What is a nuclear family? Open any online dictionary and you’ll find definition as: “A principal societal unit comprising of parents and their offspring.” It is a noun and the term relates to sociology. The understanding of this term is not very difficult. A family system that contains a father, mother and their children is called as a nuclear family. In addition to kids, it possibly will add perhaps paternal grandparents, i.e. the father’s parents.
When you search “nuclear family” on Google, the first link it returns you is: a couple and its dependent children, regarded as the basic social unit. Wikipedia too has an article for describing nuclear family. It simply states in the first line of the article, “The nuclear family or elementary family is a word used to describe a family grouping that consists married adults and their kids.” The Oxford English dictionary incorporated the word in 1925 while the Merriam Webster dates back to the year 1947. Thus, it is very recently incorporated in dictionaries because nuclear families have not been existent for thousands of years.
The basic family set: A man, his wife and their offspring. This is the simplest definition of the nuclear family. It is believed to be derived from the word nucleus of an atom. As a nucleus is the central part of an atom and the other particles are gathered around it, it similarly has reference to the primary family assemble as a central part of emotional well being and all other ties come after that.
According to a Britannica survey, most of the developed nations around the world have maximum nuclear families in their population. Accounting for more than 60% of populace belonging to nuclear type of families in the United States, there has been a paradigm shift after pro-industrialization. Sociologists have a debatable view on nuclear families; some feel that it enhances independence and self-reliance while others feel that the extended or joint families lessen out the burden financially, psychologically and emotionally. In countries like India, extended families still exist in large numbers and are often considered the essence of culture and tradition. While nuclear families have seen an apparent decline from year 1970s to 2000s in the United States, the direction of nuclear families in American societies will consume some time to show where it is heading.