The Demography of Unions Among Older Americans, 1980–Present: A Family Change Approach

  • Wendy D. ManningEmail author
  • Susan L. Brown
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


The current generation of older Americans faces more complex family and marital histories than any prior generation. Moreover, baby boomers, the first cohort to experience high levels of divorce, single parenthood, and remarriage, are now moving into older adulthood. This movement will likely exacerbate the trend away from marriage among older adults. Researchers are uncovering greater heterogeneity and complexity in the family life of older Americans, which in turn portends a shift in the benefits and rewards offered by certain family circumstances (Allen et al. 2000; Cooney and Dunne 2001). The growing diversity of living arrangements characterizing older adulthood is likely to have important consequences for individual health and well-being as well as policy ramifications for the changing types of institutional support older adults require (Wilmoth and Longino 2006).


Black Woman Living Arrangement American Community Survey Family Behavior Family Instability 
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Copyright information

© Springer New York 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology & National Center for Family and Marriage ResearchBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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