Declining Young Adult Economic Power in Parent-Adult Child Households: The Role of Race and Unmarried Parenthood, 1960 – 2010

Joan R. Kahn, University of Maryland
Fran Goldscheider, University of Maryland
Javier Garcia-Manglano, University of Maryland

Recent research (Kahn, et al., forthcoming) has shown that there was substantial growth in parent-adult child coresidence and in particular, an increase in the financial dependency of the younger on the older generation. During the same period, other research has indicated that there has been a substantial increase in coresidence among Black young adults (Goldscheider and Bures, 2004). Although that study showed that single parenthood was not a factor in the increased Black-White difference in coresidence, it seems likely that young unmarried parenthood may have contributed to the increased financial dependency of the younger generation of both races. This paper examines the extent to which changes over time in generational financial dependency are associated with changes in marriage and parenthood patterns among Black and white young adults. We use U.S. Census and ACS data, 1960-2010, to see how changing patterns by race have contributed to these changes.

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Presented in Session 56: Kin Availability and Intergenerational Transfers