Black-White Differences in the Coresidential Experience of Mothers of Young Children, 1880 to 2000

Berna M. Torr, RAND
Fran Goldscheider, Brown University
Susan E. Short, Brown University

Research on changes in women’s parenting has focused primarily on mother’s increased likelihood of employment. A more complete understanding of the changing landscape of parenting, however, depends on the broader family context, including changes in the coresidential experiences of mothers of young children. Between 1880 and 2000, there were substantial declines in the presence and availability of other females, ten and older, in the households of mothers of young children (Short, Goldscheider, and Torr forthcoming 2006). Although all mothers experienced this decline, the patterns of change in coresidence differ substantially for black and white mothers, as well as for married and unmarried mothers. This paper examines these differential patterns of change in coresidence for mothers of young children.

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Presented in Session 155: Historical Analysis of Families and Households