Urban Families and Urban Problems: Review of the Literature.Report as inadecuate

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Diverse explanations have been offered for the complex problems facing inner-city families. This paper considers how policies designed to solve urban problems can benefit from research conducted to examine elements from three prominent arguments: (1) family behavior contributes to urban problems; (2) structural changes in the U.S. economy have altered the opportunity structure for individuals in cities and, consequently, their family behavior; and (3) changes in national values have contributed to changes in family behavior and increases in undesirable social behavior. These arguments are evaluated using results from empirical studies. Researchers are providing mounting evidence of some causal influence of family structure on positive academic outcomes through income, stress, and parental supervision, but there is also reason to believe that family structure does not fully explain positive outcomes. Despite the merits of the structural-change argument, it is too simplistic to treat what is apparently dysfunctional behavior as simply the response to a lack of jobs. Nor is it sufficient merely to focus on the values of inner-city residents. Approaches to strengthening the family must be supported by social and educational initiatives to reduce poverty. Seven figures illustrate the discussion. (Contains 86 references.) (SLD)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Causal Models, Economic Factors, Elementary Secondary Education, Employment Opportunities, Family Characteristics, Family Influence, Family Problems, Family Structure, Inner City, Literature Reviews, Outcomes of Education, Poverty, Research Utilization, Urban Areas, Urban Problems, Values

Child Trends, Inc., 4301 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Suite 100, Washington, DC 20008 ($0.10 a page, $7 per document).

Author: Morrison, Donna Ruane; And Others

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=12533&id=ED378258

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