CORVALLIS, Ore. – The diverse patterns of marriage and childbearing among low-income and rural families is the subject of a public lecture scheduled for April 4 at the C&E Auditorium at Oregon State University’s LaSells Stewart Center.

The lecture, which will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m., is part of the Duncan and Cindy Campbell Risk & Resilience Speaker Series, which brings nationally recognized speakers to OSU to disseminate the latest findings on childhood risk and resilience.

Speaker Linda Burton from Duke University will be sharing information on the topic of: “Journeys to the Altar: Intimate unions and childbearing in low income urban and rural families.”

Using longitudinal ethnographic data from Welfare, Children, and Families: A Three-City Study and the Family Life Project, Burton will report findings on themes relevant to understanding intimate unions among low-income non-Hispanic White, African American, and Latino mothers residing in urban and rural communities. Burton will look at the role of domestic violence and sexual abuse in mothers’ relationship patters. She will discuss the impact of multi-partnered fertility on current and future unions as well as the roles of generalized and situated trust in mothers serially seeking or entering intimate unions.

The relevance of these ethnographic findings for researchers and policy-makers concerned about marriage among low-income mothers will be discussed as well as their broader relevance for increasing understanding of declines in marriage within America’s general population.

Burton is the James B. Duke Professor of Sociology and her research focuses on poverty, intergenerational families and life course transitions, neighborhoods, and ethnographic methods.

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Megan McClelland,