Essay on Divorce in Today's Society

2119 Words Aug 28th, 2002 9 Pages
The Impact of Non-Traditional Families in the Twenty-First Century The image of the American family looks and functions very differently than families of the past few decades. Men and women raised in the 1950's and 1960's when programs such as "Ozzie and Harriet" and "Father Knows Best" epitomized the average family, are likely to find themselves in situations that have changed dramatically. Research claims that many family structures are common: single-parent families, remarried couples, unmarried couples, step families, foster families, multi-generational families, extended families, and the doubling up of two families within the same home. Marriage, divorce, and patterns of childbirth are some of the factors that have contributed to …show more content…
In the U.S News and World Report article "When Strangers Become Family," research by Dr. James Bray from a nine-year study for the National Institutes of Health cites the characteristics of successful step families and discusses the importance of daily communication between husband and wife to prevent and defuse potential problems. The other recommendation that Dr. Bray suggests is that the relationship between the new spouse and children be developed very slowly. As a part of this research, Dr. Bray also lists the following types of step families and describes the characteristics and success rates of each (Herbert 60). Neo-Traditional Step families These families can be described as the most successful families in the nine-year study. The most striking characteristic of the neo-traditional family is that they take a very realistic and flexible approach to building a family. They accept that they are not a 1950's version of a nuclear family and don't try to be. This is also the type of family that after a few years most closely resembles the traditional nuclear family because of the level of intimacy and unconditional support of one another (60). Romantic Step families These families picture themselves as the idealized version of the nuclear family and do whatever they can to fit into that mold. The results are usually negative as the main problem becomes their impatience to be seen as a traditional family so they push for

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