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Family relationships in the African American Community

761). Extended family is very important in the black community, as ties of kinship continue to unite black families and serve as support systems. Grandmothers often raise grandchildren while parents work; aunts routinely babysit or help their adult siblings with chores; and, brothers and uncles and nephews forge close bonds that often aim at economic or educational goals. Kinship remains vital to the unity of the black family. McAdoo (1982) notes that socioeconomic success does appear to reduce stress levels in successful black families, but kin networks remain a vital component of the stress reduction even for upper-class African Americans: "Families upwardly mobile over three generations and in the highest social status classification had the lowest stress scores but kin support systems greatly facilitated stress management" (McAdoo, 1982, p. 479).

One of the reasons black families of the highest social status may also experience less stress, aside from kin support networks, is that in a majority of such families the father is present. Relationships between black men and women historically have witnessed a majority of the childrearing duties posited upon the mother. High rates of teen pregnancy, unwed mothers, and many single mother families face systemic barriers to upward mobility. Dehaney (2006) maintains black single mothers face barriers to success, including (1) a lack of childcare; (2) racism; (3) low levels of education, and (4) poor job skills (p. 1). Relationships between black men and women have also historically witnessed a significant level of violence or abuse. This is why Dehaney (2006) maintains the policy of the Bush administration aimed at encouraging black mothers on welfare to marry is a poor idea, "One of the most dangerous obstacles for women on welfare to hurdle is that of an abusive intimate partner, so encouraging marriage in many cases actually causes more harm than good" (p. 1).

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Family relationships in the African American Community. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 12:17, December 20, 2014, from http://www.collegetermpapers.com/viewpaper/1303546379.html
 
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