Title Page, Copyright Page

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Contents

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pp. v-vi

About the Authors

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p. vii

Part 1: Introduction

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pp. 9-21

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1. Unmarried Couples with Children: Hoping for Love and the White Picket Fence

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pp. 3-21

ONE IN three babies born in the United States today have unmarried parents (Carlson, McLanahan, and England 2004), up from about one in twenty (5 percent) in 1960 (Moore 1995; McLanahan 2004; Wu and Wolfe 2001). The lower couples are on most dimensions...

Part 2. Couple Relationships Among Unmarried Parents

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pp. 23-155

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2. Forming Fragile Families: Was the Baby Planned, Unplanned, or In Between?

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pp. 25-54

THE BIRTH control pill prevents pregnancy 95 to 99 percent of the time, Depo-Provera and the patch are 99 percent effective, the IUD works 98 percent of the time, and condoms are 86 to 98 percent successful if used correctly (Federal Drug Administration 2005). Yet more...

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3. Everyday Gender Conflicts in Low-Income Couples

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pp. 55-83

WHAT ARE the everyday bones of contention in couples’ relationships? Research on middle-class couples emphasizes women’s longing for more emotional intimacy and the inequity of the fact that employed women still do most of the housework...

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4. Expectations and the Economic Bar to Marriage Among Low-Income Couples

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pp. 84-103

EMPIRICAL RESEARCH indicates an interesting contradiction regarding marital beliefs and behavior among low-income individuals. Marriage rates among the disadvantaged are lower than those for the general population...

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5. Steppin' Out: Infidelity and Sexual Jealousy Among Unmarried Parents

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pp. 104-132

COMMITTED RELATIONSHIPS—whether married, cohabiting, or dating— are defined largely by the expectation of sexual monogamy and are seriously threatened by violations of that expectation (Christopher and Sprecher 2000; Treas and Giesen 2000). Extramarital sex...

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6. Anatomy of the Breakup: How and Why Do Unmarried Couples with Children Break Up?

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pp. 133-155

DESPITE HIGH rates of unwed childbearing in the United States, most children born to unmarried parents are involved with both parents at birth. Eighty percent of unmarried parents are romantically involved when their child is born, and just under 50 percent are cohabiting (McLanahan et al. 2003). However...

Part 3: Parenting Together and Apart

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pp. 157-251

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7. #1 Father of Fathering 101?: Couple Relationship Quality and Father Involvement When Fathers Live with Their Children

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pp. 159-182

FATHERHOOD HAS become a hot button issue in the media, politics, and the general public recently. The focus has been on absent fathers, the assumption being that unmarried fathers fall into this category by default. Although there are plenty of examples...

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8. Blended but Not the Bradys: Navigating Unmarried Multiple Partner Fertility

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pp. 183-203

IN THE fall of 1969, ABC television launched a new show with a somewhat daring premise for the times: a mother with three daughters who married a widower with three boys. For the next five seasons, the small stories of this large blended family would be a...

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9. Gatekeeper Moms and (Un)Involved Dads: What Happens After a Breakup?

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pp. 204-227

WHEN ASKED shortly after their child’s birth, the vast majority of unmarried fathers say that they want to be involved the child’s life. A large proportion of mothers also want them to be. Yet, few fathers who are no longer romantically...

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10. Child Support Among Low-Income Noncustodial Fathers

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pp. 228-251

HIGH POVERTY rates among single mother families and the consequent hardships their children face have focused attention on the role of absent fathers and child support as antipoverty strategy. Nationally, nearly 75 percent of custodial parents...

Part 4: Mixing Qualitative and Quantitative Methods and Data

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p. 253

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11. Mixing Methods: Reliability and Validity Accross Quantitative and Qualitative Measures of Relationship Quality

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pp. 255-276

SCHOLARS IN the social sciences have debated the merits of mixed methods research for several decades. Yet, relatively little is known about whether multiple methods provide complementary data or an opportunity for additional insight. In this chapter, I explore two primary...

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12. Data from the TLC3

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pp. 277-291

THE TIME, Love and Care in Couples with Children data are unique for several reasons.1 First, they are embedded in a large national quantitative data set, The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Survey (FFCWS), which gives researchers a plethora of information for...

Index

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pp. 293-301