Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Transition to Adulthood Delayed, Marriage and Family Postponed, Study Finds

13.01.2004


Becoming an adult takes longer today than in previous decades, with many not achieving all the traditional markers -- starting a career, forming a new household, starting a family -- until after age 30, according to a study by the Network on Transitions to Adulthood.

The Network, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, is directed by Frank Furstenberg, professor of sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

According to the study, a demographic shift has occurred, almost without notice, but with important ramifications for the job market, the marriage market and public policy.



To examine the experiences of youth as they move toward adulthood, Elizabeth Fussell, a demographer at Tulane University, and Furstenberg of Penn used 1900-1990 U.S. Census data on youth aged 16-30 along with sample data from the Census Bureau’s 2000 Current Population Survey.

Fussell and Furstenberg’s report "The Transition to Adulthood During the 20th Century: Race, Nativity and Gender" includes findings on the shifting path to adulthood for native-born, foreign-born, white and black men and women.

The study finds that young people in the second half of the 20th century are traveling more pathways after finishing high school, combining more roles, exploring more options and gaining more education to prepare for an increasingly demanding labor force than did adolescents in the earlier half of the century. As a result, they are delaying but not abandoning marriage and family.

Among the study’s other findings:

- For men, the ability to support and thus form a family has declined. In the industrialized economy of the first half of the 20th century, most men were able to attain such independence by age 20. As the economy shifted, young men, and increasingly young women, have had to gain the education and skills necessary for an increasingly technical and information-based market. As a result, 25 year-old men in all groups are more likely to remain single and childless.

- Women, too, have seen a shift toward delayed marriage and more independent living while working or attending school. Among 25 year-old women, the fastest growing status is single, working, childless heads of household.

- Another trend for women is the growing proportion postponing marriage, but not necessarily motherhood, until after age 30. In 1980, one to two percent of white and foreign-born 30 year-old women were single mothers, rising to six percent in 2000. For black women, the rise has been from seven percent in 1970 to 26 percent in 2000.

- Differences between black, white and foreign-born populations in education and labor market opportunities have narrowed since the 1960s. The lives of blacks increasingly resemble those of their white peers as they have become more fully and equally integrated into society’s institutions. Nevertheless, fewer minority youth than native-born whites are participating today in education and work, a fact that deserves further investigation.

- Even after marriage, men and women continue to combine a variety of roles more often than in the past, such as attending school and working, both before and after becoming parents. Still, by age 30, most youth are settling into marriage and childrearing, as has always been the case. In 1900 and 2000, the most common status for 30-year-old men was and is married, employed household heads with children. Although off from its high point in the 1950s and 1960s, when 67 percent of all white men and about 50 percent of black and foreign-born men fit this description, this combination has remained most common since the 1970s.

The results of the study are to be published in the forthcoming book "On the Frontier of Adulthood: Theory, Research, and Public Policy," edited by Richard A. Settersten, Furstenberg and Ruben G. Rumbaut (University of Chicago Press.)

The Network on Transitions to Adulthood studies individuals aged 18-30. It examines the multiple markers of adulthood and the variety of combinations and sequences in which they occur. The Network also explores how societal institutions may facilitate the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Information about the network is available at www.pop.upenn.edu/transad.

Jacquie Posey | University of Pennsylvania
Further information:
http://www.upenn.edu/pennnews/article.php?id=573
http://www.pop.upenn.edu/transad

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>