What's the Family Going to Look Like?
 
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MEMOS ON RELATED INFORMATION: Is the Family in Decline? (Demographics), Family and Household Demographics, Idealization of the Family / Forecasts, Family Structures
 
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In the U.S. and Western Europe, "Some authors (Rivera, 1994) even predict that the one-parent family headed by the mother will become the future family pattern or, at least, one of the most frequent family types. This would mean that the pre-hominid mother-child bond would become again the basic unit of society. It is important, however, to not confuse one-parent households with one-parent families. Coresidence is not necessarily a good indicator of the functional roles of parents. Fathers who no longer live with mothers may still be active fathers, and joint or shared custody may become more prevalent. Modern working conditions leave more time to working fathers to enjoy their role of caregivers. Men may not wish to abdicate as fathers when they cease to function as husbands."
 
 
 
In the U.S. and Western Europe, "Thus, it appears safe to say that, with the exception of a decreasing minority of families, a generalised return to the traditional family with father as breadwinner and mother as housekeeper, must be regarded as unlikely. The biological, economic and cultural basis for such a return is simply no longer available. Mortality and fertility control and new insights on man and society have eroded the functional basis of traditional relationships."
 
 
 
In the U.S. and Western Europe, "This does not mean that some of the current development tendencies of family formation might not lead to a partial countermove. Sustained very low fertility, by generalising the one-child family, could produce unfavourable social effects in the long run, particularly regarding intergenerational continuity and intergenerational transfers. Therefore it is possible that future generations will draw lessons from the reproductive behaviour of former generations and increase their fertility spontaneously. It is likely that the state will try to prevent a sustained very low fertility and will expand or extend a wide range of family supporting measures (Roussel, 1991). But the number of children in a family is not the main issue. The main issue is the evolution in partnership roles, and even a two- or three-child family does not imply a return to the traditional family."
 
 
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Robert Cliquet, "Major Trends Affecting Families In the New Millennium – Western Europe and North America," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), p. 26. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtcliquet.pdf
Robert Cliquet, "Major Trends Affecting Families In the New Millennium – Western Europe and North America," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), p. 25. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtcliquet.pdf
Robert Cliquet, "Major Trends Affecting Families In the New Millennium – Western Europe and North America," Major Trends Affecting Families: A Background Document, Report for United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Social Policy and Development, Program on the Family (2003), p. 25. Archived at: http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/family/Publications/mtcliquet.pdf