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Changes in Family Structure, Roles

  • By: Yeoun Soo Kim-Godwin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Family roles refers to the established patterns of behavior of family. Traditionally, family roles have been relatively clear with three primary roles within a family: the wage earner role, the domestic care role, and the nurturance/socialization role. In a traditionally structured family, the father is typically the breadwinner, the mother is the domestic caregiver, and both participate in the nurturance/socialization of their children. However, the traditional nuclear family has been declining and diverse types of families, including single-parent, stepparent, blended, unmarried partners, same-sex partners, and grandparent families, have become common. Although a family may be traditional in structure, it is most likely nontraditional in family roles. For example, as dual career families are increasingly common, traditional gender stereotyping is diminishing and contemporary male gender roles ...

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