This study empirically identified types of African American families. Adolescents (N = 111) were assessed on family functioning. With cluster analytic methods, 3 types of families were identified. The cohesive-authoritative type was above average on parental education and income, averaged about 2 children, exhibited a high quality of family functioning and high self-esteem in adolescents. The conflictive-authoritarian type had average parental education and income, an average of 2.7 children, exhibited controlling and rigid discipline, and placed a high emphasis on achievement. The defensive-neglectful type was predominately headed by single mothers with below average education and income and averaged about 3 children. Such families displayed chaotic family processes, and adolescents tended to suffer from low self-esteem. The typology exhibited good reliability. The implications of the typology are discussed.
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