Destruction of nuclear families revealed in statistics

How this generation can do better to preserve family stability

America is gradually losing a core value: solid families. More specifically, the nuclear family. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, a nuclear family, also called elementary family, in sociology and anthropology, identifies as a group of people who are united by ties of partnership and parenthood and consisting of a pair of adults and their socially recognized children.

Having two parents in a household generally signifies importance for a healthy home and family. Without two parents, families are more likely to feel imbalanced, broken, or fractured.

While some say nuclear families are still the dominant form, the statistics are not in favor.  According to Pew Research Center, the percentage of nuclear families in America was at 73 percent in 1960, but that percentage  since decreased in 2014 to a 46 percent.

In my opinion, nuclear families are being destroyed because many parents do not stay together.

In fact, single parent families have increased dramatically between 1960 and 2014.

In 1960, single parent families made up a measly nine percent of the families in the U.S. Fast forward to 2014, and single parent families make up 26 percent of U.S.  families. Even though 26 percent does not necessarily seem high, the increase has affected the nation’s economy because single parent families are more likely to live in poverty. The destruction of nuclear families impacts the welfare of many Americans. Poverty is a growing concern.

According to research done by Jasmine Tucker and Caitlin Lowell for the National Women’s Law Center, in 2015, 36.5 percent of single female-headed families were in poverty, and 22.1 percent of their single male-headed counter parts were in poverty.

Only 7.5 percent of married couples with children, however, live in poverty. Quite a difference.

As shown by these statistics, many children suffer the consequences from not getting the economic support from two adults. Also shown by the statistics, it’s not just women that are having economic struggles, it’s the men too.   

Let me make one point clear. A solid nuclear family does not necessarily need the “traditional” mom and dad. Nuclear families can be two dads or two moms. In my opinion, the key factor is a healthy relationship between the two parents who birthed or adopted the child. Broken relationships lead to broken families. So how can we decrease the number of single parent families and increase the number of nuclear families in the United States?

As our generation matures, we need to make better decisions about relationships. Since financial stability helps families and nuclear families provide a double income, we need to aim for solid careers and work harder to get them.

“Lebron James grew up with a single mother and look how successful he is now. Having a single parent for some people, including myself, only makes me want to work harder. But I see statistically how having a single parent affects many children in our day. Having a single parent is only teaching me to be there for my kids one day. I believe the data will increase in the future, ” said freshman Elijah Torres.

Another student shared that she has a stepdad who successfully “plays the role of father” while another student, believes that if parents don’t want to be together, they should not be forced to be together.

Of course, everything depends on the given situation and the people involved.  Life is not perfect.

Also, being a child in a family that isn’t nuclear doesn’t mean the world is going to end. Sure, the child is more likely to struggle, but great people can emerge from struggles, and they, just like Elijah, may even vow to do better.