Spring 2018 - 60775 - PA 388K – Family Policy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2018 - 60775 - PA 388K – Family Policy

Family Policy


The primary goals of this course are to examine the demographic, economic, and social changes that have taken place in the family over the past several decades and to identify what these changes mean for public policies aimed at strengthening families and for the ability of families to prepare their children to be successful participants in the economic and social mainstream.

We will address several questions, including: What has happened to the family? How much help do families need and what type of help? Who needs help the most? What do these changes mean for society? How successful have policies been at helping families in the past? What ought government do to help families? Should the government promote marriage, father involvement, and reduce unplanned pregnancies? The focus will primarily be on U.S. federal and state social policy, but will also consider some comparative perspectives of policies and demographic changes.

Upon completion of the course, students will:

  • Identify the major demographic, economic, and social changes in the family, and how these changes have occurred differently across demographic groups.
  • Clearly articulate the major theories of family change and identify which demographic group each theory applies to best.
  • Distinguish the causal versus selection effects of family structure and family change.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of policies aimed at redressing family needs.
  • Articulate the competing political and policy arguments on family policy.
  • Evaluate, generate, and present ideas to strengthen families.



SRH 3.212/3.221