CHICAGO -- For their annual conference, "Tipping Point - When Minority Families Become the Majority," the Council on Contemporary Families has collected some of the most important—though often under-reported—new findings about diversity in American family life.
The "Tipping Point" in the status of "minority" families is highlighted in many research findings in CCF's 4th annual review of research. Last year, for the first time, births to so-called minorities exceeded births to non-Hispanic whites. In California, Texas,Hawaii, and New Mexico, minorities now account for more than 50 percent of the population. Among American children, the multiracial population has increased almost 50 percent since 2000. Meanwhile, among non-Hispanic whites and minorities, economic insecurity increased by a third between 1985 and 2007, leading to greater inequality in income, housing security, access to higher education and even the chances of marrying and the risk of divorce.
Highlights from the researchers' thirty surprising and unique findings include:
*Not everyone with the same racial background or physical appearance, even in the same family, identifies --or is identified--in the same way. Biracial siblings who have the same parents often develop very different racial identities, yet outsiders typically perceive multiracial Blacks are as being Black only, whatever their skin tone. Interestingly, the darker an African American or Latino student rated his own skin tone, the higher his academic performance, academic confidence, and social acceptance.
*Women who divorce have worse health outcomes than married women. But the cause is not divorce. Rather, it is loss of access to health insurance.
*In 1970, black college graduates, male or female, and white female college graduates all earned less than the average white male high school graduate. Today, education outweighs race and gender. But women still face a motherhood penalty in wages, so their lifetime earnings are often lower than those of men with less education, and a Black family with the same earned income as a white family has, on average, one twelfth as much wealth.
*Mixed-race White and Black children have significantly lower odds of poverty than monoracial Black children. Similarly, Latino children with non-Hispanic mothers have lower odds of poverty than monoracial Latino children. Asian children with non-Asian mothers are less likely to be poor than either monoracial Asians *or* monoracial Whites.
*Even though "everyone knows" that children who cooperate with teachers and friends are less aggressive, this isn't so. A study of youths from preschool through college found that children who are positively rated by peers and teachers are actually more likely to use threats, aggression, and teasing others.
*Feminist researchers used to think they knew that men whose wives earned more money often soothed their damaged egos by doing less housework. Not so. Men do increase housework hours when their wives earn more.
CCF and how CCF assists journalists: The Council on Contemporary Families, based at the University of Illinois-Chicago, is a non-profit, non-partisan organization of family researchers, mental health and social practitioners, and clinicians dedicated to providing the press and public with the latest research and best practice findings about American families.