Chapter

The Evolution of Family Policy in the United States after World War II

Barry L. Friedman and Martin Rein

in Cross Currents

Published in print December 2000 | ISBN: 9780198268208
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683442 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268208.003.0005
The Evolution of Family Policy in the United States after World War II

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Families have changed substantially over the last half-century in the United States, and family policy has evolved in response. Many kinds of policies have emerged over the years that affect families. Policies in their early stages tend to be directed at specific problems. There are policies relating to marriage and divorce, others concerned with child care, some with work by mothers, and others with income support for families. These policies initially tended to be specialised, each concerned with its own aspect of family behavior. But family behavior itself is not compartmentalised. One aspect of behaviour is interrelated with others. To illustrate the interdependencies in both behaviour and policy as well as the disagreements, single parenting, a behavior in the family structure domain, may increase the risk to family income and the likelihood of poverty. This chapter examines the evolution of family policy in the United States after World War II.

Keywords: United States; family policy; single parenting; families; marriage; divorce; child care; working mothers; income support; family behaviour

Chapter.  9310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Family Law

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