Families in an Era of Increasing Inequality

Diverging Destinies

  • Paul R. Amato
  • Alan Booth
  • Susan M. McHale
  • Jennifer Van Hook

Part of the National Symposium on Family Issues book series (NSFI, volume 5)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Diverging Destinies for American Children

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Sara McLanahan, Wade Jacobsen
      Pages 3-23
    3. Philip N. Cohen
      Pages 25-33
    4. Lynne Vernon-Feagans, Margaret Burchinal, Irina Mokrova
      Pages 35-49
  3. Social Inequality, Parenting, and Child Development

  4. Social Inequality and the Transition to Adulthood

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 113-113
    2. Jeremy Staff, Nayan Ramirez, Mike Vuolo
      Pages 137-146
  5. Program and Policy Responses to Growing Family Inequality

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. C. Cybele Raver, Amanda L. Roy, Emily Pressler
      Pages 201-212
    3. Kathryn Edin, Laura Tach, Timothy J. Nelson
      Pages 213-222
  6. Reflecting on Diverging Destinies of American Families

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 223-223
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 239-242

About this book


The widening gap between the rich and the poor is turning the American dream into an impossibility for many, particularly children and families. And as the children of low-income families grow to adulthood, they have less access to opportunities and resources than their higher-income peers--and increasing odds of repeating the experiences of their parents.

Families in an Era of Increasing Inequality probes the complex relations between social inequality and child development and examines possibilities for disrupting these ongoing patterns. Experts across the social sciences track trends in marriage, divorce, employment, and family structure across socioeconomic strata in the U.S. and other developed countries. These family data give readers a deeper understanding of how social class shapes children's paths to adulthood and how those paths continue to diverge over time and into future generations. In addition, contributors critique current policies and programs that have been created to reduce disparities and offer suggestions for more effective alternatives. Among the topics covered:

  • Inequality begins at home: the role of parenting in the diverging destinies of rich and poor children.
  • Inequality begins outside the home: putting parental educational investments into context.
  • How class and family structure impact the transition to adulthood.
  • Dealing with the consequences of changes in family composition.
  • Dynamic models of poverty-related adversity and child outcomes.
  • The diverging destinies of children and what it means for children's lives.

As new initiatives are sought to improve the lives of families and children in the short and long term, Families in an Era of Increasing Inequality is a key resource for researchers and practitioners in family studies, social work, health, education, sociology, demography, and psychology.


American Families and Children Child Development and Transition to Adulthood Effects of the Recession Extramarital Births Gender and Couples Marriage and Divorce Single Motherhood

Editors and affiliations

  • Paul R. Amato
    • 1
  • Alan Booth
    • 2
  • Susan M. McHale
    • 3
  • Jennifer Van Hook
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and CriminologyThe Pennsylvania State UniveristyUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and CriminologyThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  3. 3.Social Science Research InstituteThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  4. 4.Population Research InstituteThe Pennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-08307-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-08308-7
  • Series Print ISSN 2192-9157
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-9165
  • Buy this book on publisher's site