The concept of the family is changing and is no longer limited to blood relatives, a recent poll suggests.
Media agency OMD and publishing firm Time Inc conducted an in-depth research project called The Future of Families. This involved 4,000 people across Britain.
Two out of every three said they believed modern families no longer fit traditional moulds. Close to 20 per cent said their family group included their friends and more than a third said it should include in-laws. Meanwhile, 29 per cent believe their pets are a part of the family.
Half of the respondents said they doubted there would be any typical family structures at all in the future.
A significant majority – 77 per cent – said they anticipated children living with their parents for longer in the future as more young adults struggled to find work and a place in the housing market. However the report paints a relatively positive picture of such extended family life: close to 20 per cent of such families said grown-up children and parents never argued, while 41 per cent said such arguments took place less than once a month. They also said grown-up children appreciated family life.
Meanwhile, more than a third (36 per cent) said they had helped their parents to make major decisions in life.
Rian Shah of OMD said:
“We need to stop ourselves thinking about the family solely in terms of the traditional 2.4 unit. The Future of Families research proves that reality has moved on and will continue to evolve.”
Photo by Simon Webster via Flickr