Multigenerational families are those whose members come from more than one adult generation such as parents and their adult children, or grandparents, their adult child, and their grandchildren. In the popular imagination, close three-generation families characterize the nostalgic family of the past. Yet in reality, multigenerational families are more prevalent now than before. This entry describes the ways that demographic trends have contributed to new possibilities for, and varieties of, cross-generational family relations and support systems, and examines how familial relationships across generations are meaningful, provide emotional connections, and serve as safety nets in times of need.

Demographic Changes and New Possibilities

Longer life expectancies and lower birth rates have contributed to changes in multigenerational relationships. Longer lives result in more families experiencing cosurvivorship with potential for ...

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