chapter  5
316 Pages

Family Relations

ByGlen H. Elder

Economic failure and new modes of household support favored a series of adjustments in father's position within the family. Three areas of adjustment are of special interest in this chapter: the exchange between parents in terms of power and emotional support; affective ties and control in parent-child relations; and the degree of correspondence between marital and parent-child interaction. Economic problems in the Depression overshadowed other family issues, especially in deprived households, and were seldom far below the surface in most areas of marital interaction. Economic problems and conflicts are a way of life among low-income families, but were they as prevalent among downwardly mobile families in the Depression? The contrast here is between persistent and decremental deprivation. In children's sentiments, the significance of parents is not solely a consequence of status in the larger social structure, nor can it be adequately explained by knowing only the internal structure of the family.