Does it seem like society has changed since you were a child? This may depend upon the year you were born or the region of your birth. I became an adult in the 1960s in a small conservative community and have seen many changes in family structure. How the world has changed since 1960!
This could be the lament of an old lady, but the Pew Research Center validated the following facts. In 1960 couples married young before starting a family and were committed to stay married until death. In 2015 couples delay or even forego marriage. Divorces and remarriages are increasing. In 1960 only 5% of children were born outside of marriage; in 2015 this percentage stands at 41% of all babies born.
In 1960 there were 73% of children living with their married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. In 1980 this percentage dropped to 61%. In 2015 there are less than half (46%) of children under 18 years of age living with their biological parents.
Today 15% of children live with two parents who are in a remarriage, but there are no records showing if they are step-parents or biological parents. In 2013 6% of all children lived with a step-parent.
“One of the largest shifts in family structure is this: 34% of children today are living with an unmarried parent – up from just 9% in 1960, and 19% in 1980. In most cases, these unmarried parents are single. However, a small share of all children – 4% - are living with two cohabiting parents, according to CPS data. Because of concerns about the quality of the new 2013 ACS data on same-sex marriage, we do not separate out the very small number of children whose parents are identified as in this type of union, but instead fold them into this `single parent’ category, as well.
“The remaining 5% of children are not living with either parent. In most of these cases, they are living with a grandparent – a phenomenon that has become much more prevalent since the recent economic recession.”
What does the change in family structure means to our society today? More children are living without a strong family structure, and many of these children become involved in the violent part of society. More children are growing up in poverty because marriage and stable families are essential to being financially independent. More people become adults with an entitlement attitude; they believe they are entitled to the wealth earned by other people.
Strong families are needed for the rising generation to reach their full potential. Children need the loving influence of both father and mother in order to become well-adjusted, independent adults. The changes in family structure are not good for children or for society.