Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Nuclear Family

  • Tetiana SukachEmail author
  • Natali Gonzalez
  • Fei Shen
  • Dustin Perkins
  • Kristy L. Soloski
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_478

Name of Family Form

Nuclear families

Synonyms

Traditional family; Two-parent household; Two-parent family

Introduction

Nuclear families are typically “traditional” family* units, meaning there is a mother figure, whose primary role is caretaker of the family; a father figure, whose primary role is to provide financial stability; and the children (Canetto 1996). Usually, marital couple and their children are considered to be part of the nuclear family but generally do not include extended family members, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Recently, there has been a shift in this definition of nuclear families. The modern definition of a nuclear family invites other persons, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, same-sex partner, and other members to be included within the nuclear family structure (Canetto 1996). Because of the change in the definition of the nuclear family, the application of some therapy models and the decision of who to include from the family...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Aponte, H. J., & Kissel, K. (2014). If I can grapple with this I can truly be of use in the therapy room: Using the therapist’s own emotional struggles to facilitate effective therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40(2), 152–164.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Bengtson, V. L. (2001). Beyond the nuclear family: The increasing importance of multigenerational bonds. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Biblarz, T. J., & Savci, E. (2010). Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 480–497.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Canetto, S. S. (1996). What is a normal family? Common assumptions and current evidence. Journal of Primary Prevention, 17(1), 31–46.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Cookston, J. T. (1999). Parental supervision and family structure. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 32, 107–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. D’Aniello, C. (2013). Contemporary MFT models’ alignment with relational common factors. Contemporary Family Therapy, 35(4), 673–683.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hannan, C., & Halpin, B. (2014). The influence of family structure on child outcomes: Evidence for Ireland. The Economic and Social Review, 45(1), 1–24.Google Scholar
  8. McGoldrick, M., & Shibusawa, T. (2012). The family life cycle. In F. Walsh (Ed.), Normal family processes (pp. 375–398). New York: The Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  9. McGoldrick, M., Carter, B., & Garcia Preto, N. (2011). The life cycle in its changing context: Individual, family and social perspectives. In M. McGoldrick, B. Carter, & N. Garcia Preto (Eds.), The expanded family life cycle (pp. 1–19). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  10. Patterson, C. J. (2000). Family relationships of lesbians and gay men. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 1052–1069.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pensieroso, L., & Sommacal, A. (2014). Economic development and family structure: From pater families to the nuclear family. European Economic Review, 71, 80–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Sporakowski, M. J. (1988). A therapist’s views on the consequences of change for the contemporary family. Family Relations, 37, 373–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tetiana Sukach
    • 1
    Email author
  • Natali Gonzalez
    • 1
  • Fei Shen
    • 1
  • Dustin Perkins
    • 1
  • Kristy L. Soloski
    • 1
  1. 1.Texas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mudita Rastogi
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Argosy UniversitySchaumburgUSA