Married with Children: The Evolution of the Nuclear Family

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Constance Ahrons, a doctor who coined the term “binuclear family” once said, “Pessimists say that the family is eroding. Optimists say the family is diversifying. Both points of view are right. Families are more diverse and they are more in trouble-but not because of their diversity. The families of today-whatever their size or shape-are in crisis because our economy is failing, our national resources are shrinking, and our governmental policies to support them are inadequate.” This quote gives a perspective of several reasons for the decline of the nuclear family. A nuclear family is a type of traditional family, consisting of a mother, a father, and their children. It involves time spent with the children, emotional support, low stress, and a stable economic environment. This type of family became most popular during the 1950’s, and was regarded more as a universal form of a social organization, and not just a simple family. Both parents worked secure jobs, and would come home to their children, and would enjoy this happy-go-lucky lifestyle. However, this fantasy of a family evolved over time, and the idea of a nuclear family curtailed. New generations were created that opposed the idea of a nuclear family, and began to reject society’s values: Generation X and Generation Z. In addition to the new generations, there was a development to the word “family”, as many families differed from the traditional template of a mother, a father, and children; changing the idea of a

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