The Large Family System: An Original Study in the Sociology of Family Behavior

The Large Family System: An Original Study in the Sociology of Family Behavior

The Large Family System: An Original Study in the Sociology of Family Behavior

The Large Family System: An Original Study in the Sociology of Family Behavior

Excerpt

Living for the first fifteen years of my life as an only child, I would look with longing at my schoolmates who were growing up in large families. Some of them did not have the material advantages which I did, but they seemed to me to have so many other things in their common family life that I would envy them many times. Once, when very young, I hurried home from school to ask my mother to provide a large family by the end of the week. Later I came to enjoy, with particular zest, visits to my grandparents where many children and grandchildren gathered periodically for gala family parties.

For a number of years, I have devoted myself to the study of the social processes involved in family life and child rearing. As far back as 1940, Dr. Eleanor S. Boll, my Research Associate, suggested that the significance of family size in child development deserved much more attention than it had thus far received. In 1947, another research associate, the oldest of ten children, crystallized this long-latent interest in large family living in the insistence that the large family had been unduly ignored in the study of child development. Since then, I have sought to fill this gap by gathering the material on which this book is based.

Without the material support of The William T. Carter Foundation and the present members of the Carter family, this study would not have been possible. For a number of years, their aid has made it possible for me to work under ideal conditions. Progress in this particular project has been facilitated by two grants from the Board of Graduate Education and Research of the University of Pennsylvania, upon recommendation of the Faculty Committee on the Advancement of Research. Mrs. Winogene Pratt Sanger, formerly of . . .

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