What Are the Twelve Different Kinds of Families?

Paul Froio

December 8, 2022

Online Volunteer

Depending on the way your family is formed, you can have one of 12 different types of families. It can be a living-together family, a nuclear family, a stepfamily, or a kinship family. It is important to understand the difference between these different types of families and how they differ from each other so that you can have the most harmonious family possible.

Nuclear family

Among the many types of family structures, a nuclear family is considered to be one of the most popular. According to the most recent U.S. Census data, over a quarter of all American children live in a nuclear family.

The concept of a nuclear family was introduced by American anthropologist G.P. Murdock in the 1940s. The term was also used in a book by urbanist Jane Jacobs, who argued that “structures that once supported families no longer do.”

The term is often associated with the ubiquitousness of the nuclear family. However, there are differences between the term and the actual family.

In the past, a nuclear family was comprised of a nuclear couple and their kids. Often, the children would travel from house to house with their parents. But today, the traditional nuclear family is declining.

In the 1950s, the term “nuclear family” was used to refer to a network of related families. In addition to the nuclear family, other extended family members would join the group to achieve a common goal.

Living apart together as a family

Getting married or living together is a huge accomplishment, but the advent of technology has made it possible to have a happy and healthy family. As such, the concept of family has been examined more closely than ever. It’s also been observed that some couples have even incorporated each other’s families. In fact, a recent study uncovered that one in five couples has adopted a family from a previous relationship. So, who says you can’t have it all?

There’s no doubt that having two families in one is an interesting concept, but the decision to do so has its challenges. For starters, the children have to make do. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with this. Firstly, you have to know what you are doing. Then there are the social, cultural, and economic factors that you need to consider. You have to be willing to accept your new mate and be willing to reshape your priorities if your former spouse is not a receptive partner.


Despite the many positive aspects of stepfamilies, stepfamilies are also faced with unique challenges. Whether you are an adult or child, there are certain steps you can take to overcome these difficulties.

Children in a stepfamily may experience confusion, hurt, resentment, jealousy, and anger. It is important that you allow them to express their emotions in a safe and supportive environment.

Although you should never punish your child for their misbehavior, you should always give them the opportunity to discuss their feelings. Sometimes, their behavior can be a result of their own coping mechanisms. This can be frustrating, but you should support them and help them feel loved.

One of the biggest challenges in a stepfamily is learning how to interact with ex-spouses. A stepfamily needs its own rules and norms to work well. When an ex tries to make a change, it can be stressful. You must learn to deal with these situations. You must also know how to educate your kids and let them know that you are a united front.

Kinship terminology

Various societies define kinship relationships in different ways. One approach is to classify them using terms of reference for different relatives. These are referred to as “kinship” terms. These include terms of address for different relatives.

For example, in some languages, only a single word is used to describe the relationship between a father and his brothers. Other systems, like the Hawaiian kinship system, do not distinguish between cousins and siblings.

Some language groups, such as the Eskimo kinship system, have classificatory terms. These distinguish between lineal relatives and collateral relatives. In the Dravidian type of kinship nomenclature, relatives are categorized based on gender.

Another type of kinship terminology is based on the theory of descent. It has a variety of classifications, including apical, descending, and cognatic. These categories identify apical kin as ancestress and descending kin as ancestor, descendant, and apical descendant. It also includes matrilineal descendants.

Other classifications, such as the Omaha type of nomenclature, have a proscriptive matrimonial rule. Those involved in this type of kinship are classified based on the degree of affinity between a father and his son.