This study employs 1980 census data to determine how economic characteristics affect the incidence of female headed families in metropolitan areas. The study also attempts to determine if black family structure responds differently than white family structure to changes in the variables studied. It is found that changes in employment of men and women may have profound effects on family structure. Changes in the level of welfare support are also found to affect family structure. Black family structure is found to behave somewhat differently than white, thus lending support to Wilson's theory of the underclass.



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