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Keywords:

  • relationship processes;
  • socioeconomic status;
  • well-being

Research during the past decade shows that social class or socioeconomic status (SES) is related to satisfaction and stability in romantic unions, the quality of parent-child relationships, and a range of developmental outcomes for adults and children. This review focuses on evidence regarding potential mechanisms proposed to account for these associations. Research findings reported during the past decade demonstrate support for an interactionist model of the relationship between SES and family life, which incorporates assumptions from both the social causation and social selection perspectives. This review concludes with recommendations for future research on SES, family processes, and individual development in terms of important theoretical and methodological issues yet to be addressed.