Exploring Society By The Numbers

Predictors of Family Structure

Maxine Atkinson, North Carolina State University


This exercise looks at race and family income as predictors of family structure. Students will test and evaluate hypotheses, learning how to work with control variables and bivariate tables.

Learning Goals

  • Students will test hypotheses using quantitative data.
  • Students will produce a bivariate table.
  • Students will evaluate the implied hypothesis
  • Students will produce bivariate tables with a control variable.
  • Students will evaluate the hypothesis under the conditions of the control variable.
  • To discuss the topics of sociology and family structure.

Context for Use

This activity is used in an sociology class class for undergraduate students. This activity explores topics of households/families, income and race to understand how family structure and demographic information predict trends in family structure.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 88kB Mar24 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 45kB Mar24 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses a customized data set made from combining census information from 1950-1990 and guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!


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References and Resources

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