The nuclear family if made up of a mother, father and their children all living in the same household. This is seen as the traditional family type. In recent years, family types have become more and more diverse.
There are many reasons for the nuclear family to no longer be the norm, for example, one in ten households are headed by a lone parent, which is due to death or divorce after having children. The rise in divorce creates a rise in lone parent families. Lone parent families are most common in the working class rather than middle and upper class. Nearly 50% of Afro-Caribbean families are lone parent families.
As well as lone parent families, reconstituted families have also risen due to divorce. A reconstituted family is where one or both parents bring children from past relationships into a present one, otherwise known as a step family.
Due to the increase in immigration, the number of extended families has grown in Britain. Extended families are most commonly Asian, with 20% of Asian families being extended. Generations live together under the same roof and provide each other with things like financial and moral support.
Cohabitation has increased as well, as there has been a decline in stigma attached to it. Couples may decide to live together before considering marriage and children. The younger generation is more likely to accept cohabitation than older generations, this is linked to one of the Rapoport’s family diversities, generational diversity.
Another family type is ‘families of choice’. These are more common among young people. Sue Heath described how the younger generation is less likely to follow a traditional life route – living at home, leaving school and going into higher education or getting a job, then settling down into marriage. This is because they are adopting a