Black-White Differences in Middle Class Women's Family Formation Opportunities
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
Scholars and the public have understandably been concerned about the universal marriage decline. After all, marriage historically provides myriad benefits to families. Individuals who are married have better physical and mental health, more social integration, have higher household incomes, accumulate more wealth, and raise children with more positive health and social outcomes than those who are unmarried (Waite & Lehrer, 2003; Dupre, Beck, and Meadows, 2009). Because the marriage decline has been most amplified among Blacks, greater scrutiny has been directed toward this group in an effort to understand the accelerating marriage decline among Blacks.
I present primary mixed methods data collected from roughly 600 single middle-class Black and White women regarding their health, mental health, quality of social networks, and perceived opportunities for marriage and motherhood. The overarching objective of this project is to paint a picture of this growing demographic population, many of whom will require non-conventional forms of economic and public policy support with regard to parenting and caregiving across the life course. I end with policy implications and suggestions for future research to address this oft-overlooked form of inequality in the United States.