Types of families we can find today

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Louise Hay
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Types of families we can find today

Today there are different types of families: each responds to new realities. Having children or maintaining the same bond throughout your life is no longer considered as important as it used to be. At the same time, new models have arisen.

Last update: June 02, 2022

One of the many things that have changed in recent years is the family model. There are currently several types of families which began to dissolve what we considered to be a traditional structure.



The social changes have been remarkable. In reality, multiple types of families have coexisted for a long time, but some have come to light in the last few decades and have become established.

Until recently it was thought that, if it weren't traditional, it wouldn't be a family. It was understood, however, that it is what makes a family such the possibility of socializing, through the nucleus, with the world. What are the most common types of families?

"Where you are happy, you are at home"

(Tibetan proverb)

The different types of families

1. Extended

It is the model that prevailed until a few decades ago. It was made up of father, mother, children, but also grandparents, uncles, cousins, etc. It was not uncommon for them to live together in the same house and function as a unit. There are still families of this type, but they are less widespread.

2. Nuclear

It is one of the types of family that predominate today, although it is not the absolute majority. According to some estimates, the nuclear family accounts for a quarter of families today. IS made up of father, mother and children. It does not include other relatives, but it maintains the same traditional basic structure.


3. With separated parents

It's been on the rise lately. The couple is divorced, but each parent continues to play their role in one way or another. In this case there is not the total absence of one of the parents, but rather a break in their coexistence.


4. Compounds

Corresponds to the type of family in which two separated people with children join together to create a new family unit. In this way the children become de facto brothers. It is one of the most complex configurations as it requires great efforts in defining and exercising the new roles.

5. Single parent, one of the types of families on the rise

It's another kind of family on the rise. In it we find the absolute absence of one of the two parents, usually the father. However, the number of cases where the mother leaves the home is growing.

In these cases it is common for the burden that falls on the father to be experienced as excessive; this leads him to accept the help of other people, who begin to have an important influence on the children.

6. Adopt

Corresponds to families who adopt children for inability to conceive or for choice. They tend to be stable families, although in a minority of cases the child is adopted only to meet social expectations and does not receive all the affection it needs.

7. Childless

It is another of the family configurations on the rise. It includes couples who decide not to have children or to adopt them. They are usually people with high social status and high professional expectations.


They do not believe that the role of the parents satisfies them and they see the partner as a life partner and above all as goals.

8. Homoparental, one of the new types of family

This is one of the newer models in which same-sex couples adopt a child and form a stable family unit. The existence of this type of family is not yet legal in many countries and, therefore, there are not enough studies available to determine the extent of its effects on child rearing.


9. Of elderly people

It is such when the parents are left alone, once the children have become adults and leave home. Usually, once the mourning of the "empty nest" is over, the couple gets closer and starts making plans and projects together. Couples who arrive at this point usually form a supportive and tolerant family.


10. Unipersonale

Single-person households have also increased. It is estimated that around 11% of households are currently single-membered. In some cases, the decision is to live alone and configure the relationship with the outside from this position.

In others, it is the consequence of the death of the partner or a divorce from a childless marriage. This type of family no longer arouses curiosity or suspicion as it once did.

11. With pets

This type of family is typical of the so-called millennials or generation Y. The pet becomes a fundamental part of life, as if it were a child.


There is still no agreement on the convenience of humanizing animals up to this point. What is clear is that these types of attachment, in many cases, meet the needs of humans more than the pet.

So many social changes, so many types of families

The social changes that have taken place in recent years are immense. This is reflected in the structure of many social groups, and the family is no exception.

In this article we have listed the most common types of families, but many others exist, created as forms of adaptation to a dynamic environment.

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