Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cheray T. W. Teeple
The nuclear family consists of a married couple and their children, either natural or adopted, who reside within the same household. Because the nuclear family is based on marriage, it is also called the “conjugal family.” Nuclear families form around marriage, a legal relationship that includes economic cooperation, sexual activity, and childbearing and childrearing, which people expect to last. Although many different types of family exist in North America, the nuclear family has long been considered the norm. The origin of the nuclear family is connected to the economic and social changes of the industrial revolution. The nuclear family's smaller size, in relation to the larger extended family, was considered better suited for moving closer ...