7400.362 - Family Life Management
School of Family and Consumer Sciences
Instructor: David D. Witt, Ph.D.
Topic 8 - Managing Human Resources
In 1900, there were 1.5 billion people
around on the earth.
Today there are over 6.5 billion people
around on the earth, with over 2 billion of them living in one country
The management of all this humanity has
an entire social science in itself.
Notes on Measurement and Shifts in
The study of the characteristics of human
is called Demography, with concepts such as size, growth, distribution,
density, migration and so on.
The Mortality Rate is the the
deaths per year (usually listed by cause). The Infant
Rate is the number of children who die within the first year of
(divided by the fertility rate). Mortality is influenced by factors
as disease related death, better nutrition and exercise habits,
in health care and preventative medicine, and better chances for babies
to live past the first year.
The Divorce Rate is the number
each year per 1000 married women. Migration refers to
within a population's geographic area - such as growth in the south as
a result of movement from the north. Immigration refers to movement
a population's geographic area from a place outside that area - such as
the number of non-national citizens coming into the U.S. The
rate was less than 10% at the turn of the century, and slowly rose to
by the mid 1940s. After World War II there was a sharp increase in the
Marriage rate and a subsequent spike (a short lived anomaly) in the
rate. From the mid-to-late 1960s the divorce rate climbed from 25% in
to 30% in the late 1970s to 52% in the late 1980s. Divorce
has leveled off since - hovering at about 50% for all married couples.
Birth Rates on a global scale
In 61 countries around the world the
rate is rapidly decreasing to the point of replacement or below it.
The threat faced by China's burgeoning
forced that government to initiate a 1 child per family policy to begin
reducing the population. Globally while the fertility rate has
effectively lowered, the life span has increased (from 49 years of age
in the mid 1970s to about 63 years of age). The Fertility Rate
the number of live births per 1000 women of child-bearing age. The
of Fecundity, on the other hand is the probability that women
bear children (Thus a woman is fertile if she's had children, and
if she probably will have children).
The current population in the U.S.A. is
million as of the 2000 census, up from 265 million in 1990.
Our lifespan is estimated at about 78 years
age for men and 81 years of age for women. The U.S. birthrate has
been decreasing since about 1964 (with a small increase in the late
A population's size is measured by the
impact of several factors:
mortality rate)+(death rate)+(life
Americans are waiting longer to marry,
waiting longer to have children. One-third of all children are now born
to women over 30, making the trend toward older first time mothers a
for the first time in our history.
Population Age and Composition
Increases in the birth rate invoke many
problems in need of solutions. For example, the "Baby Boom".
by the enormous influx of husbands and boyfriends returning from World
War II and wanting to start up normal family lives, created a large
in the age distribution of the population. Beginning as infants and
into childhood, this large segment of the population drew enormous
- Millions of new babies require
diapers, formula, clothing, equipment, special food and supplies).
- These service companies, once
created, would have
to adapt and change as their "clients" grew and developed.
- Six years into the Baby Boom, there
would be a need
for more 1st grade teachers, then more kindergarten teachers, then more
sources for child care.
- Twelve years into the baby boom
(1960) teen oriented
goods and services would start to appear.
- 20 years into the boom, colleges and
would be required to open their doors to increasing numbers of boomers.
- 30 years into the boom, business and
be required to absorb increasing numbers of job seekers.
- 40 years into the boom would
require more services
for middle aged citizens.
- 60 years into the boom will see
on goods and services for the aged. At this time the tax base
all the needs of a retired, non-producing population will be at an all
Because minorities are, generally, younger than the dominant portion
of the population, the minority birthrate is higher.
This, coupled with higher immigration, results in rapidly growing
subpopulations. In some areas of the country, persons of Hispanic
are approaching numbers equal to the size of the Anglo
Changing ratios of minority to White families and households
changes in some aspects of society - more variety of culturally desired
goods and services, in some cases bi- or tri-lingually articulated
and services are offered more often.
Characteristics of Households
The number of households is increasing even as the overall birthrate
is declining. More single family households and more one person
and nonfamily households add to the growth rate.
Americans are highly mobile - both in terms of geographic mobility,
and in terms of socioeconomic mobility. We move around often - as a
from an agricultural (rural) majority early on in the century we'd
into the city by the middle of the 1900s - followed by moves outside
city into the suburbs in the 1960s. A flexible and erratic
also contributes to mobility - the typical family will move about once
every 5-6 years - to a new house or a new city.
These factors all contribute to the Changing Profile of our Society
and to changes in the way we do things. As demands are placed on one
of society, other aspects of our social system swing into action.
changes occuring inside the family (divorce, age at marriage, number of
children) have impact and so does External change from outside the
A society's ability to cope with change and make necessary adjustments
is referred to as Adaptability.
Managing Change while we ourselves are changing while living
in a changing
world is quite a trick. An example of the complexity would be the
Family Life Trajectory where we used to take as normal:
For a myriad of reasons, including invention (birth control),
upheavals (war), economic conditions (dual paycheck families), the old
model has been changed beyond our ability to recognize it:
Because of changing Economic conditions there has been several
taking place - for example, a change from a labor intensive economy to
an informational service oriented economy - has led to a workplace
by neither gender.
More dual-income/dual-earner families exist now owing increases to
the "allowance" of women into the paid work force.
Notes on the Reality of Family Life for Some Folks
A. The Family System consists of three parts: Courtship -
Marriage - Family Life
B. The Types of Families in American Culture:
- Nuclear Family - a mom who stays home a dad who provides
for the family (Money) kids who go to school and are active all living
in a house of their own. Less than 20%
- Single Parent Families - either unmarried women having and
keeping children, unmarried women having children and giving them to
other family members to rear, or women working and caring for children
after divorce. The fastest growing family form in the United States
today (about 21% of the total).
- Stepfamilies - reconstituted (custodial parent remarries
someone with no children). -blended when two custodials remarry
-binuclear families - when a divorced couple remarries others
- Two-Job Families - Everybody works We haven't kept up with
family matters nor made arrangements for the children (nearly 45%)
C. Importance of the Family - The Family is:
- responsible for the production and socialization of
- the first line of defense against deviant behavior
- the first place that children learn morality and ethics.
The consequences of effective socialization of children should
If the family is ineffective in socializing its children,
the consequences are serious, for society and for children themselves. Children
will be unhappy and society will not be served..
- the development of marketable, productive skills
- the abilities necessary to relate to others in the
society in nondestructive ways
- an orientation consistent with ethical and moral
A Casual reading of the text will tell you that race is somewhat of a
in all this.
Single parent families are the norm among Black Americans, according
to the text, and that is where the poverty and crime is.
The truth is -> the cause of poverty for nearly
of our nation's children is divorce, not being of African-American
Divorce is the culprit because about half of all court awarded child
goes unpaid by fathers to children.
The pie chart in the text shows 61% reponding
feel family life is "the most important element in my life."
always respond favorably to questions like this, however, the reality
our lives is a little different. There are other indicators that tell a
story that departs from the Ideal.
To decide whether or not American Values support families and
welfare, look at the evidence.
Where do our values reside?
- -we lie to children
- -we speed through school zones
- -we won't fund adequate child care
- -our schools are in trouble
- -SAT's go down every year
- -fathers don't provide for their children
- -family violence rates continue to climb
Compare what really happens to what we believe in?
Children in the 1960s compared to the 1990s
All this can be traced to:
- -poverty rate 11 to 25%
- -academic achievement continues to decline
- -suicide rate among teens has tripled from 2.3 per
100,000 to 8 per 100,000
- -incidence of obesity increased by 15% to 30%
- -delinquency cases are higher
- -reported abuse and neglect is higher
- -Aids and Crack-babies didn't exist in 1960 and now are
promiscuity and drug use of parents.
Parenting Across the Lifespan
- parents abdicating their roles.
- increase in number of single parent families
- increase in number of stepfamilies.
A. Children's Potential Effect on the Couple's Satisfaction
Two mediating factors related to marital satisfaction:
- 1. Passage of time - monotony, routine, lack luster
- 2. Children's Changing Demands
- -increased social schedules
- -changing needs due to maturation and growth
- -changing modes of discipline & displays of affection
- 3. There is an increasing disturbance, or "noise" level in
the house as
children grow in years.
B. Relationship with aging parents
- 1. Nature and flexibility of interaction habits (couple)
- 2. Extent to which the couple have accomplished
developmental tasks related
to themselves and parenting.
The Midlife Squeeze:
III. Post parental years and aging:
Young --------------> Midlife
Adult Children -----> Couple
- 1. older parents serve as role models to two generations
financial support for advice
- 2. the relationship can be painful and distant if:
- -there is unresolved resentment and conflict
- -midlifers have fear of having to be caretakers
- 3. Instrumental Caregiving - become more of a social
concern and less of
a personal one.
- 4. Launching of children - empty nest - situation most
difficult for mothers
who haven't prepared properly.
According to the age continuum by which many of us live:
-Last Child Born------------- Last Child Leaves
------ by 30----------------------by 48---------------------by
In 1950 life expectancy was only 65 years - some of the relationship
people face today may be due to extending the lifespan into stressful,
Most of us will have 15 years left after 65!
Erikson's Epigenetic Principle states the stages of adult
Middlescence - the Midlife Authenticity Crisis, as termed
- young adulthood - intimacy vs. isolation - where we fall in
love and marry.
- middle adulthood - generativity vs. stagnation - where we
bear and rear
- late adulthood - integrity vs. despair - where we look back
on our lives
with concern that we've done a good job with the resources we've been
In middle to late life, one begins to question the meaning of having
lived? We begin a process of self-examination of past-through the
asking ourselves questions, such as:
The primary factor in resolving midlife crisis is
- Are our dreams fulfilled?
- Do people love us?
- Have we achieved all we wanted?
- Did we do right by our children, and are they doing well?
the maintenance of positive relationships with friends and family.
Into midlife by 50, successful crisis resolution includes:
In the popular press, there has been some discussion of this situation
in the context of
- 1. a high quality of widsom - what works/what doesn't
- 2. a high level of self-awareness
- 3. satisfaction with work
- 4. being a mentor for young people - no kidding!
- 5. maintaining activity, adaptability, and self-approval
male menopause. Actually any thoughtful person, regardless of their
gender will have these thoughts.
It has nothing to do with biology, however ....
The female climacteric (menopause defined as: the
menses - loss of estrogen - Symptoms: hot flashes, dizziness, aches
pains, fatigue, sleeplessness, anxiety, intolerance, lack of
was once thought to be the signal of the end of sexuality. The good
is that while the symptoms can be a real bother, sexuality is a couple
thing right to the end (if the couple wants it).
Reasons for decline in interest in sex, for women and men as
Advancing age means a decline in biological responsiveness to sexual
however given the CAPACITY for human sexuality, no one EVER has sex as
often as he or she is CAPABLE.
- 1. illness
- 2. decline in energy
- 3. fewer sexual outlets - divorce, death, illness
- 4. monotony or boredom
IV. Adapting to late life
15% of the U.S. population (30 million) is 65 years old - 75%
pop. will live past age 65.
A. Disengagement - Letting Go - gracefully accepting mortality - a
popular theory in the 1970's "Disengagement Theory" meant moving out of
the main stream. Actually people want to stay in the main stream
with family, friends, community.
While we can't always do a whole lot about 1 and 2, inclusion in the
and maintaining a friendship network is well within our grasp, and it
a healthier, longer, more enjoyable life.
But getting old in a youth oriented culture is not
B. Stereotypes of elderly - due to youth culture's
are negative images of old pople who have been defined as outliving
usefulness. Maintaining a high level of self-esteem is difficult with
jokes, hatred, and intolerance at every turn.
The keys to happiness in late life:
- Financial Security
- Good Health
- Family and Social Participation
Women outlive men by 7.5 years. Loss of spouse especially in later life
is the most traumatic event after years of a lifestyle - sense of being
- 17% women - 3.5% men by age 65
- 38% women - 7.5% men by age 75
Summary of "A Shocking Rise in Working-Poor
by William P. O'Hare - American
While most Americans believe that the poor are people who
O'Hare finds that there were 5.6 million children living below the
line ($15,141) with at least one parent who worked for pay at least 50
weeks in 1994. This number falls within the overall number of children
living in poverty in the U.S. (increasing from approximately 15% in
to 24% in 1996).
Accoding to O'Hare, 47% of the increase was accounted for
in working-poor families. Further, 75% of the increase was among
whose parents had some kind of job.
While the stereotype of the poor may conjure up images of
minority single parent families, living on public assistance, the
is that most are white, about half are married couples, and almost
live in the South. They are almost equally distributed among
suburbs, and rural areas.
The No. 1 factor in the growth of the working poor is
job opportunities for non-college graduates.
More information on child welfare and
is available in the 1996 Kids Count Data Book. For a free copy, call
Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland; telephone (410)
- 38% of working-poor parents have not graduated from
- 35% of working-poor have only a high school degree.
- Between 1973 and 1993, entry-level wages fell
- 30 percent for men with a high school degree,
- 18 percent for women with a h.s. degree.
Summary of "What can Minimum Wage Buy?"
by Paula Mergenhagen - January 1996
Most households in America spend more than they earn.
This is distinctive of the nation's poorest. with
falling into three groups:
All three groups spend as much as half or more of their money
- the working poor, who spend on used cars and clothing
- retired households, who spend on health care and
- and college students, who buy entertainment and
- The average U.S. household devotes 31 percent of its
spending to housing.
- 14 percent goes to food at and away from home.
- Households with 1993 incomes below $5,000 devotes 34
Households with incomes of $5,000 to $14,999 spend 36
- 17 percent goes to food at and away from home.
According to Mergenhagen,
- Most new jobs in the U.S. economy are in the low-pay,
Little is left from such jobs for disposable, or
- At the current rate of $4.25 an hour, a minimum-wage
worker who works
year-round and full-time earns about $9,000 a year.
- The average before-tax income for all U.S.
households in 1993
was $34,900, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) 1993
- The poverty threshold for a four-person family in 1993
was about $15,000.
In 1993, 30 percent of reporting U.S. households told the BLS that
before-tax income fell below this level.
- A single adult with this income is not considered
according to guidelines established by the Office of Management and
Neither is a two-person household headed by someone aged 65 or older.
- But for any other type of household, one full-time
or an equivalent income level does not break out of poverty.
- 4.8 million households with incomes below $5,000 in
1993 spent an average
of $13,300 apiece
- 10.8 million with incomes of $5,000 to $9,999 spent
- average spending was $17,900 for the 10 million
households with incomes
of $10,000 to $14,999.
One reason why spending by the poor outstripstheir income is
many householders in this income bracket are retired and drawing on
savings to meet living expenses, says BLS economist Bill Passero.
households also include college students whose parents cover some of
expenses, as well as self-employed adults who report low net income.
who receive public assistance in the form of food stamps and subsidized
housing also skew the spending figures at the bottom end of the income
spectrum. In addition, BLS economists believe that all households
their income, which could further contribute to the income-expenditure
gap in poor households.
Minimum-wage-level households spend less than better-off
on virtually everything. But they spend a higher-than-average share of
total spending on many things because necessity rather than impulse
their purchase behavior.
The working poor make do with rented homes, used cars, and
The older poor have greater expenses and the working poor are
- leaving them with no choice but wait until health conditions warrant
a costly trip to the medical facility.
"Health care gobbles up 6 percent of the average
dollars, but those with incomes of $5,000 to $14,999 spend 8 percent.
low-income households contain older people with high health-care
and these households are less likely to have employer-provided health
recent changes in the law allow low-income wages to be attached in the
event of unpaid medical bills (emphasis mine).
Regarding financial security:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes the
Expenditure Survey, which covers all categories of spending for U.S.
by age, race, income, education, occupation, household type and size,
and housing tenure. For more information about data availability, call
(202) 606-6900. American Spending is a special report from American
that tracks spending trends between 1986 and 1991 by household income
age of householder; to order, call (800) 828-1133. For a discussion of
defining and measuring poverty, see the March 1996 issue of American
- 10% for the average household to personal pensions and
- Poor households spend less than 3 percent.
Poor Children in U.S. Increase to Six
The number of U.S. children under six living in poverty
a staggering increase between 1987 and 1992-- from 5 to 6 million--
an all-time-high poverty rate of 26 percent for this vulnerable
age group, according to a new report by the National Center for
in Poverty at Columbia's School of Public Health.
Columbia University Record --
February 3, 1995
-- Vol. 20, No. 15
A majority of poor children under six (58 percent) had
who worked full-time or part-time in 1992.
The report, Young Children in Poverty: A Statistical
illuminates a national crisis and focuses on several interrelated
that affect the lives of children under six living in poverty.
The new analyses reveal demographic patterns that are not
with public myths about poor children and their families--and need to
understood during a time of national debate about welfare reform.
For example, as many as 38 percent of poor children under
1992 had parents who supported their families with earnings only--and
cash public assistance.
Less than one-third of poor children under six lived with
who relied exclusively on cash public assistance for their incomes. (In
1992, the poverty line was $9,137 for a family of two, $11,186 for a
of three, and $14,335 for a family of four.)
J. Lawrence Aber, a leading expert in child development
policy who is director of the Center, cautioned that the large number
poor young children reflects a two-decade trend that is having
consequences on young children today whether they are toddlers or
The number of poor children under six grew from 3.4
million in 1972
to 6 million in 1992. The significance of these figures for society's
landscape cannot be overstated because the costs of these poverty rates
will be paid for over the next two decades.
Poverty gives rise to many types of deprivation, and many
youngest, poorest children suffer severe consequences concerning their
physical and mental health and their psychological development.
Poor young children are not very visible to the rest of
said. They live in isolated neighborhoods and are rarely noticed until
they reach first grade and fail, become adolescents and get in trouble,
or reach adulthood and can't find jobs.
The country's lack of attention to them has created a
of growing proportions. These numbers and rates are not just
They represent innocent babies and little children, Aber noted.
The report's 16 graphs and tables were based largely on
of the Census Bureau's 1993 March Supplement to the Current
Survey. Demographers Jiali Li, and Neil G. Bennett analyzed the
and prepared the report.
Just over one-sixth, or 18 percent, of all poor children
in 1992 lived with unmarried mothers who worked full-time or with
parents at least one of whom held a full-time job. (The federal minimum
wage was $4.25 per hour in 1992. If a person were employed full-time
and worked 1,750 hours, the income generated would be only $7,438, just
66 percent of the poverty line for a family of three and 52 percent of
the poverty line for a family of four. Even the maximum Earned Income
Credit would not lift these families out of poverty: 1992 income in a
family, for example, with one parent earning the minimum wage, would
only $9,648, 14 percent below the poverty line for a family of three
33 percent below the line for a family of four.)
It doesn't take a feasibility study to conclude that
number of children reared in poverty will necessarily increase the
of people living out on the fringes of American society -
people who will:
- find alternative means to making a living
- eventually be at odds with the 'status quo'
- find the 'status quo' unbearable to the point of deviance
- have less and less in common with the mainstream culture
We call these people lazy, mean, deviant, criminal, slacker,
or one of
many other names.