Child and family well-being in states with different political cultures

Shirley L. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Taking the perspective of political culture theory, this paper focuses on findings on child and family well-being in 13 states using Information from the National Survey of America's Families reported by Child Trends and the Urban Institute. The four states on which this discussion focuses are California, Florida, Minnesota, and New York. These states, with the exception of Minnesota, represent states with mixed political cultures. The present discussion is based on the assumption that Just as states' political culture can be a source of variation In states' policy approaches to families; It also can be a source of state variation in child and family well-being. Political culture appears to have some bearing on family well-being. At the very least, the data suggest the need for social work practice and research that contextuallze family functioning and well-being In terms of states' political cultures. Because most states represent a mix of political cultures, social workers are likely to find the most support for their efforts among like-minded groups In states with a strong moralistic strain. In other states, they will require the help and support of their national organizations to counter state and local tendencies that are likely to compromise the well-being of children and families as well as social work's goals and values.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


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