Extended family

An extended family is a family that extends beyond the nuclear family, consisting of parents like father, mother, and their children, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all living nearby or in the same household. An example is a married couple that lives with either the husband or the wife's parents. The family changes from immediate household to extended household.

In some circumstances, the extended family comes to live either with or in place of a member of the immediate family. These families include, in one household, near relatives in addition to an immediate family. An example would be an elderly parent who moves in with his or her children due to old age. In modern Western cultures dominated by immediate family constructs, the term has come to be used generically to refer to grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins, whether they live together within the same household or not.[1] However, it may also refer to a family unit in which several generations live together within a single household. In some cultures, the term is used synonymously with consanguineous family.

In a stem family, a type of extended family, first presented by Frédéric Le Play, parents will live with one child and his or her spouse, as well as the children of both, while other children will leave the house or remain in it unmarried. The stem family is sometimes associated with inegalitarian inheritance practices, as in Japan and Korea, but the term has also been used in some contexts to describe a family type where parents live with a married child and his or her spouse and children, but the transfer of land and moveable property is more or less egalitarian, as in the case of traditional Romania,[2] northeastern Thailand[3] or Mesoamerican indigenous peoples.[4] In these cases, the child who cares for the parents usually receives the house in addition to his or her own share of land and moveable property.

In an extended family, parents and their children's families may often live under a single roof. This type of joint family often includes multiple generations in the family. From culture to culture, the variance of the term may have different meanings. For instance, in India, the family is a patriarchal society, with the sons' families often staying in the same house.

In the joint family, the workload is shared among the members. The patriarch of the family (often the oldest male member) is the head of the household. Grandparents are usually involved in the raising process of the children along with guidance and education. Like any family unit the success and structure are dependent on the personalities of the individuals involved.

Amy Goyer, AARP multigenerational issues expert, said the most common multigenerational household is one with a grandparent as head of household and his adult children having moved in with their children, an arrangement usually spurred by the needs of one or both to combine resources and save money. The second most popular is a grandparent moving in with an adult child's family, usually for care-giving reasons. She noted that 2.5 million grandparents say they are responsible for the basic needs of the grandchild living with them.[5][clarification needed]

The house often has a large reception area and a common kitchen. Each family has their own bedroom.[citation needed] The members of the household also look after each other when a member is ill.

Sociology

It has often been presumed that extended family groups sharing a single household enjoy certain advantages, such as a greater sense of security and belonging due to sharing a wider pool of members to serve as resources during a crisis, and more role models to help perpetuate desired behavior and cultural values. However, even in cultures in which adults are expected to leave home after marriage to begin their own nuclear-based households, the extended family often forms an important support network offering similar advantages. Particularly in working-class communities, grown children tend to establish their own households within the same general area as their parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. These extended family members tend to gather often for family events and to feel responsible for helping and supporting one another, both emotionally and financially.[6]

While contemporary families may be considered more mobile in general than in the past, sociologists find that this has not necessarily resulted in the disintegration of extended family networks. Rather, technological aids such as the Internet and social networking sites such as Facebook are now commonly used[where?] to retain contact and maintain these family ties.[6]

Particularly in the case of single-parent households, it can be helpful for extended family members to share a single household in order to share the burden of meeting expenses. On the other hand, sharing a household can present a disadvantage depending on the sizes and number of families involved, particularly when only a few members shoulder most of the responsibility to meet expenses for the family's basic needs.[7]

An estimated 49 million Americans (16.1% of the total population) live in homes comprising three or more generations, up from 42 million in 2000. This situation is similar in Western Europe. Another 34 percent live within a kilometer of their children.[8][9]

Other Languages
Alemannisch: Grossfamilie
asturianu: Familia estensa
Deutsch: Großfamilie
español: Familia extensa
Esperanto: Etenda familio
français: Famille élargie
Bahasa Indonesia: Keluarga besar
íslenska: Stórfjölskylda
italiano: Famiglia estesa
Kiswahili: Familia pana
日本語: 家系
português: Família Extensa
Simple English: Extended family
српски / srpski: Proširena porodica
suomi: Suurperhe
Türkçe: Geniş aile
українська: Розширена сім'я
中文: 家族