Types of Family Structure in Modern Society

What is a family? It defines a set of bonds that the members need to commit and follow. In other words, a family lives together and its limbs take care of each other, both socially and financially. However, it’s not always the case. The construction of a family varies according to the region, economic structure, values, and many other reasons. In the current world, you will find seven different types of family structures.

Nuclear family

The most traditional family structure that consists of two adults and kids. Nuclear families are the best for children. It’s obvious because they receive stability, culture, and strength from both father and mother. Plus, members of the nuclear family have opportunities to ease out the finance. According to the US Census Data 2010, around 70 percent of kids are raised in a nuclear family.

Single Parent Family

When a single parent is taking care and raising one or more kids on his or her own, then they form a single-parent family. Such a family might consist of a single father with children, a mother with children, or someone else with kids from his or her relatives.

A single-parent family is the latest change in society when we talk about family structures. A single parent sometimes needs to divide household chores. Kids in such families might not get proper care all the time because there is only one parent. There are limitations of income in such a family because there is only one adult. However, some of the single parent families also get support from relatives and friends.

Extended Family

If two or more adults are living together due to blood relations or marriage, then they form an extended family. Such families consist of grandparents, uncles, aunts, or cousins living together in the same house. For instance, if some of the relatives are living together and working together to achieve a similar goal like raising kids or manage household tasks.

An extended family is also formed to manage finance, especially if there are some senior citizens involved who cannot take care of themselves without any external help. These are the reasons why extended families are common across the globe.

Childless family

Most of us think that a family is not complete without children. However, some individuals cannot reproduce. Moreover, some couples choose not to manufacture any kids. Such families generally consist of two adults living together. Childless families are more inclined towards pets and other relatives like nephews and nieces.


Are you aware of the fact that around 50 percent of marriages result in divorce? Most of the time separated individuals choose to remarry, which creates a step family wherein two different family structures are coming together to form a new one. Such a family generally consists of a new wife or husband, and their kids from the previous relationship.

Stepfamilies are similar to nuclear ones, but there are some common problems in the former. Discipline troubles and adjustment issues are common ones to mention. It’s the reason both the adults need to act more responsibly to keep running things smoothly.

Grandparent Family

Most of us visit our grandparents in our free time. But, do you know that one out of every 14 kids is raised at his or her grandparent’s house? The child grows without parents and it happens because of multiple reasons. For instance, in case the parents are dead or addicted.

A grandparent is formed even if the parents are not ready to take the responsibility of a child. In some cases, grandparents might need to look for extra income to manage the expenses of their grandchildren.

Family by Choice

Developed countries like the USA are lately recognizing a new family structure that’s family by choice. You will find such families generally in the gay, bisexual, queer, transgender, and lesbian communities. Such a family system is not recognized as legal in some countries.

Family by choice is generally formed by live-in partners, close friends, and adopted kids. Such relations are commonly made of unmarried individuals, moved away from families or consanguine relatives.


Now we know what are the various types of family structures that exist in society. However, we cannot state which one of them is the best. A family is built upon support, love, and care for one another. When these factors or feelings are in place, the family will be happy and successful.

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