Mate Availability and African American Family Structure in the U. S. Nonmetropolitan South, 1960-1990 Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine structural determinants of African American marriage and family formation for a sample of nonmetropolitan counties in the U.S. South over three decades. As predicted, higher sex ratios are associated with a higher prevalence of marriage for women, a higher prevalence of husband-wife families, higher percentages of children living in husband-wife families, and higher percentages of marital births. Men's socioeconomic opportunities and status have positive effects on these variables, whereas women's socioeconomic opportunities and status, public assistance levels, and community size have negative effects. Finally, mate availability has different effects on the prevalence of marriage for women and men. Our results show that recent changes in African American family patterns are occurring in nonmetropolitan and metropolitan settings and that the same structural factors operate in similar ways in both contexts.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Marriage and the Family

author list (cited authors)

  • Cready, C. M., Fossett, M. A., & Kiecolt, K. J

citation count

  • 25

complete list of authors

  • Cready, Cynthia M||Fossett, Mark A||Kiecolt, K Jill

publication date

  • February 1997