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Family Change: Decline or Resilience?
Marriage has been the fundamental social arrangement throughout much of American history, providing
structure and meaning in people’s lives. It has marked entry into adulthood – the point at which children gain
economic independence from their parents, leave the family home to forge their own families, and engage in
sexual activity. Traditional gender roles have provided scripts that guided and organized how work, both inside
and outside the home, would be divided and how children are raised. Recent trends over the last 60 years have
seen major shifts in the way marriage and family life are conceptualized, leaving many wondering what those
changes will mean for the future of families. Are those changes working against families, or are they signs of
increased diversity and a need to think more broadly about what family life means?
This paper will explore changes in family trends through examination of current literature. Transgenderism,
family structure, measurement, and discipline are areas where common practice and research have informed
current trends; however, opinions of best practices vary. For this assignment you will need to read the two
assigned articles, reflect on these issues, and take a stand on one side of the argument: are families in decline or
are they resilient? Your position papers must be three to four pages in length using 12-point Times New Roman
font with double-spaced lines and standard one-inch margins on all sides with sources cited in text and
formatted in APA style.
This paper must also include at least 4 cited references from our text to integrate core concepts and theories
to illustrate your position. No late assignments will be accepted unless you have a documented excuse
(please refer to University policy).
All written materials must use correct APA style and include the following:
• Title page
• Running head
• Page numbers
• Headings aligned with the rubric( optional)
• Works cited page (you need only reference the textbook and the two articles that are required reading)
For more information about APA style, or for quick tips for understanding APA style, visit the American
Psychological Association’s site (http://www.apastyle.org/) or Purdue’s Online Writing Lab website
*Coontz, S. (2005). The American family: New research about an old institution challenges the conventional
wisdom that the family today is worse off than in the past. In K. R. Gilbert (Ed.), Annual editions: The family
(pp. 2-6). Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin.
*LeBey, B. (2005). American families are drifting apart: The sexual revolution, women’s liberation, relaxation
of divorce laws, and greater mobility are fracturing the traditional family structure. In K. R. Gilbert (Ed.),
Annual editions: The family (pp. 7-9). Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill/Dushkin.
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