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Divorce & Lone-parent families & Stepfamilies

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Facts and trend of divorce
36% end up divorce within 30 years
Median duration 13 years in first marriage, 7.5 years in second marriage, even lower after
Risk is greatest among the first four years
1/3 divorce with children
Contributing factors
Decreased family functions: from economic to emotional mate; elderly care, healthcare functions are
move out
Increasing vulnerability of marital bond: individual fulfillment are important; not obligated to marriage
Increased longevity: much longer period of time after childrens leaving
Increased participation of women in paid work: womens financial independence; less time at home with
Increasing social, religious, and legal acceptance of divorce: changing legal ground for divorce
Downward mobility for divorced women
Income after first year: men ¼ off, women ½ off
In the long term: men have some income increases vs. womens poverty rate rise 16%->40%
Reasons: 90% of children custodies to mothers, esp younger ones; gender earning gap; low level of
spouse & child support payment
Lone Parents Families
16% of total families in Canada
Over 80% of single parents are females
25% has never married
26% among all couples with children
Economic characteristics
Poverty rate: women twice higher than men
Median income: less than half of couple families = few have their own homes
High risk of poverty: one income, low salaries, low employment rate
Social characteristics
Marginalized: short of emotional support, low level of social activities such as social network
Higher frequency of family structure transitions: remarriage or cohabitation, higher frequency of
Two age cohorts
Parenting at 30-45 age: mostly planned adoption/birth; more established in terms of financial
security, education, psychological maturity; more stable family structure
Teen parents: low education, low marketable skills, psychological immature
Individualistic: women are better prepared for child care and housekeeping
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