Changing Definitions of Families

An Interview with Anna Greenberg and John Green on the Faith and the Family Survey, October 2005, Volume 908

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly's Bob Abernethy interviews Anna Greenberg and John Green about the national survey, "Faith and Family in America". October 21, 2005, Episode no. 908

An Interview with Nancy Ammerman, Professor, Boston University, On Faith and the Family, October 2005, Volume 909

Religion & Ethics Newsweekly's Kim Lawton interviews Nancy Ammerman, professor of the sociology of religion at Boston University on faith and family in America. October 28, 2005, Episode no. 909   

An ILF Digest Interview with Constance Ahrons, Author of The Good Divorce and We're Still Family

The ILF Digest, a publication of the International Leadership Forum, features an interview with Constance Ahrons on the changing nature of family and its policy implications. Constance Ahrons is an ILF Fellow, Professor Emerita of Sociology at the University of Southern California and author of The Good Divorce and We're Still Family. Stephanie Coontz and Steven Mintz join the conversation as well.

An Interview with Thomas F. Colman, Executive Director, American Association for Single People

The American Association for Single People (AASP)'s executive director, Thomas F. Coleman, discusses the emerging "singles’ rights" movement in the USA.

An Interview with Stephanie Coontz, Author of Marriage: A History, July 2005

In an interview entitled, The Myth of Marriage, Monica Mehta of AlterNet, talks with author Stephanie Coontz about her book, Marriage, A History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage.

A Sloan Network Fact Sheet on the Changing Definitions of Families (2008)


The Sloan Work and Family Research Network has prepared Fact Sheets which provide statistical answers to some important questions about work-family and work/life issues.

Click here to download the Sloan Network Fact Sheet on the changing definitions of families:


Sloan Network (2008). Questions and answers about  the changing definitions of families: A Sloan Work and Family Research Network fact sheet. Chestnut Hill, MA: Boston College.

Changing Families: demographics, unmarried couples (2007)


“Four out of 10, or approximately 2.5 million opposite-sex unmarried couples, lived with at least one biological child of either partner. In contrast, 26.8 million married couple families had children living at home.” (United States Census Bureau, 2007).


United States Census Bureau (2007). 50 Million Children Lived with Married Parents in 2007. Retrieved on June 29, 2009,


Demographic characteristics of households and families are collected annually in the March Current Population Survey (CPS) for the Nation. Beginning with the 2007 data collection of the CPS, a direct question was added to the CPS asking whether unmarried adults were living with a boyfriend, girlfriend or partner. The second improvement concerns the identification of the number and type of parents in the household. A second parent “pointer”-- which indicates the presence of the person’s parent in the household--was added to identify whether a child is living with both their father and their mother. In addition, the type of relationship between the child and parent, whether biological, step, or adoptive was also obtained as a basic part of the interview.

Changing Families: demographics, household composition, married couples (2005)


"Twenty-one (21.7%) percent of American households consist of married couples with their own children under 18" (U.S. Census Bureau, 2005).


United States Census Bureau (2005). Percent of households that are married-couple families with own children under 18. Retrieved July 24, 2007, from


“The data in this table are based on the American Community Survey and/or the Puerto Rico Community Survey conducted in 2005...95.1 percent of the total population was covered and 1,924,527 completed final interviews. The full implementation ACS which began in 2005 samples approximately 3 million housing unit addresses annually stateside.”

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