Changing Definition of Families Today

Essay by SpiderellaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 2003

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Write a paper based on research dealing with the changing definition of families today, the different types of families there are along with any related term applied to this new generational module of families.

Family composition has changed much in the last hundred years. The "traditional family" -- once identified as a married couple who are the biological parents of the children in the household with father working outside of the home and mother in the role of homemaker -- represents less than 16% of today's families. After the 2nd World War, the definition of families became more diversified. Many soldiers who returned from the war, found their sweethearts married or divorced, with children already. There were also children that had been conceived during the war, that either their parent had died or abandoned them. Another reason was the moral latitude expressed by generation X, and this encouraged cohabitation instead of marriage, single gender families and grandparent led families.

The orphans who survived this time were placed in orphanages and foster homes, either being adopted by a new family, or living the rest of their growing years in the system. This caused the definition of families to spread out encompassing more dimensions of family life and togetherness.

1.Married nuclear family: Parents and one or more children

2.Cohabiting family: Unmarried couple who live together (may or may not have kids)

3.Single-parent family: One parent raising the kid(s) alone.

4.Blended or step-family: Two combined families like the Brady Bunch

5. Grandparent-led family: Children are raised by the grandparents. In the past 100 years, the role of grandparent has changed more than any other family role. Research tells us that in the past, adults were grandparents for a short period--just about 10 years. Today, an adult may be a...