, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 283–297 | Cite as

The influence of remarriage on the racial difference in motheronly families in 1910

  • Andrew S. London
  • Cheryl Elman
Other Studies


Historical demography documents that mother-only families were more common among African Americans than among Euro-Americans early in the twentieth century. We find direct evidence that African American males in both first and higher-order marriages were more likely to have (re)married previously married women and were more likely to have (re)married women with children. This racial difference in (re)marital partner choice reduced the racial difference in the prevalence of mother-only families such that, in the absence of such remarriage choices, the prevalence of mother-only families in the turn-of-the-century African American population would have been even higher than has been reported. Remarriage in this period countered the various demographic, economic, cultural, and social-institutional forces that disproportionately destabilized African American marriages; it must be taken into account more fully by analysts concerned with racial differences in family structure.


Family Structure Racial Difference African American Male African American Family Marital Dissolution 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Population Association of America 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew S. London
    • 1
  • Cheryl Elman
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SociologyKent State UniversityKent
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of AkronUSA

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