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Lecture 13

PSY 302 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Artificial Insemination, Stepfamily, Surrogacy

Course Code
PSY 302

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Lecture 13: The family
Family Structure:
Family structure: The number of and relationships among the people living in a household.
Alterations in family structure:
Influence interactions among family members
Affect family routines and norms
Affect children’s emotional well-being
Most changes are gradual.
Some single events can be traumatic.
Changes in Family Structure in Canada
More children live with lone or unmarried parents
In 2011:
14% of children were living with common-law parents
22% of children were living with lone parents
Over 1/3rd of the aboriginal children live in a lone-parent household compared with 17% for
nonaboriginal children
Why do single parents have less time to devote to children?
Changes in Family Structure in Canada
First-Time Parents Are Older Than in the Past
Average age when women had their first child was 23.6 years in 1961, as opposed to 28.5 years
in 2011.
Teen birth rate has declined from 6.1% in 1991 to 3.1% in 2013.
What are the advantages of having children at an older age (30>)?
Changes in Family Structure in Canada
Research shows men who become father after age 30 tend to be more:
Cognitively and verbally stimulating
Teenage Pregnancy
In 2013, in Canada 3% babies were born by mothers between 15 -19
Factors reducing the risk of teenage pregnancy
Living with both biological parents
Being involved in school activities and religion organization
Being successful in school and having supportive parents
What factors increase the risk of teenage pregnancy?
Teenage Pregnancy
Motherhood curtails education, career development, relationship with peers. Having poor
parenting skills
Children are at risk of showing:
Disorganized/disoriented attachment, low impulse control, problem behaviours, delay in
cognitive development
Factors affect males’ risk for becoming fathers
Being poor, prone to substance abuse, behavioural problems, involvement with deviant peers and
having polis record
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Contact with child is not usually maintained.
Social support and low level of stress help
Involvement of father with healthy relationship is beneficial for the child and mother
Changes in Family Structure in Canada
More Children Live with Grandparents
In 2011, almost 5% of all children under 14 years of age in Canada live with a grandparent
Skip generation families: the grand parents act as the primary caregivers and no parents are
0.5% in Canada
2.2% in Nunavut
1.8% in the Northwest Territories
Issues related to grandparent-headed families:
Income, gap in parenting, social network
Changes in Family Structure in Canada
Families Are Smaller
Women delaying pregnancies for careers
Increased access to birth control
Fewer children with multiple siblings
Family Structures Are More Fluid
1/5th of all children experience a change in family structure: separation, divorce, remarriage,
cohabitation, parental death over a 3 year period
More behaviour problems
Same-Sex Parents
In 2011, 9600 children in Canada lived with same-sex parents.
59% of these children are being raised by a biological parent from a (previous) heterosexual
Use of artificial insemination or surrogacy.
Foster or adoptive parents
Same-Sex Parents
Social acceptance
Same-sex parents are “good” parents.
Adjustment depends on family dynamics
Closeness of the parent child relationship
How well the parents get along
Parental supportiveness
Regulated discipline
The degree of stress parents experience
Divorced Parents
In 2011, over 10% of parents in Canada lived in a stepfamily
Mechanisms by Which Divorce Can Affect Children
Parent with whom child lives: single, time-intensive, financially constrained
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