Household Headship Among Unmarried Persons in the United States, 1970–1985

Abstract

Recent trends in rates of household headship and headship differentials by sex and color are examined within the context of a model that expresses the likelihood of heading an independent household as a function of age, marital status, parental status, and individual money income. The parameters of this model are consistent with predictions derived from a “life-course” perspective and are stable across period, sex, and color. Nonetheless, residual effects of period, sex, and color persist even after the independent variables are taken into account.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Beresford, J. C, & Rivlin, A. M. (1966). “Privacy, Poverty, and Old Age.” Demography, 3, 247–258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Burkhauser, R., Holden, K. C, & Myers, D. A. (1986). “Marital Disruption and Poverty: The Role of Survey Procedures in Artificially Creating Poverty.” Demography, 23, 621–631.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Carliner, G. (1975). “Determinants of Household Headship.” Journal of Marriage and the Family, 37, 28–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Chew, K. S. Y. (In press). “Urban Industry and Young Nonfamily Households.” In Housing Demography, ed. D. Myers. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

  5. Ellwood, D. T., & Bane, M. J. (1984). Family Structure and Living Arrangements Research: Summary of Findings, Report prepared for the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services under Grant 92A-82. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Garfinkel, I., & McLanahan, S. S. (1986). Single Mothers and Their Children: A New American Dilemma. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  7. Goldscheider, F. K., & Da Vanzo, J. (1985). “Living Arrangements and the Transition to Adulthood.” Demography, 22, 545–563.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Goldscheider, C., & Goldscheider, F. K. (1987). “Moving Out and Marriage.” American Sociological Review, 52, 278–285.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Goodman, J. L., Jr. (1986). “Economic Determinants of Household Formations and Living Arrangements,” Working Paper 66. Economic Activity Section, Division of Research and Statistics, Federal Reserve System.

  10. Hogan, D. P., & Astone, N. M. (1986). “The Transition to Adulthood.” Annual Review of Sociology, 12, 109–130.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Jacobsen, L. A., & Pampel, F. C. (1987). “Living Alone in the United States, 1940–1980: A Test of Competing Explanations.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Chicago.

  12. Kobrin, F. E. (1973). “Household Headship and Its Changes in the United States, 1940–1960, 1970.” Journal of the American Statistical Association, 68, 793–800.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. — (1976). “The Fall in Household Size and the Rise of the Primary Individual.” Demography, 13, 127–138.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Kuznets, S. (1978). “Size and Age Structure of Family Households: Exploratory Comparisons.” Population and Development Review, 4, 187–223.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Levy, F (1987). Dollars and Dreams: The Changing American Income Distribution. New York: Russell Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Levy, M. J., Jr. (1965). “Aspects of the Analysis of Family Structure.” In Aspects of the Analysis of Family Structure, A. J. Coale, L. A. Fallers, M. J. Levy, Jr., D. M. Schneider, & S. S. Tomkins. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, pp. 1–63.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Marini, M. M. (1987). “Measuring the Process of Role Change During the Transition to Adulthood.” Social Science Research, 16, 1–38.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. McLanahan, S. S. (1988). “Family Structure and Dependency: Early Transitions to Female Household Headship.” Demography, 25, 1–16.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. McLanahan, S., & Bumpass, L. (1988). “Intergenerational Consequences of Family Disruption.” American Journal of Sociology, 94, 130–152.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Michael, R. T., Fuchs, V. R., & Scott, S. R. (1980). “Changes in the Propensity to Live Alone: 1950–1976.” Demography, 17, 39–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Michael, R. T., & Tuma, N. B. (1985). “Entry Into Marriage and Parenthood by Young Men and Women: The Influence of Family Background.” Demography, 22, 515–544.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Pampel, F. C. (1983). “Changes in the Propensity to Live Alone: Evidence From Consecutive Cross-Sectional Surveys, 1960–1976.” Demography, 20, 433–447.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Ross, H. L., & Sawhill, I. V. (1975). Time of Transition: The Growth of Families Headed by Women. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Santi, L. L. (1988). “The Demographic Context of Recent Change in the Structure of American Households.” Demography, 25, 509–519.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Smith, H. L., & Cutright, P. (1985). “Components of Change in the Number of Female Family Heads Ages 15 to 44, an Update and Reanalysis: United States, 1940 to 1983.” Social Science Research, 14, 226–250.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Sweet, J. A., & Bumpass, L. L. (1987). American Families and Households, 1980 Census Monograph Series. New York: Russell Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  27. U.S. Bureau of the Census. (1986).Statistical Abstract of the United States: 1987. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.

    Google Scholar 

  28. Wojtkiewicz, R. A., McLanahan, S. S., & Garfinkel, I. (1990). “The Growth of Families Headed by Women: 1950 to 1980.” Demography, 27, 19–30.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Santi, L.L. Household Headship Among Unmarried Persons in the United States, 1970–1985. Demography 27, 219–232 (1990). https://doi.org/10.2307/2061450

Download citation

Keywords

  • Black Woman
  • Household Headship
  • Living Arrangement
  • Marital Disruption
  • Household Formation