The landscape of the American family dynamics is changing.
In the 21st century, the family structure is changing from its former traditional definitions and roles, to that of a more new age concept.
If you watch sitcoms or American shows, you will see clearly how American families are changing.
What is a Family?
A family unit is the most basic group in all civilization.
Traditional families are made up of two parents, a male and a female. They have supervision and authority over their offspring and they see to all their needs.
These needs include food, clothing and shelter as well as any emotional needs that the child may have.
A mother is usually the nurturer and a father the protector and provider.
This concept has certainly changed over time. Now either parent fulfills these family roles. It is necessary for an ever-changing society.
More mothers are working, but also more fathers are choosing to stay home and be caregivers to their children.
The Trends of American Families
Traditional nuclear families are decreasing.
However, other types of unions are becoming more popular.
Due to high rates of divorce, more people are choosing to cohabitate, or remarry. So because of the higher levels of remarriage, you might have noticed in your community, city or town that blended or mixed families are becoming commonplace.
Also, in recent decades, single parent units have also increased.
This is directly due to higher divorce rates and more women are taking control of their fertility decisions.
Number of Children
Furthermore, statistics show that where 40% of women in the 1970s had four or more children, today that number has drastically changed. It has gone down from 40% to 14%.
Most women are choosing to have only two kids, by the time they reach the end of their childbearing years.
What we do see is that more women between the ages of 40 and 44 are having children. This is an increase from 11% in the 70s to 22% in 2018.
We can thank women’s liberation and education, the modern marvels of medicine and contraception for that shift.
Women are either deciding to have fewer children, no children at all or wait until they are older to have children. 40% percent of births today are for single women living on their own or with a cohabiting partner.
Family Dynamics Shifts
In these times, children are being raised in a world that has burgeoning diversity of every type. In addition to, the continuously changing family forms, roles and dynamics.
The Family Structures Then and Now
If we look back to the 1950s and 60s, we will see that after the WWII, when many families were having children only one family type was predominant and depicted at that time.
Now, that is not the case.
In the 60s, 73% of families had a mother and a father who lived in the same household, shared responsibilities of raising their kids and was married.
In the 21st century that is not the case.
By the 80s, only 61% of families had a mother and a father who lived in the same household.
In 2018, that number has dwindled down to almost 45%. Therefore, traditional nuclear families are the minority and no longer the majority.
If anything cohabiting and single-parent families are on the rise, including blended families.
There is another factor that is dominant for many children and that is the idea of a fluid family form.
This means that they can start out with a traditional nuclear family, then morph to a single-family unit and then again to a blended family type.
And this is just one example.
The pattern can be different for many people. In some cases, the child’s biological parent will get back together at some point during their lifetime.
At the end of the day, the ones at greater risk of any adverse effects of family structure dynamics are the children.
They are the ones who experience the disadvantages of their family evaporating due to death, cohabitation, marriage, separation or divorce.
The American Family Dynamic across Minority Groups
The American Family Dynamic is also different when it comes to the various ethnic groups.
Half of Hispanic women choose to have three or more children while only 40% of African American has that many children.
The Hispanics rank higher than all groups when it comes to procreation.
But as expected Asians are the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.
This diversity continues when it comes to comparing women of various educational levels. The more educated a woman becomes, the fewer children she is likely to have. While 55% of women without a high school diploma has three or more children.
As time goes by the dynamic family structure in America is bound to continue its evolution.In the 21st century, the family structure is changing from its former traditional definitions and roles, to that of a more new age concept.