary W. Peterson, Plenum Press, New York, 1999.
 
Also, for a historical discussions of the difficulty in obtaining a divorce, the effect of different divorce laws from state to state, etc. see Beatrice Hinkle's essay, "The Chaos of Modern Marriage," Harper's Magazine, Dec. 1925 (pp. 1-13)
 
 

Consider that in the U.K., it is estimated that one in every three divorces involve domestic violence.


_______, Northern Ireland Women’s Aid Federation Webpage citing Borkowski, M., Murch, M. and Walker, V. (1983), Marital Violence: the Community Response. Tavistock. Accessed at: http://www.niwaf.org/Domesticviolence/factsfigures.htm on August 15, 2005.

 
 
In Canada, half of divorced women have been victims of abuse.


________, National Organization for Women New York website citing Domestic Violence, Employment and Divorce by Audra J. Bowlus.   The University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics, London, Ontario N6A 5C2. Accessed at http://www.nownys.org/frstats.html#1 on August 15, 2005.

 
 
Even in middle-class marriages in the U.S., violence is cited in over twenty percent of divorces.


________, Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney Website on Domestic Violence http://www.eatoncounty.org/ECPA/domviol.htm citing EAP Digest Nov./Dec. 1991.
 
For more information on the toll violence takes on families, see our pages on Domestic Violence and Children at Risk.
 
 

If you were to add to that all the divorces due to chronic infidelity and alcohol abuse, you’ve got a huge chunk of divorces that should be cheered, not criticized.


In a study of reasons why American women got divorced, 30.0 percent of the women said spouse's alcohol abuse was a factor: 25.2 percent said it was spousal infidelity: 21.7 percent said it was physical abuse. And yes – women could choose more than one reason, if more than one was a factor. See "Perceived Causes of Divorce: An Analysis of Interrelationships," by Margaret Guminski Cleek and T. Allan Pearson in Journal of Marriage and the Family (Feb 1985) p. 179, 181.
 
For a further discussion, please see our pages on Divorce.

 
 
Yes, far more children are in child care as both parents work – and the work hours are longer. But sociologists conduct time-use studies in which parents keep diaries recording how they spent their day. They’ve been doing these studies since 1915.

Effland, Anne B. W. Presentation, "USDA's Historical Studies of the Use of Time by Homemakers," Accessed at http://www.farmfoundation.org/projects/documents/Effland.presentation.pdf on August 15, 2005.
 
 
 
It turns out that while moms used to supervise their children all day, they weren’t necessarily interacting with their children. They were doing chores or cooking while little Timmy ran around with his siblings or played next door. Here’s the kicker: parents spend slightly more hours directly interacting with their children today than any other decade that’s been studied. This is true in the U.S. and the U.K. and just about everywhere. You might wonder how this is possible. Well, we sleep less, and we do less housework. And, I suppose, we don’t just let kids run around. We engage them.


Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., "Are Parents Investing Less Time in Children? Trends in Selected Industrialized Countries," Population and Development Review (December 1, 2004). Archived at: http://www.highbeam.com/library/doc3.asp?docid=1G1:127196291
 
Time use is an issue for a lot of families – but there's also a lot of misinformation out there. We've tried to straighten out some of that with the information on our pages on How People Spend Their Time and Housework.
 
 
 
The 1875 New York Times article I mentioned, about decrying the inability to protect children from the perilous circumstances to which they were constantly surrounded, is the February 1, 1875 article, "Family Life and Training . . . . " New York Times, New York, N.Y., p. 5. It's archived at: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=82754138&sid=1&Fmt=2&clientId=63432&RQT=309&VName=HNP
 
 
 
In 1851, there were four million children in England under the age of twelve. According to the census, one in five lived on the streets as an urchin.

A.R. Colón, with P.A. Colón, A History of Children: A Socio-cultural Survey Across Millennia, Greenwood Press, Westport, CT (2001). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0313315744/qid=1123775672/sr=8-2/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl14/104-0887680-4192712?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

 
 
Then a place was found for them: factories. In 1873, there were 120,000 children working in factories around New York.


________, "The Little Laborers of New York City," Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. xlvii, no. cclxxix, pp. 325-332 (August 1873).
 
See also:

Ida Husted Harper's "Right of the Child," The North American Review, Vol. 176 p. 106, et seq. (January 1903).

 
 
Twenty percent of a working-class family’s income was earned by children under the age of fifteen.


________, "Family Structures," Encyclopedia of American Social History. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, Reproduced in the History Resource Center, Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Group. Archived at: http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/HistRC Document No. BT2313027032 (1993).
 
See also:

Mary Ross's "Why Social Security?" Publication No. 15, Bureau of Research and Statistics, Social Security Board, Washington, DC (1937). Archived at http://www.ssa.gov/history/whybook.html

 
 
At the turn of the century, the New York City branch of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children took in 15,000 children – in one year alone.


Ida Husted Harper's "Right of the Child," The North American Review, Vol. 176 p. 106, et seq. (January 1903).
 
 
 
In 1920, only sixteen percent of children graduated high school.

________, "Table 8. Percent of persons age 25 and over and 25 to 29, by years of school completed, race/ethnicity, and sex: Selected years, 1910 to 2002" Digest of Education Statistics, 2003, National Center for Education Statistics, Wash. DC. (2003) citing U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population, 1960, Volume 1, part 1; Current Population Reports, Series P-20 and previously unpublished tabulations; and 1960 Census Monograph, "Education of the American Population," by John K. Folger and Charles B. Nam. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d03/tables/dt008.asp

 
 
Today, 84 percent of children graduate high school.

________, "Table 8. Percent of persons age 25 and over and 25 to 29, by years of school completed, race/ethnicity, and sex: Selected years, 1910 to 2002" Digest of Education Statistics, 2003, National Center for Education Statistics, Wash. DC. (2003) citing U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, U.S. Census of Population, 1960, Volume 1, part 1; Current Population Reports, Series P-20 and previously unpublished tabulations; and 1960 Census Monograph, "Education of the American Population," by John K. Folger and Charles B. Nam. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d03/tables/dt008.asp

 
 
The legal notion that children have emotional and developmental needs is not that old. In the mid-1800s, legal briefs argued that children were not merely chattel.

See, for example:

In re C.D.W. (24 Kan.App.2d 456) (1997) citing Chapsky v. Wood, 26 Kan. 650, 652 (1881))(as quoted by In re Jackson, 164 Kan. 391, 396, 190 P.2d 426 (1948)).
 
 
 
In 1925, the phrase “the best interests of the child” was coined by a judge in the New York courts.


Finlay v. Finlay, 240 N.Y. 429 (1925).

 
 
But the full notion of that idea was not accepted by the Supreme Court until 1968.


In Levy v. Louisiana, 391 U.S. 68 (1968), the United States Supreme Court decided that it was the fact that a woman had nurtured a child, that should determine her relationship to her child – not the fact that the child had been an illegitimate birth.

 
 
The chance that an unmarried black woman under the age of 24 would have a baby is no higher today than in the late 1960s. What’s happened is that African-American married couples are having fewer children, so the out-of-wedlock babies are a higher proportion of the total – a problem, but not a bigger problem.

See:

Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage, Revised and Enlarged Ed., Harvard University Press, USA (1992). Available through: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/067455082X/ref=sib_rdr_dp/104-0887680-4192712?%5Fencoding=UTF8&no=283155&me=ATVPDKIKX0DER&st=books

 
 
For women who will turn forty in 2006:

About 71% of them had married by age 30.

Rose M. Kreider and Jason M. Fields, Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 1996, Current Population Reports, P70-80. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC. (2002), pp. 16-17. Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p70-80.pdf

Somewhere around 83% of them had married by age 35.

Rose M. Kreider and Jason M. Fields, Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 1996, Current Population Reports, P70-80. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC. (2002). Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p70-80.pdf

And two years ago, a census report projected that 92% would marry at some point in their lives.

Rose M. Kreider and Jason M. Fields, Number, Timing, and Duration of Marriages and Divorces: 1996, Current Population Reports, P70-80. U.S. Census Bureau, Washington, DC. (2002). Archived at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2002pubs/p70-80.pdf
 
For a discussion of the probability of getting married and the changing timing of marriage, go to our page on Delaying Marriage. If you're interested in overall marriage rates, go to our Marital Status section.