The strongest pattern that I can see in these articles is that each time period had a different focus on the importance of family. During the 1970's, many of the articles seemed to be questioning the traditional family structure (husband, wife, and children) and exploring the possibilities of removing the need for men in the family. The articles from the 1990's all portrayed different manners in which family units were falling apart. The content of these articles varied from questioning marriage to stories about struggling families and strong independent women trying to be heard. Since 2015, the Atlantic has published many articles that all revolve around the challenge of fixing "the family". This includes pointing out problems and presenting role-models for how "the family" should be.
In my opinion, these articles document how America made a choice, followed the road it created, realized that the road was terrible, and are trying to move down a new path that hopefully leads to easier roads. I think analogies are very helpful in situations like this, so start by imagining a person standing at a Y in a path. They can choose to go either left or right, but they can't see very far down either path. After they make their choice and have been walking down their path for a while they realize it is terrible. They decide to go down the opposite path, but instead of backtracking, they cut straight across to where they think they can meet up with the other path. Unfortunately, by cutting across, they have no idea if they will actually reach the other path, and in America's case, have left all of the issues they encountered on their original path unresolved.
I am not judging the Atlantic nor America. I am simply stating that the Atlantic has provided descriptive documentation of how America chose its path (1970's), relayed the experiences of the path (1990's), and recording the trek through the unknown to what is hoped to be a better path (Today).