Quality of Family Life Module

  • A Suburban Family Together at the Park 

    What previous research has been conducted regarding quality of family life?   
    Mengaghan(1991), examines how and under what conditions adults' employment experiences affect interactions between spouses and between parents and children with famililes.  Mengaghan argues that the key pathway by which workplace conditions affect spousal and parent-child interaction is through the emotional consequences of work for indiviudal workers.  Rosenfield(1989) suggests that job and child rearing demands combine to reduce adults' sense of control.  Rosenfield shows that the resultant reduction in percieved control increase distress.  Kessler(1987) documents powerful negative effects of unemployment on individual well-being and participation and interaction in family life.   Barnett(1994) estimated separately the moderating effect of marital role and parent role quality on the relationship between job role quality and psychological distress.  She confirmed in her study that the quality of both men and women's marital and parental roles each buffered them from the negative mental health effects associated with poor experiences on the job.  For full-time employed men and women in dual-earner couples, positive experiences(satisfaction) in the role of parent or partner buffered effects of job experiences as well. Burley(1995) proposes that spousal social support and spousal home division of labor played an important mediating role in the negative relationship between work-family conflict and marital adjustment for men and women. Amato and Patridge(1987) found that compared with married mothers, divorced mothers revealed consistantly lower levels of economic well-being, while widowed mothers tended to have lower levels of personal well-being.  Aspects of well-being tended to be higher for mothers who were young and well educated, regardless of family type.  Essays by Penny Long Marler, Wade Clark Roof, and Lyn Gesch examine the link between traditional family forms and relgious institutions.  Marler demonstates how mainline churches have been able to keep thier "Market Share" of both husband and wife plus children families and the elderly, but have lost ground with younger singles and those in non-traditional households. 
    What are some useful sources for finding out more about Quality of Family Life?  
    Check out the following annotated bibliography links: 
    work and family  
    religion and family  
    Chicago Collar County Annotated Bibliography.  
    How does the CCCS measure quality of life?  
    The Chicago Collar County Survey attempts to measure the quality of life along several dimensions. One of the major domains is the quality of family life as experienced by suburbanites. In our survey, we ask how satisfied with family life residents are and investigate some of the conditions that may influence the level of family satisfaction, such as work, religion, family type,dual household careers,  etc.  
    Why is it important to study the family?  
    Despite the universality of the family, in modern societies, the family is in decline.  Some say that because of the effects of modernization, the family has eroded dangerously. Families are now becoming smaller and unstable, and the modern family is increasingly unalbe to provide for the well-being of its family members. This theme of decline has been supported by numerous amounts of evidence.  Statistics show that in all of the most modernized nations, the divorce rate, and percent  of remarraige has risen rapidly.  There is also an increase in the number of single parent families, as well as an increasing percentage of the types of relationships outside of conventional marriage patterns. How does the changing family structure effect the family unit?  Furthermore, evidence also shows that a number of other things are changing about the family.  For one, the amount of women in the workforce is steadily increasing. In 1900, few women in North America or anyone else were employed outside of the home. In 1998, women make up a large part of the labor force: 65 women per 100 men in the United States.  In fact, today, in most North American upper-income families, both adults are employed.  What ramifications does this have for the nuclear family? Futhermore, the American religious economy is very diverse.  In 1989, over 1,500 religious demonimations existed in the United States.  Church attendance is high: In any given week, about 40% of Americans attend services.  When studying relgiousness around the world, most people report that they are "religious"(United states 83%).  What role does religion play within the family? These questions as well as several others will be explored using the data 
    collected from the CCCS. 
    Defining the Family  
    Household Responsibilities and Marriage 
    The Transformation of the Labor Force and  the Family 
    Job Satisfaction and the Family 
    Sex Ratios and the African American Family 
    Sex Ratios and the Hispanic American Family 
    Modernization and Divorce 
    The One Parent Family 
    Religion and the Family 
    Relations between husbands and wives 
    Bonds between Parents and Children 
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    Direct Questions and comments to eburlein@niu.edu