Family Diversity


Family Diversity
Family Diversity
American Families have changed
Agrarian Society
 Industrial Societies: mobility, promotions, living
away from extended family, more formal
relationships more workplace related, diverse
 Postindustrial Society or Information Economies:
global economy, flexibility in work, education for
life rather than one field, decision-making skills,
decentralization (schools), networking as
employment concept
21st Century American Families
Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity
 Socio-Economic Diversity
 Families in Particular Circumstances
 Single-parent
 Blended
Religious/Moral Beliefs
 Geographic Region
Red Share a way that you were different from other
children in your K-3 classrooms
Purple Share an experience from childhood where a
child’s differences were made fun of or where he was
treated poorly by other children
Green Share an experience where a teacher was not
understanding or supportive of a child’s difference
YellowShare an element of diversity in your life today:
ethnicity, religion, marital status, area of country you
are from, parenthood, hobby, anything!
Orange Share a favorite ethnic food and a country you
would like to visit someday and why!
What is your cultural background?
What are traditions in your family that are
similar to other families in your religion,
geographic area, ethnic origin?
 What do you have in your home that
reflects your cultural or ethnic
Culture: Unique experiences and history of various
The language, artifacts, understandings, values, traditions,
ways of living of a group.
Provides a set of rules for behaviors
Cultures borrow and share rules
Individuals are embedded to different degrees within a culture
Race: Physical Characteristics that define a group:
Defined by skin tone, facial structure, and geographic origin
Bi-racial and other combinations of heredity
Ethnicity: defining characteristics of physical
characteristics, beliefs or geographic location
over time
Combination of race, religion, cultural history,
commonalities, geography.
Fulfills deep need for identity and historical
Family ethnicity kept through
Family customs
Family stories
Religious ceremonies
Projections of the U.S. Population
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Groups of individuals with certain patterns of
behaviors or characteristics that set them
apart from the major culture
Based on race, ethnicity, religion, national origin,
age, geographical area, occupation, socioeconomic
status, or many others
What subcultures are you part of?
Parenting differences in subcultures?
 Are all subcultures the same?
Culture Quiz
Derman-Sparks, Chud. Fahlman
Do you remember the first time you met
someone from another culture or ethnic
 Do you remember how you first learned
about your own ethnic identity?
 What is important to you about your
culture? What makes you proud, what
gives you pain?
Culture Quiz cont’
Have you experienced prejudice or
discrimination for any reason? How did it make
you feel? What did you do? Thinking about it
now, would you change your response?
 Do you and your parents agree about ethnic,
cultural and religious issues? If not, how did
your beliefs evolve? What will you teach your
 If you’re traveled to another country, how did
you feel in those strange surroundings?
Cultural Presentation Planning
Context (group or individual priority?)
 Communication
 Parenting
Asian American
 Hispanic
 African American
 European-American
Economic Diversity Ruby Payne
Economic class is a continuous line, not
a clear-cut distinction.
 Poverty is relative
Generational poverty
 Situational poverty
Poverty occurs in all races and in all
Percentage of Children Under 18
Living in Poverty
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Company. All rights reserved.
4 - 14
Texas Statistics
Child Poverty and Birth
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Company. All rights reserved.
4 - 16
Ruby Payne &
Generational Poverty
Relationships and entertainment are more
important than achievement
Hidden rules of generational poverty cause
students to react in inappropriate ways
Schools = middle-class values
Can you survive outside your “class”?
Video Clip
Hidden rules of economic class
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Company. All rights reserved.
4 - 17
Hidden Rules: Driving Forces
 Relationships
 Entertainment
Middle Class
Work, achievement
Connections – financial, political, social
Hidden Rules: Time
Present most important
 Decisions made for the moment/surviving
Middle Class
Future most important
 Decisions made against future remifications
Traditions and history most important
 Decisions partially on tradition/decorum
Hidden Rules: Power
Linked to personal respect, ability to fight
 Can’t stop bad things from happening
Middle Class
Power/respect separated
 Power in information and institutions
Power in expertise, connections
 Influences policy and direction
America and Divorce
 What
are some reasons you personally
might consider a divorce?
 Is falling out of love an appropriate reason
for wanting a divorce?
 What were you taught growing up about the
acceptability of divorce?
Marriage and Divorce (2003)
60 million married couples in US
 40-50% of all marriages end in divorce
 Annually
2,187,000 marriages
 7.5 marriages per 1000 total population
1.25 million divorces annually
3.8 divorces per 1000 total population
Factors Affecting Divorce
Shift from agricultural to industrial society
 Social integration
 Individualistic American culture
 Demographic factors:
Employment status
 Income
 Educational level
 Ethnicity
 Religion.
Stations of Divorce
(Bohannan) As people divorce, they
undergo these “divorces” simultaneously.
 Legal
 Economic
 Co-parental
 Community
 Psychic
Factors Affecting Divorce
Life Course Factors:
Intergenerational transmission (Amato,
Parental divorce increases chance of child’s
marriage ending within first five years by as
much as 70%.
 Increased risk of divorce is especially great if
both spouses experienced parental divorce.
 Effects are strongest when parents divorce early
in child’s life (age 12 or younger)
Consequences of Divorce
Economic consequences
Impoverishment of women
 Changed female employment patterns
 Fewer financial resources for family – often
leading to moves to cramped apartments
and less desirable neighborhoods
Consequences of Divorce
Non-economic consequences include:
More psychological distress, lower levels of
happiness, more social isolation, more
health problems.
 Divorced people are three times as likely to
commit suicide.
 Some divorced people experience higher
levels of personal growth and greater
Children and Divorce
Children in happy two-parent families are
the best adjusted
 Children in conflict-ridden two-parent
families are the worst adjusted.
 Children from single-parent families are
in the middle.
Children and Divorce
Children of divorce suffer:
Reduction of income
 Weakening ties with fathers
 Deterioration in family life
 Loss of “residential stability”
 Problems in school
 Lower self-esteem
 Increased likelihood of drug abuse
 Greater likelihood of becoming teen parents
Children and Divorce
Three-Stage Process of divorce for
Initial stage—Turmoil is greatest.
 Transition stage—Adjusting to new family.
 Restabilization stage—Integration of
Children and Divorce
Developmental tasks of divorce:
Acknowledging parental separation
 Disengaging from parental conflicts
 Resolving loss
 Resolving anger and self-blame
 Accepting the finality of divorce
 Achieving realistic expectations for later
relationship success
Children and Divorce
Adjustment to divorce:
Open discussion prior to divorce
 Involvement with noncustodial parent
 Lack of hostility between divorced parents
 Good psychological adjustment to divorce
by custodial parent
 Stable living situation and good parenting
 Continued involvement with the children by
both parents
Children and Divorce
Adjustment to divorce:
Not all children suffer negative
 90% of children with divorced parents
achieve same level well-being as children of
continuously married parents (Amato,
Child Custody
Generally based on one of 2 standards:
The best interests of the child
 The least detrimental of the available
The major types of custody are sole,
joint, and split.
Children and Divorce
26% of children under the age of 18 live
with a divorced parent.
 39% of divorced women with children
live in poverty
 Civility among parents and assurance
that both still love the children is helpful
 Some need brief individual play therapy,
others need family counseling
Behavior problems
Children in single-parent or remarried
families do not do as well as those in
non-divorced households
25-30% of single-parent and divorced
households reported behavior problems,
while only 10% of non-divorced households
reported behavior problems with children.
 20% of children in stepfamilies have
behavior problems compared to 10% of
children in non-divorced families.
Child Custody
Sole custody
Accounts for 85% of all
U.S. divorce cases
 Women traditionally
have been responsible
for child rearing
 Many men do not feel
Child Custody
Joint custody
Accounts for 10% of cases.
 Joint legal custody
Children live primarily with one parent
 Both parents share in decisions regarding the
Joint physical custody
Requires parents to work out practical logistics
 …as well as feelings about each other.
Child Custody
Split custody
Splits the children between the parents
 Usually girls live with mother, boys with
The effects of remarriage on
Income is raised.
 Another adult is there to help.
 Behavior problems
 Blending two families presents a new set
of challenges
Blended family issues
Loyalty is a problem
 May feel guilty for bonding with a step
 Children often act out, won’t even try to
like a step parent.
 Family must incorporate new parent’s
style and rules.
The stabilization period
The stepparent moves toward the role of
“intimate outsider”, which is somewhere
between parent and trusted friend.
 Stepparent role includes
Warmth toward and support of the
 Little disciplining of the stepchildren.
 Support for the biological parent.
 Stepfathers in general tend to be less
involved than biological fathers.
Stepmother and stepfather
Being a stepmother can be harder than being a
In typical remarriage chains today, children live with
mother and stepfather.
Typical stepmother must establish relationship during
Stepfathers compete with non-custodial fathers
who may not see children very often.
Often fill a vacuum left by departed biological father.
May hold to a lower standard than stepmothers.
Easier for children to accept two father figures than two
mother figures.
Religious Diversity
Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life 2007
Protestant 51.3%
 Catholic
 Buddhist
 Muslim
 Hindu
 Unaffiliated
“Knowledge about religions is
not only characteristic of an
educated person, but is also
absolutely necessary for
understanding and living in a
world of diversity.”
National Council for the Social Studies
How do people of varying faith
traditions respond to “poverty”?
 What you do to the least of these, you do to me
 What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to
love mercy, to walk humbly with God.
 Alms Giving (Al-Zakat) 2.5% wealth given to needy
 Giving to the poor builds Karma, giving rewards in later
 Distributive justice/Greatest wealth is contentment
Family Involvement
 Communicating
 Volunteering
 Learning at home
 Decision making
 Collaborating with the Community
Home and School Together
Positive correlations between positive
parenting practices and school success
Government required parental involvement
in order to access funding
Community concern and efforts
Professional Organization
Research Support
Head Start
 Perry Preschool Project
 Abecedarian Project
Head Start
 Title 1 (LIFT) Literacy Involves Families
Together Act of 2000
 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities
Educational Improvement Act of 2004
 Child Care and Development Block
 Goals 2000
 No Child Left Behind
Professional Organization and
Community Support
 State Funded Programs
 Individual Community Efforts
Culturally Competent
 Acknowledge
cultural differences
 Understand their own culture
 Engage in Self-assessment
 Acquire cultural knowledge and
 View behavior within a cultural
Culturally Welcoming Programs
Inclusive materials
Written translations
Welcomes posted in
pictures in
Bring family
members who speak
English to meetings
Family culture
meaningful social
Family social events
Items and artifacts
familiar to all families
Encourage parents
to use primary
language at home
Cultural Dilemmas
Analyze situations from child’s
experiences at home
 Do not blame
 Get information
 Don’t place child between two cultural
 Respond to child and parents as
 Find common ground
Activities in classroom should relate to
children’s lives
 Encourage children and families to talk
about family traditions of celebrating
 Holidays of every group represented
should be honored
 Respect family beliefs that do not permit
children to participate
Working with families in
particular circumstances
Parents of Children with Special Needs
Teen Mothers
Families when Abuse Occurs
Factors Contributing to
Children’s Adjustment
Mental health of parents
 Quality of parent-child relationships
 Degree of anger vs cooperation
 Age, temperament, and flexibility of child
 Extent to which parents are willing to
have the same routines for the children
in each home
Working with Children & Parents
in Classrooms
A structured environment
 Encourage expression of feelings
 Reassure
 Keep requests of parents light
 Be aware of legal agreements
 Know available community resources
Working with Parents of Children
with Special Needs
Individualized Educational Plans
 Develop relationships based on mutual
 Try to understand the increased stress in
the lives of parents
 Be hopefully realistic
 Know available community resources
Working with Families when
Abuse Occurs
Indicators of abuse
 Sexual
 Emotional
 Neglect
Reporting abuse
 Create an atmosphere of trust and
 Refer families to support groups
Working with Adoptive Families
Include adoption in the curriculum
 Talking to families
 Talking to children
 Offer resources