Families in the middle: a comparative study of parenting and family functioning in middle-class families in Canada and the United States

Anne H. Gauthier, University of Calgary
Frank F. Furstenberg, University of Pennsylvania
Shelley Pacholok, University of British Columbia at Kelowna

This project aims at examining the daily realities, strategies and functioning of middle-class families in Canada and the USA. Informed by recent data showing different trends in income inequality and in the size of the middle-class in the two countries, the project is interested in the impact of these diverging economic circumstances on middle-class families, especially on parents’ childrearing strategies and investments in their children. The project is based on a multi-site mixed-methods approach and includes data on the contexts in which families live, the resources available to them, as well as the parents’ strategies, hopes and fears about their children’s upbringing and future. The results are expected to increase our understanding of the ways the market, governments and employers impact middle-class families in Canada and the USA, and especially how they affect the ability of middle-class families to invest in their children’s future.

Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children