According to Jones, the reason these extended family members are included in having a necessary role in the family is because they play a key role in assuring the health and well-being of the children.There are several hypotheses – both social and economic – explaining the persistence of the current African-American family structure.According to Brown, this lack of a second party income has resulted in the majority of African American children raised in single mother households having a poor upbringing.The child's development is dependent on three areas: child-rearing practices, individual heredity, and experienced cultural patterns.Economic status has proved to not always negatively affect single-parent homes, however.Rather, in an 1880 census, there was a positive relationship between the number of black single-parent homes and per-capita county wealth.This full-time job of household responsibilities is often the second job that an African-American woman takes on.
Andrew Billingsley's research on the African-American nuclear family is organized into three groups: Incipient Nuclear, Simple Nuclear, Segmented Nuclear I, and Segmented Nuclear II.
Some researchers theorize that the low economic statuses of the newly freed slaves in 1850 led to the current family structure for African Americans.
These researchers suggest that extreme poverty has increased the destabilization of African American families while others point to high female labor participation, few job opportunities for black males, and small differences between wages for men and women that have decreased marriage stability for black families.
Almost 70 percent of black children are born to single mothers.
The African-American segmented nuclear I (unmarried mother and children) and II (unmarried father and children) family structures are defined as a parent–child relationship.