The Evolving Family: Family Processes, Contexts, and the Life Course of Children

2004–07 Theme Project 



Family Walking In The Park

Photo by: Jason Koski/University Photography Back row (left to right): Michael Goldstein, Elizabeth Adkins-Regan, Maureen Waller, Claire Kamp Dush, Elizabeth Peters, Stephen Emlem Sitting at the table (left to right): Elaine Wethington, Stefan Klonner, Lindy Williams Not pictured: Mary Katzenstein and Kathryn March

Initial Proposal (pdf)

“We’re bringing together a select group of faculty from a range of disciplines, including anthropology, biology, demography, economics, human development, policy analysis, psychology, sociology, and women’s studies. The aim of the working group will be to put Cornell at the forefront of research on the family.”
Elizabeth Peters
, Project Leader

Changes in the family and their consequences for the well-being of men, women, and children have long been a central focus of social scientists and social policy. Yet there are still few answers to basic questions about what makes families work.

Why have single-parent, step-parent, and unmarried-parent families become so common? How is growing up in these families different from growing up in a household with married parents? How does having parents of different races or parents of the same gender affect children? What are the social and psychological ways that fathers contribute to families? What are the consequences for growing numbers of children who live apart from their biological dads?

These are but a few of the questions that will be addressed in this first theme project at the institute. The study will put Cornell at the forefront of research on the family, the causes of family change, the broader impacts on society, and the impact on individual life course development of men, women, and children.