A Conceptual and Empirical Comparison of Alternative Household Life Cycle Models
In this article we conceptually and empirically compare a number of alternative family life cycle models, ranging from traditional to "modernized." These comparisons evaluate each model's ability to identify homogeneous categories, maximize between-group variation, classify nearly all households, and result in a reasonably small number of sufficient size categories. Our empirical comparisons consist of a number of between- and within-category a priori contrasts related to these criteria, as well as overall tests of each model's ability to capture attitudinal, leisure activity, and consumption differences. While the model of M. C. Lilly and B. M. Enis outperformed other models overall, we suggest potential modifications based on our a priori comparison findings. We also provide recommendations for future research to determine how to best incorporate nontraditional family forms. Copyright 1993 by the University of Chicago.
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