De-romanticizing black intergenerational support: The questionable expectations of welfare reform

Katrina Bell McDonald, Elizabeth M. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Past research suggests that despite the substantial strengths of Black kin networks, they are not always up to the task of supporting young mothers. This study is an analysis of potential barriers to women-centered kin support for present-day urban Black teen mothers and possible implications for kin support mandates specified in the 1996 federal welfare reforms. In-depth interviews with African American midlife women, who themselves were teen mothers, shed light on their attitudes and perceptions about Black kinship systems and teen childbearing Study results suggest that these women perceive governmental intervention, age-condensation among urban Black families, and urban "underclass" culture to have undermined traditional Black intergenerational support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-223
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2001
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


  • African americans
  • Intergenerational support
  • Teen childbearing
  • Welfare reform


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