American Indian Fragile Families and the Marriage Initiative
A Replication Study
Keywords:American Indians, Native Americans, fragile families, marriage
Beginning in the mid-1990s, the federal government, supported by both Republican and Democratic administrations, has allocated roughly $1.5 billion to promote “healthy marriage initiatives.” A major target of these initiatives have been unmarried parents, or what researchers call fragile families. Over the past two decades, studies have examined this issue within the general population. This study applied three areas of the marriage initiative used by McLanahan (2006) to American Indian people: potential participation in marriage promotion programs, potential impact of marriage programs, and likelihood of marriage. Data for 3,152 women were examined from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, including 154 who self-identified as American Indian. This study showed that American Indians exhibited a high willingness to participate in marriage promotion programs. American Indians were less likely than other racial/ethnic groups to see marriage as better for children. This study underscores the need to understand American Indian families and their unique approaches to developing healthy marriage and family structures. For marriage promotion programs to work, they should reflect the cultural practices of the individual American Indian communities.
Administration for Children and Families, Health and Human Services [ACF-HHS]. (2004). Healthy marriage initiative: Healthy marriage matters. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/programs/healthy-marriage/healthy-marriage
Administration for Children and Families, Health and Human Services [ACF-HHS]. (2014). Healthy marriage, responsible fatherhood Q and A. Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/resource/healthy-marriage-responsible-fatherhood-and-tribal-tanf-child-welfare-continue-for-another-year
Administration for Children and Families, Health and Human Services [ACF-HHS]. (2018). Integrating approaches that prioritize and enhance father engagement (ACF-ACF-IM-18-01). Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/resource/acf-acf-im-18-01-integrating-approaches-that-prioritize-and-enhance-father-engagement
Administration for Children and Families Healthy Marriage Initiative, Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Native American healthy marriage initiative- Fast facts. Retrieved from http://web.archive.org/web/20060926154142/http://www2.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ana/documents/NAHMI_fast_facts.pdf
Annie E. Casey Foundation. (2012). National KIDS COUNT program. Retrieved from https://www.aecf.org/work/kids-count/
Axinn, W., & Thornton A. (1992). The relationship between cohabitation and divorce: Selectivity or causal influence? Demography, 29(3), 357-374.
Bendheim-Thoman Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. (2018). User’s guide for the fragile families and child wellbeing study public data, year 15. Retrieved from https://fragilefamilies.princeton.edu/sites/fragilefamilies/files/year_15_guide.pdf
Booth, A., & Johnson, D. R. (1988). Premarital cohabitation and marital success. Journal of Family Issues, 9, 255-272. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/019251388009002007
Brown, S. L. (2000). Union transitions among cohabiters: The significance of relationship assessments and expectations, Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 833-846. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2000.00833.x
Bumpass, L. L., Sweet, J. A., & Cherlin, A. J. (1991). The role of cohabitation in declining rates of marriage. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 53, 913-927.
Carroll, J. S., & Doherty, W. J. (2003). Evaluating the effectiveness of premarital prevention programs: A meta-analytic review of outcome research, Family Relations, 52, 105-118. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2003.00105.x
Cherlin, A. J. (2010). Demographic trends in the United States: A review of research in the 2000s. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 403-419.
Child Trends. (2015). Child maltreatment: Indicators on children and youth. Retrieved from https://www.childtrends.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/40_Child_Maltreatment.pdf
Cowan, P. A., Powell, D., & Cowan, C. P. (1998). Parenting interventions: A family system perspective. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology, (pp. 3-72). New York: Wiley.
Day, P. A. (2014a). Raising healthy American Indian children: An indigenous perspective. In H. Weaver (Ed.), Social issues in contemporary Native America: Reflections from Turtle Island (pp. 93-112). Williston, VT: Ashgate.
Day, P. A. (2014b). Tradition keepers: American Indian/Alaska Native Elders. In H. Weaver (Ed.), Social issues in contemporary Native America: Reflections from Turtle Island (pp. 143-156). Williston, VT: Ashgate. doi: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315609485
Deficit Reduction Act. (2005). Public Law 109-171-Feb. 8, 2006. Retrieved from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/PLAW-109publ171/pdf/PLAW-109publ171.pdf
Dion, M. R. (2005). Healthy marriage programs: Learning what works. Future of Children, 15(2), 139-156. doi: https://doi.org/10.1353/foc.2005.0016
Edin, K., & Reed, J. M. (2005). Why don't they just get married? Barriers to marriage among the disadvantaged. Future of Children, 15(2), 117-137.
Goins, R. T., Schure, M., Jensen, P. N., Suchy-Dicey, A., Nelson, L., Verney, S. P., Howard, B. V., & Buchwald, D. (2018). Lower body functioning and correlates among older American Indians: The cerebrovascular disease and its consequences in American Indians study. BMC Geriatrics, 18(6), 1-9.
Hawkins, A. J., Blanchard, V. L., Baldwin, S. A., & Fawcett, E. B. (2008). Marriage and relationship education work? A meta-analytic study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(5), 723-734. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0012584
Jarchow, C. (2003). Strengthening marriage and two-parent families. Retrieved from http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Strengthening_Marriage_and_Two_Parent_Families.pdf
Johnson, M. D. (2012). Healthy marriage initiatives: On the need for empiricism in policy implementation. American Psychologist, 67(4), 296-308. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027743
Kenney, M. K., & Singh, G. K. (2016). Adverse childhood experiences among American Indian/Alaska Native children: The 2011-2012 National Survey of Children's Health. Scientifica, 2016, 1-14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/7424239
Legal Momentum. (2006). Sexuality and family rights. Retrieved from http://legalmomentum.org/sexualityandfamilyrights#
Lerman, R. I. (2002). Impacts of marital status and parental presence on the material hardship of families and children. Retrieved from http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/marriage-well-being03/hardship.htm
Lerner, S. (2004) Marriage on the mind: The Bush administration’s misguided poverty cure. Retrieved form https://www.thenation.com/article/marriage-mind/
Manning, W. D., Trella, D., Lyons, H., & Du Toit, N. C. (2010). Marriageable women: A focus on participants in a community healthy marriage program. Family Relations, 59, 87-102. doi: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3729.2009.00588.x
McLanahan, S. S. (2006). Fragile families and the marriage agenda. In L. Kowaleski-Jones & N. H. Wolfinger (Eds.), Fragile families and the marriage agenda (pp. 1-21). NY: Springer Science. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/b136572
McLanahan, S., & Sandefur, G. (1994). Growing up with a single parent: What hurts, what helps. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. (2012). Native Americans. Retrieved from http://www.healthymarriageinfo.org/category/resources/topics/culture/native-american/
Nicotera, N., Walls, N. E., & Lucero, N. M. (2010). Understanding practice issues with American Indians: Listening to practitioner voices. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 19, 195-216.
Onwuachi-Willig A. (2005). The return of the ring: Welfare reform's marriage cure as the revival of post-bellum control. California Law Review, 93(6), 1647-1650.
Purzycki, B. G. (2004). Comparison of the traditional and contemporary extended family units of the Hopi and Lakota (Sioux): A study of the deterioration of kinship structures and functions. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1067&context=nebanthro
Radel, L., Bramlett, M., Chow, K., & Waters, A. (2016). Children living apart from their parents: Highlights from the National Survey of Children in Nonparental Care. Retrieved from https://aspe.hhs.gov/system/files/pdf/203352/NSCNC.pdf
Red Horse, J. G., Martinez, C., & Day, P. (2001) Family preservation: A case study of Indian tribal practice. Portland: National Indian Child Welfare Association.
Reichman, N. E, Teitler, J. O., Garfinkel, I., & McLanahan, S. S. (2001). Fragile families: Sample and design. Children and Youth Services Review, 23(4/5), 303-326.
Roberts, L. C., & Morris, M. L. (1998). An evaluation of marketing factors in marriage enrichment program promotion. Family Relations: Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Family Studies, 47(1), 37-44. doi: https://doi.org/10.2307/584849
Saasa, S., & Limb, G. E. (2017). American Indian income and father involvement with children in urban cities. Children and Youth Services Review, 78, 170-176.
Sapra, K. J., Jubinski, S. M., Tanaka, M. F., & Gershon, R. (2014). Family and partner interpersonal violence among American Indians/Alaska Natives. Injury Epidemiology, 1(7), 1-14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2017.05.012
Sawhill, I. V. (2014). How marriage and divorce impact economic opportunity. Retrieved from https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/how-marriage-and-divorce-impact-economic-opportunity/
Stanley, S. M., Blumberg, S. L., & Markman, H. J. (1999). Helping couples fight for their marriages: The PREP approach. In R. Berger & M. T. Hannah (Eds.), Preventive approaches in couples’ therapy (pp. 279-393). Philadelphia, PA: Brumner/Mazel.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2010). Households and families: 2010. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-14.pdf
U.S. Census Bureau. (2016). 2016 American Community Survey, 1-year estimates. Retrieved from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/searchresults.xhtml?refresh=t
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. (2012). What is HMI? Retrieved from https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ofa/programs/healthy-marriage
van Ginkel, J. R, Linting, M., Rippe, R. C. A., & van der Voort, A. (2019). Rebutting existing misconceptions about multiple imputation as a method for handling missing data. Journal of Personality Assessment, DOI: 10.1080/00223891.2018.1530680
Von Hippel, P. T. (2007). Regression with missing Ys: An improved strategy for analyzing multiply imputed data. Sociological Methodology, 37(1), 83-117.
Waite, L. (1995). Does marriage matter? Demography, 32(4), 483-507.
Waite, L., & Gallagher, M. (2000). The case for marriage. New York: Doubleday.
White, J. M., Godfrey, J., & Moccasin, B. I. (2006). American Indian fathering in the Dakota nation: Use of Akicita as a fatherhood standard. Fathering, 4(1), 49-69.
Young, T. (1990). Poverty, suicide, and homicide among American Indians, Psychological Reports, 67, 1153-1154.
Copyright to works published in Advances in Social Work is retained by the author(s).