Essay reviewing and outlining major points included in the study How Families Still Matter by USC Prof. Verne Bengtson

Essay by classwar783College, UndergraduateA+, March 2003

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SOCI 150

Midterm #2

Review of How Families still Matter

Every Time I turn on the news it seems as though the media is trying to assert that today's youth are lazy products of the apparently struggling institution that is the Family. As a person who grew up in a family that could have been the model for a 1950's sitcom I find this interesting. Even though I grew up in a traditional family setting, I often find it difficult to believe that I am at all similar to what my parents were like at my age because it seems as though the structure of the family has changed so much. Furthermore, how have the many changes in structure of family living arrangements over the last few decades affected the family's ability to function properly? More importantly, what is the job of the family? Is this job being fulfilled? The important new release How Families Still Matter, by Vern L.

Bengtson, Timothy J. Biblarz, and Robert E.L. Roberts which was published by Cambridge University Press in Fall 2002, addresses these questions and more based on the results of their definitive, ground breaking research in the area over the last thirty years.

How Families Still Matter is an important publication for a number of reasons. The study this book is based on is truly unique and ground breaking. It is a "longitudinal" study of multiple families over multiple generations. This means over thirty years ago, the researchers began studying a number of families and have followed those families for up to four generations. This is important because we can compare the social attitudes and values, physical and mental health, and the educational and occupational aspirations and goals of each generation and compare them to the generations before and after them and...