Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Social Issues’
Project America - Issue of the Day Posts Tagged ‘Social Issues’

Family Stress Increases as Parents Move In
Published Friday, August 28th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

The number of older adults in the United States who are moving in with their younger families is increasing the need for houses with “in-law’ suites across the entire country.  This presents emotional difficulties for both seniors and caregivers.  According to estimates, there are now 34 million American families who now live together in the United States.  Social workers who specialize in caregivers of elderly parents suggest five main ideas to alleviate some of the pressure: talk about issues before events get stressful and communication more difficult, know where to get help, don’t do this by yourself (get help when needed), understand both your finances, and get plenty of sleep, exercise, and a regular diet.

According to the US Census Bureau, living arrangements for seniors has rapidly become a great concern in the last decade.  The largest percentage of senior citizens 65 and older, 67.8%, lives in family households whether with spouses or other relatives.  The next largest, 32%, are living in non-family settings such as assisted living, living alone or living with nonrelatives.

Progress Halting on Sexual Health and Reproduction of Teens and Young Adults
Published Thursday, July 30th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the period of improvement in sexual and reproductive health of U.S. teens and young adults has flattened and may be worsening. The data is reported in the “Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons Aged 10-24 Years – United States, 2002-2007” and comes from various sources in order to get a clear picture of the trends. Some of the findings include the majority of the new diagnoses of HIV infection among adolescents and young adults occurred among those aged 20-24 years and among males. Furthermore, about 1 million adolescents and young adults aged 10-24 years were reported to have chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis in 2006.

This report also details that the progress seen in later years has halted, such as teen birth rates increasing in 2006 and 2007 following large declines from 1991-2005. Also, syphilis cases among teens and young adults aged 15-19 and 20-24 years have increased in both males and females in recent years. Rates of AIDS cases among males aged 15-24 years increased during 1997-2006 (AIDS data reflects people with HIV who have already progressed to AIDS.) Additionally, rates of new HIV and AIDS diagnoses among young adults were highest among non-Hispanic black youth across all age groups.

Unmarried Births Double for United States
Published Thursday, May 14th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there has been a shift in the percentage of children born outside of marriage for the U.S. and other countries in recent years. The unmarried births are even more common in other countries according to the report, which lists 12 European Countries plus Japan. Those who rank above the US are Iceland at 66%, Sweden at 55%, Norway at 54%, France at 50% and Denmark and the UK at 46% and 44% respectively. The lowest percentage of unmarried births came from Japan, which amounted to 2%.

For the US, the 2007 report stated that during the 27 years between reports, unmarried births more than doubled from 18% to 40%. Accordingly, 60% of those births in 2007 were born of women in their early 20s, where before most of the unmarried births were from teen pregnancies. Also, 40% of those women who had children did so as part of a couple. By educational attainment, women who have children outside of marriage do so most between 9th grade and some college/AA Degree. Examining living arrangements for children of non-married couples shows that for both black and white mothers, the largest number of single mothers have never been married. This report comes as many women with children under 18 years old are leaving the work force.  As for the single father, he is likely to be divorced as well as have a high school degree and some college.

Atheists & Agnostics
Published Monday, May 4th, 2009 by Lacey Loftin

According to the American Religious Identification survey, those who claimed no religion, atheism or “Nones” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years. Many atheists have started to ‘come out of the closet’ as groups like the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry (South Carolina) have started to advertise. Over the last two decades, 10 national organizations identifying closely with Humanism, Atheism, freethinkers and others have united to form the Secular Coalition for America, complete with lobbying. The movement’s momentum also comes from groups on college campuses called the Secular Student Alliance, which has increased 104 chapters in 6 years to 146 chapters nationwide.

Besides the Muslim religion, Non-believers are the only category to expand; all others decreased by 10ths of a percentage point. Yet nationally, the numbers of the US population who identified their religious self-identification as ‘Nones’ and Atheist have nearly doubled from 8.2% in 1990 to 15.7% in 2008. Historically, “Nones” have concentrated in the West region.  However, this pattern has changed dramatically as Nones increased their numbers in all fifty states, something no other religious group can claim. Further research is ongoing to explore whether religious switching is a reason for the “Nones” doubling during the time period.