Immigration and changing patterns of extended family household structure in the United States: 1970-1990

Jennifer E. Glick, Frank D. Bean, Jennifer V.W. Van Hook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The long-term downward trend in the percentage of extended family households in the U.S. came to a halt during the 1980s, a change that coincided with a growing gap between immigrants and natives in the percentages of households adopting extended family structures. Using 1970, 1980, and 1990 census data, this research assesses the degree to which changes in the volume and composition of immigration have contributed both to the increase in the proportion of the U.S. population residing in extended family households and to the widening gap between immigrants and natives. Our results demonstrate that immigration explains only a little of the total increase in extended living arrangements in the total population, but that the increasing differential between immigrants and natives during the 1980s resulted from increases in horizontally extended households among immigrants. Mexican, Guatemalan, and Salvadoran immigrants accounted for most of this increase, primarily because of increases in the proportion of young, single adults living with relatives and increases in poverty rates among immigrants from these countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-191
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1997


  • Extended family
  • Household composition
  • Immigration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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