General Article Family types

Topic Selected: Families and Parenting Book Volume: 417

What is a family unit? The basic definition is a group of individuals, residing together who are related by birth, marriage or adoption. 

Over time the family unit has changed considerably, from the nuclear family in the 50’s we now have a multitude of family types which we will discuss below. Some families will fit into more than one family type. It is impossible to list all the forms of family, but here we look at six different types.

Nuclear family

Nuclear families, often known as a traditional family, consist of two parents and one or more children. Whilst this used to be two opposite-sex parents, it now includes same-sex parents.

The parents are in a committed relationship and either married or unmarried. The nuclear family was thought to be the most universal type of family unit, however, this has changed over the past few decades. Also, with the falling fertility rate, the number of children has reduced to 1.7 children per family. However, we are surrounded by images of two p...

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