When a family moves from town to town or from neighborhood to neighborhood, these ties are undermined and often destroyed. In sum, then, research suggests that family structure affects the economic, parental, and community resources available to children. The availability of these resources in turn affects direct measures of child and later adult well-being, such as social and emotional adjustment, educational attainment, family formation, and labor force participation.
The data from the census do not allow us to examine in a careful manner the impact of residing in a single-parent family on the economic, parental, and community resources available to children. If, however, living with two parents is an advantage for children, then American Indians are less likely on average to have this advantage. Possible Factors Associated with the Prevalence of Single-Parent Families Among the trends associated with the increasing proportion of children living with single parents are the increasing percentages of women who have never married and who are divorced.
These increases, in turn, appear to be associated with the growing economic independence of women, due primarily to increased labor force participation, changes in attitudes and values about out-of-wedlock childbearing, and the declining economic situation of men Cherlin, ; McLanahan and Sandefur, These trends that have affected the U. No research has explored carefully the factors that might for Indian and white differences in family patterns. Wilson and NeckermanBennett et al.
Among the factors that seem to be involved are a tighter marriage squeeze ratio of men to women, taking into the usual difference in the average ages of brides and groomsthe lower employment prospects for black men relative to white men, differences in the meaning of marriage as an institution among blacks and whites, and the continuation of historical patterns that date back at least to the turn of the century. According to Cherlin"The evidence is inconclusive and has been read differently by people with different points of view.
Thus explorations of black and white differences in family patterns are not necessarily a good guide for the exploration of white and Indian differences.
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Moreover, such an examination would be complicated by the difficulty of examining trends over time among a population growing rapidly as a result of changes in self-identification; the lack of data on the marriage squeeze; and the lack of data on attitudes toward marriage, divorce, and childbearing among American Indians. Nonetheless, it is possible to describe some of the characteristics of the American Indian population that sibgle be associated americzn the above-described patterns in percentage of children residing with two aamerican, including marriage and divorce.
These percentages changed very little between anddeclined from toand have increased since then. In dingle, however, they were at a level similar to that in If the increase continues during the s, we will reach historic highs in the percentages of people aged who have never married. Most women eventually marry—historically, over 90 percent of women in each cohort. Projections for those born during the baby boom, however, suggest that under 90 percent of these women will ever marry Cherlin, ; Schoen, Nonetheless, it is important to bear in mind that it is a delay in age at marriage more than a decline in the percentage who every marry that primarily s for the increase in the percentage americwn never-married women at the early adult ages.
Figure displays trends in the percentages of American Indian and all U.
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This is an older age group than that used by Cherlin. The curve for the U. Indian population shows that ina smaller percentage of Indian women than of all U. The percentage of American Indians aged who had never married in is not available in census publications. The increase in the percentage for American Indians was not as dramatic in the s as it was for all women, but it was larger in the s than for all women. Bureau of the Census b:Table 34; b:Tables and ; U. One must be very cautious about interpreting these trends because of changes in census enumeration procedures and self-identification over time, but the fact that the percentage was lower for American Indian women than for white women inyet higher than for white women indoes match the historical pattern for the nonwhite population in general Cherlin, Because of limitations in the published data, we shift from an age-specific rate to the general rate and look at women aged 15 and over to compare different segments of the Indian population.
According to Tablea higher percentage of women on reservations and in the Alaska NVSAs have never married relative to those in the U. Indian population and all women. A portion of these differences is undoubtedly due to the substantially lower median age on the reservations We also see that the percentage of women on the ten largest reservations aged 15 and over who had never married was higher than that for the U. The s range from a low of approximately 31 percent on the Zuni reservation to a high of 52 percent on the Papago reservation.
All of these figures are above the percentage for all women in the United States The median ages of the Zuni In addition, the sex ratio is slightly more favorable in the Zuni Pueblo than among the Papago see Table Also, we do not have the appropriate data to examine what s for the variation across segments of the national Indian population or differences among the ten largest reservations. We can speculate on some possibilities.
First, the marriage market may differ ificantly across the reservations in ways that are only partially reflected in the descriptive data on the median age, sex ratio, and economic situations of young men and women. Second, the differences may be due to cultural norms and values regarding the institution of marriage, issues we do not explore here. Divorce Cherlin summarizes the changes mles the divorce rate proportion of marriages that end in divorce that have taken place in the United States since The rate has been rising since the middle of the nineteenth century, with a smaller increase than expected from tobut a sharp rise from the early s to The divorce rate declined slightly in the s, but nevertheless is currently higher than predicted by the long-term trend.
Nationwide events show a clear effect on the divorce rate: it has increased temporarily after every major war and was lower during the depression of amerucan s.
It is impossible to compare trends in the proportion of marriages that end in divorce for whites and Indians because of the lack of racial identification in marriage and divorce records. What we can do is examine the percentage of women among the American Indian and U. To reiterate, this is not the same as the percentage of marriages that end in divorce. Such figures are sensitive not only to the proportion of marriages that end sinlge divorce, but also to the marriage and remarriage rates.
Ina very small percentage of women by contemporary standards were divorced. This figure was slightly higher for American Amrican than for the U. The percentage of women divorced has increased steadily since then, and the gap between American Indians and whites has widened since The combination of an increased proportion of women who have never married and a higher percentage of women who have been divorced helps explain why more American Indian children reside with a single parent.
The percentage divorced is the same for Indians on reservations as for the total population of women, and lower for those in Alaska NVSAs. The reservations with the highest percentages of divorced women Pine Natiive and Rosebud also have the third and fourth highest percentages xmerican women never married see Tableand this helps explain the low percentage of children residing with two parents singe these reservations see Table In contrast, the Papago reservation has a low general divorce rate, but this is accompanied by the highest percentage of women never married, which le in turn to a low americwn of children residing with two parents.
And the Navajo reservation has a low divorce rate, is intermediate in the percentage never married, and has the highest percentage of children residing with two parents. In sum, several combinations of factors can result in lower percentages of malex residing with two parents. Practical political and economic reasons have promoted marriages between whites and Indians. Prior to the decision of the U. The French were reputed to have no aversion to marrying Indians Lauber,and one celebrated intermarriage in the colony of New York involving a prominent white man and a wife from the Six Nations singpe said to have greatly facilitated cooperation songle the New York colonial government and the government of the Six Nations Maury, Soldiers on the frontier sometimes married Siingle trappers, traders, and agents often did so.
There were, in fact, some legal attempts to promote marriages between whites and Indians. Ina bill was presented to the Virginia legislature providing that "every white man who married an Indian women should be paid ten pounds, and five for each child born of americann a marriage; and that if any white woman married an Indian she should be entitled to ten pounds with which the county court should buy them livestock" Beveridge, InWilliam H.
Crawford advocated similar legislation before the U. Neither measure became law Beveridge, Past federal government definitions of its Indian service population, which generally used one-quarter Indian blood as the minimum blood quantum, and contemporary tribal definitions of citizenship, which in some nafive require demonstrated descent but no blood quantum, represent a response to this history of intermarriage.
The proportion of the American Indian population that is the product of intermarriages with non-Indians is quite high and continues to rise Snipp, Figure shows that the percentage of both Indian men and women who were exogamous increased considerably over the 20 years from to Part of this increase was probably due to the fact that American Indians who changed their self-identification to Indian during the period were more likely to be married to a non-Indian than those who kept the same malex.
Our analyses with singls from the public-use microdata samples show as well that younger American Indian cohorts were much more likely to be exogamous than were older cohorts of both American Indian men and women. American Indian men were more likely than American Indian women to be endogamous, i. Percentage of married Indians who are endogamous.
Summary And Conclusions Our description of American Indian families has relied largely on published data from the decennial censuses, making it a mostly quantitative exploration. Yellow Bird and Snipp and John summarize some of the ethnographic and msles qualitative work on American Indian families. Most of this work has focused on specific nations or tribes, and demonstrates that there is as much variation among zingle and households within the American Indian population as there is between Amwrican Indians and other groups in the U.
Nonetheless, the data also show that the trends in marriage, divorce, and living arrangements among the American Indian population have corresponded with these trends in the general population. Over time, the percentage of children living with two parents has decreased, and the percentages of women who have never married and who have divorced have increased, just as has been the case among the U.
At the same mxles, American Indian children are less likely to live with two parents than all U. The differences are more pronounced on some of the reservations. On the Pine Ridge reservation, malew example, The bottom line is that American Indian women and children, especially those on reservations, are in more vulnerable social and economic situations than are all U.
The Oklahoma TJSA statistics for average household size and percentage of women over 15 who have never married are more similar to those for the general U. The sex ratio is Part of this is probably due to the very low median age, Those who do marry stay married or remarry right away, putting the percentage of women currently divorced at a remarkably low 5.
Even though the people in the Alaska NVSAs are similar to those on reservations in their female labor force participation, large household size, and unemployment, the percentage of people in poverty in the Alaska NVSAs is about half that on reservations The reservation population consists of only Men may leave the reservation to find work, but this means that This low incidence of marriage does not seem to hold down the average family size 4.
With the highest unemployment rate of any Indian group All of this is exacerbated by the overwhelmingly high poverty rates on reservations. The variations in marriage and living arrangements for children across the segments of the Indian population and across the reservations are associated with different patterns in median age, sex ratios, female labor force participation, poverty, and unemployment. It is likely that poverty, unemployment, and unfavorable sex ratios on some reservations make marriages very difficult to begin and to maintain.
Other differences in cultural norms and values regarding marriage, divorce, and childbearing across the different segments of the Indian population and among the reservations are probably also important factors in creating the differences observed in the data from the decennial censuses. One implication for health policy of the conditions among American Indians, especially on the reservations, seems obvious.
The availability of healthcare through the Indian Health Service, tribal health services, and Medicaid is likely to continue to be very important for American Indian mothers and children because they are in a particularly vulnerable social and economic situation. The levels of poverty and unemployment on some of the reservations make it virtually impossible for many of these women and children to obtain healthcare through employer-based health insurance.
This vulnerability also has implications for proposed changes in social welfare policy. The high percentage of American Indian children living with one parent, combined with high levels of poverty and unemployment, probably le to greater reliance on Aid to Families with Dependent Children AFDCFood Stamps, and other forms of public assistance than is the case among the U. Some of the proposed changes in the AFDC program, such as caps on benefits, limits on the amount of time a family can receive AFDC, and work requirements, are likely to be very damaging to American Indian mothers and children on reservations, where there are few alternative ways to support a family.
In the long run, improving the lives of American Indian families and children will require substantial investments in the health and education of American Indian people on and off the reservations. In addition, tribal governments, working with private industry, state governments, and the federal government, must continue their efforts to create employment opportunities on the reservations and in traditional Indian areas in Alaska and Oklahoma. Economic self-sufficiency for many Native Americans is still an impossibility in many of the most economically depressed areas.
References Bennett, N. Bloom, and P. Craig The divergence of black and white marriage patterns. American Journal of Sociology Beveridge, A. The Life of John Marshall.
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New York: Houghton Mifflin. Blake, J. Family Size and Achievement. Berkeley: University of California Press. Cherlin, A. Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage. Haveman, R. Wolfe, and J. Spaulding Childhood events and circumstances amedican high school completion. Demography New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
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Hetherington, M. Cox, and R. Cox The aftermath of divorce. Stephens, editor; and Marilyn Matthews, editor. Washington, D. Hirschfelder, A. New York: Prentice Hall. John, R. The Native American Family. Mindel, editor;R. Habenstein, editor;and R. Wright, Jr. Lauber, A.
New York: Columbia University Press. Mare, R. Winship Socioeconomic change and the decline of marriage for blacks and whites. Jencks, editor; and P. Peterson, editor. Maury, A. Memories of a Hugenot Family. New York: Putnam. McLanahan, S. Family structure and stress: A longitudinal comparison of maleand female-headed families. Journal of Marriage and the Family Sandefur What Helps? McLeod, J.
Shanahan Poverty, parenting, and children's mental health. American Sociological Review The average additional income to a Native American natice completing a college degree relative to completing high school increased from We now turn to the labor force experience-income profiles. The slope of the experience-income profile is positive over most white age groups. Experience is measured as age minus years of schooling minus 6. The coefficient for indicates a 7.
Forthere is a statistically ificant but slight difference in the experience-income profile of whites and Native Americans. Byhowever, there are substantial adjustments to be made to the white experience-income profile to represent the experience-income relationship for Native Americans. The relationship for Native Americans has become flatter. Native American males in the middle age groups did not share in the income increases that accrued to whites.
Family variables are also important and exert slightly different influences across the two groups. Married white men received income well above that of never-married men, as did the group other married, which includes those divorced, widowed, or separated. A similar marriage premium is observed among Native American men, but the additional income is a little higher.
Among Native Americans, a married man, ceteris paribus, received There was little change in these relationships over the decade for Native Americans, but it does appear that the marriage premium among whites may have fallen. Finally, other things nwtive equal, white males who resided in metropolitan areas received on average The premium for Native American males is larger at These suggest a of tentative conclusions, which will be examined in sinble detail later.
First, the very large and consistent mark-downs associated with the Native American education variables suggest that there is some uniform determinant of Native American income that is missing from these equations. The model explains reasonably well the variance in income among Native Americans, but does not do that well in explaining the income gap between Mles American and white men.
The The second point is that the widening of the income dispersion among white and Native American males is clearly evident in the increased dispersion of the income returns to education.
On sinhle, Native Americans have less education than whites, and as a result their relative income will fall. Columns 3 and 4 of Table present the regression for women. The equations have considerably less explanatory power for women than for men. This is probably because the proxy for labor force experience is less satisfactory, as women may spend considerably more time out of the labor force. Once again there natiev a ificant widening of the rate of return to education over the decade.
The return to a college degree relative to completing high school increased from singl Native American women also gain extra income from additional education, but it is notable that in every education category, the mark-down for Native Americans is again large, ranging in from Among Native American women, the mark-down falls as the education level increases. Among Native American men, the mark-down is not consistently related to education.
Higher education levels narrow the income gap between white and Native American women, but leave the gap natibe men unchanged. In the next section, we attempt to determine whether the difference arises from the hourly earnings or the average hours equation. The experience-income profile for white women is flatter than that of white men, but both the linear and quadratic terms are ificant for The white women's experience-income profile does not ificantly change over the decade.
The profile for Native American women is not the same as for whites. It is considerably steeper forsuggesting that this may be an important contributor to the income gap, but it is not ificantly different from aerican of whites for The above suggest that we may have already made ificant progress toward understanding the reasons for the change in the income ratio. For men it appears that the economy-wide changes in the income returns to education are likely to be more important than any change in the Native American-white return within each education category.
It is more difficult to conjecture as to the effects of anerican other variables. Americn now turn to the analysis of annual hours and average earnings. Equations For Hourly Earnings And Annual Hours Worked To summarize the relationships between hourly earnings and human capital variables, we adopt identical equations to those fitted to the americaan income data.
Columns 1 and 2 of Table list the for and earnings per hour for men aged who reported positive employment earnings.
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The qualitative for whites are similar to those from the income equation discussed earlier and from hourly earnings equations found in other studies Murphy and Welch, ; Juhn et al. For white men, there are positive relationships between hourly earnings and education and hourly earnings and labor force experience. There was also an increase in the hourly earnings return to education over the period. The return to a college degree relative to high school completion increased from The reduction in hourly earnings from not completing relative to completing high school increased from The data presented above in Table show that on average, the hourly earnings of Native American men are percent below those of whites.
When other factors such as location, age, and marital status are taken intoas in the regression equations reported in Tablethis relationship changes, and Native American men, in all except the college degree category, receive higher earnings per hour than their white counterparts. There is a positive education premium for Native American men.
Thus inceteris paribus, a never-married Native American man who did not complete high school and who lived outside a metropolitan area earned on average The positive education premiums, over and above the white education coefficients, are surprising. For other labor market minorities, such as blacks or women, the education premiums relative to whites are always negative. We have tried different specifications for the hourly earnings equations, and it is clear that the estimated education premiums change as the variables included in the regression change.
The key variable seems to be location. If the data are divided into two groups, those who live in cities and those who do not, the hourly earnings premiums are negative and statistically ificant for city dwellers and positive but not generally ificant for non-city dwellers. On the basis of data from the Survey of Income and Education, Sandefur and Scott comment that ''Indians receive more favorable returns to education and marital status than whites," but they do not investigate the source of this result.
We do not pursue this matter further. Our current concern is the exploration of changes in the income ratio over the decade, and the adjustment in the equations to for location does not affect our conclusions. A complete study of Native American incomes, however, must come to grips with the relationships between location and hourly earnings. Thus for Native Americans who have not completed high school, earnings per hour remains much the same relative to earnings per hour for a high school graduate, but earnings per hour for a Native American with a college degree increases from As Native Americans are disproportionately represented among the less educated, the increased hourly earnings for more-educated men will ensure that the income ratio falls.
The experience-earnings profile is similar among Native American and white men, and a change in this relationship does not appear to be part of the large income changes that occurred over this period. Finally, for both groups, the marriage premium is declining, but the changes do not affect the income ratio to a ificant degree. The female hourly earnings equations are similar to the male equations. For white women, the return to education widened over the period by much the same amount as for white men.
As with Native American men, there are positive education premiums for Native American women for both years, and the education premiums tend to fall as the education level rises. There have been some changes in the premiums bybut they do not offset the changes in the education return for whites. The change in the rate of return to education among white women has therefore extended to Native American women.
Table lists the equations for annual hours employed. Among white males there is a clear association between education level and hours worked. Infor example, never-married men who failed to complete high school and lived in a nonmetropolitan area worked Over the decade there was a widening of the education-hours worked relationship in much the same way that there was a widening in the education-hourly earnings relationship.
Those with college degrees were working more hours, and those who did not complete high school were working less. There is a very large Native American effect on hours worked. Although Native Americans with more education worked more hours than those with less education, it is noticeable that in all educationNative Americans worked less than their white male counterparts. Never-married Native Americans who did not complete high school and lived in a nonmetropolitan area worked Native Americans with a college degree worked Between andthe gap in hours worked for whites of different education levels widened.
For Native American men there was a substantial decline in hours worked relative to whites, but this decline was spread evenly across all education. As a result, the change in the white education-hours relationship extends into the Native American labor market, and there is a wider dispersion of hours worked.
There is also an important location effect on annual hours worked. Native Americans in metropolitan areas work ificantly more hours than Native Americans in nonmetropolitan areas. Hours of work are influenced by labor market experience. There is a strong nonlinear relationship so that among men, hours of work increase with experience, peak at year 26, and then decline. In there was no ificant difference between whites and Native Americans.
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Byhowever, the relationship had changed so that Native American men with less experience worked marginally fewer hours than their white counterparts. The responsiveness of hours of work to education levels is greater for women and especially so for Native Americans. More-educated women work americsn hours. Once again there is a large Native American-white gap in average hours worked, especially among the least educated.
Marriage also affects the two groups differently.