Youth Attitudes on Family, Work, and Community Service

Brief

Youth Attitudes on Family, Work, and Community Service

Implications for Welfare Reform
March 1, 2001

Abstract

Trends in youth attitudes in three areas relevant to welfare reform - family formation and parenting, work and preparation for work, and community service - show modest evidence at best of change that might reflect the effects of the welfare reform legislation. Data analyzed come from the Monitoring the Future survey for 1985 through 1999. Among the trends: the acceptability of cohabitation increased steadily and substantially. Trends in attitudes about the importance of fatherhood and on the effects of maternal employment on the well-being of pre-school children may bode well for welfare reform. Many of the attitudes and values that welfare reform seeks to encourage in our society already run particularly strong in the African-American community.

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