Nuclear family

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A nuclear family is a type of family unit. It is made up of a husband, a wife, and their children. Not everyone agrees on what a nuclear family is. Some people say that a family with stepchildren or adopted children should not be called a nuclear family. Instead, it should be called a blended family.[1] Others say that a nuclear family may include stepchildren or adopted children.[2] A nuclear family is a part of an extended family.

History[change | change source]

The term nuclear family was first used in 1947.[3] However, people have lived in nuclear families for thousands of years. In 2005, archaeologists discovered four 4,600-year-old graves in Germany. Several adults and children who were related were buried in these graves.[4] Researchers think that this proves that people lived in nuclear families a long time ago.

During and before the medieval period in Europe, large family groups, such as clans, were most common.[5] By the late medieval period, the nuclear family had become most common.[5]

References[change | change source]

  1. Jackson, Kristy. "Traditional Nuclear Family vs. Blended Family" (web). California State University, Sacramento. http://www.csus.edu/indiv/k/kawamoto/downloadable/50jackson1.htm. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  2. Haviland, William A.; Prins, Harald E. L.; Walrath, Dana (2007). Cultural anthropology: the human challenge (12 ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 219. ISBN 0-495-09561-3. http://books.google.com/books?id=jxzZl460258C&pg=PA219.
  3. Merriam-Webster Online. "Definition of nuclear family".
  4. Haak, Wolfgang; Brandt, Herman; de Jong, Hylke N.; Meyer, C; Ganslmeier, R; Heyd, V; Hawkesworth, C; Pike, AW et al. (2008). "Ancient DNA, Strontium isotopes, and osteological analyses shed light on social and kinship organization of the Later Stone Age". PNAS 105 (47): 18226–18231. doi:10.1073/pnas.0807592105. PMC 2587582. PMID 19015520.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Grief, Avner (2005). "Family Structure, Institutions, and Growth: The Origin and Implications of Western Corporatism".