Economics at your fingertips  

Family Change and Changing Family Demography

Judith A. Seltzer ()
Additional contact information
Judith A. Seltzer: University of California, Los Angeles

Demography, 2019, vol. 56, issue 2, 405-426

Abstract: Abstract Increases in life expectancy, high rates of movement into and out of couple relationships, and increasing exposure to stepfamilies raise new questions about who is in a family, the distinction between who lives together and who is a family member, and the extent to which family members are expected to meet the long-term obligations that define kinship. These questions are important because families have traditionally served as a vital private safety net for family members. Demographic changes increase family members’ uncertainty about their relationships. Family ties are less stable and more uncertain among the economically disadvantaged, and uncertainty may exacerbate these disadvantages by weakening individuals’ ability to rely on family members’ support to alleviate hardship. I argue that demographers should focus on individuals’ family relationships to gain insight into living arrangements and family dynamics. I also outline the development of family concepts and improvements in study design to identify principles that demographers should incorporate in new research to shed light on families’ support for their members.

Keywords: Family; Marriage; Cohabitation; Stepfamily; Complexity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this article

Demography is currently edited by John D. Iceland, Stephen A. Matthews and Jenny Van Hook

More articles in Demography from Springer, Population Association of America (PAA)
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

Page updated 2019-05-21
Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:56:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s13524-019-00766-6