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Families With Children and Adolescents: A Review, Critique, and Future Agenda


Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station A1700, Austin, TX 78712-1088 (


This decade's literature on families with children and adolescents can be broadly organized around the implications for youth of family statuses (e.g., family structure) and family processes (e.g., parenting). These overlapping bodies of research built on past work by emphasizing the dynamic nature of family life and the intersection of families with other ecological settings, exploring race/ethnic diversity, identifying mechanisms connecting family and child/adolescent factors, and taking steps to address the threats to causal inference that have long been a problem for family studies. Continuing these trends in the future will be valuable, as will increasing the number of international comparisons, exploring “new” kinds of family diversity, and capturing the convergence of multiple statuses and processes over time.