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Frances Goldscheider Ph.D.

Frances Goldscheider, Ph.D.


Family Science
1142K School of Public Health
College Park , Maryland 20742
Office Phone: 301-405-7137


  1. Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, 1971, Demography.
  2. B.A. University of Pennsylvania, l965, Sociology.
  3. Radcliffe College, 1960-6l, 1962-63, Social Relations.


Recent Accomplishments

Goldscheider’s research focuses primarily on changes in living arrangements in the US and other developed countries. Her early work mapped the increase in living alone among the elderly (particularly in her 1976 papers in Demography and Journal of Marriage and Family), after which she shifted focus to the dramatic changes in the living arrangements of young adults. As marriage ages rose, growing numbers of the unmarried were found living in the parental home but even more were living in independent households. There was also a major increase in returning home as more young adults left home to less stable living arrangements. Gender and ethnicity have been important themes throughout her work on living arrangements, and increasingly she has turned her analyses to the core gender structures underlying the modern family. In her 1991 award-winning study, New Families/No Families: The Transformation of the American Home (with Linda Waite) she linked demographic change with the gender division of labor. Here she first developed the argument that the early years of the gender revolution, which increase women’s participation in the public sphere of education and work, place strains on the family as women face the “double burden?of both paid and domestic work, strains that can be alleviated by the changes needed to complete the gender revolution, in which men increase their participation as fathers in the home. That theoretical approach has led her to her current focus on the determinants of men’s paternal living arrangements, with the increase both in the proportions of men who do not live with their biological children and those who do live with their partner’s children. Two recent papers focus on which men become stepfathers (2006 Journal of Marriage and Family with Sharon Sassler and 2006 Journal of Family Issues with Gayle Kaufman), extending earlier work on the transition to step fatherhood in Sweden (2002 European Sociological Review with Eva Bernhardt).

Funded Research

Goldscheider currently participates in three research projects that have received funding from NICHD or NIA. At the University of Maryland, she collaborates with Professor Sandra Hofferth on a project on the intergenerational dimensions of the transition to fatherhood, a component of a P-01 (Elizabeth Peters, PI). Based on her expertise on the family, she is also collaborating on two funded projects with Brown colleagues. With Dennis Hogan, under a series of grants from NICHD, she is examining the family consequences of children’s disability, focusing on mothers, fathers, and siblings. With Susan Allen, under funding from NIA, she is examining the stability of the caring networks of the elderly, focusing on gender differences in caregiver continuity (husbands vs. wives, sons vs. daughters).

Future Plans

During the next few years, Goldscheider’s research will continue to focus on fathers (as well as these two Brown projects). First and foremost is her continued participation in Hofferth’s project on fathers. They completed a first descriptive paper, which was presented at the meetings of the American Sociological Association in Montreal this August, and have begun a second that examines differences in the childhood family factors increasing men’s transition to step- and biological fatherhood. She is also continuing work with Sassler and Kaufman on the effects of attitudes toward step parenting on the likelihood of entering a stepfamily.


Family Science: