Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950565 | Print ISBN: 9780761928201 | Online ISBN: 9781412950565 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rachel A. Gordon
Multigenerational families are typically defined as relatives from three or more generations who share a household. These families are salient in contemporary research, policy, and practice. Researchers recognize the range of family members active in many people's lives. Policymakers and practitioners recognize ways in which these family members may enhance, support, replace, or, in some cases, undermine policies and programs. Genealogically, a generation is a set of family members who are at the same stage of descent from a common ancestor. For example, grandparents, parents, and grandchildren represent three generations. The term multigenerational refers to two or more generations, such as the three just listed. Although the generations within a family often have distinct age ranges, the timing of marriage, remarriage, and fertility may produce generations with overlapping ages. Family is a term with varied meanings, both popular and scholarly. These range from very specific definitions, such as that From ...