Gender, Family Structure, and Social Support Among Parents

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Using 1987-88 National Survey of Families and Households data from residential parents of young children (n=5,686) this study describes differences by gender and family structure in social support relationships with parents, siblings, other relatives, and friends. Mothers, overall, are more involved in giving and getting support, especially emotional support, than fathers. When contrasted with traditional family parents, fathers in nontraditional two-parent families show more evidence of reduced kin interaction than mothers. Single mothers and fathers are more involved with parents, and single mothers extend this increased involvement to relationships with siblings. But beyond this it is friends, not other kin, who figure most prominently in the social support relationships of nontraditional families.

Related Topics

  • Behavioral Health
  • Child Welfare
  • Extended Family
  • Fathers/Partners
  • Peer-Based Recovery Support
  • Trauma
  • Treatment Models