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Such changes ripple through the family and cause each member to adjust his or her own role and expectations to compensate for the change.

There are many variations of modern families, including blended or stepfamilies where two families combine.

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[Image: 10070052 moodboard, AZGA, CC BY 2.0, definition of family changes across time and across culture.

Traditional family has been defined as two or more people who are related by blood, marriage, and—occasionally—adoption (Murdock, 1949).

Research from the US (Harris, 2015) and Japan (Veldkamp, 2009) finds that many pet owners consider their pets to be members of the family.

Another traditional form of family is the joint family, in which three or more generations of blood relatives live in a single household or compound.

Common to each of these family forms is commitment, caring, and close emotional ties—which are increasingly the defining characteristics of family (Benokraitis, 2015).

The changing definition of family has come about, in part, because of factors such as divorce and re-marriage.

Historically, the most standard version of the traditional family has been the two-parent family.

Are there people in your life you consider family who are not necessarily related to you in the traditional sense?

Perhaps nothing is more central to the social world than the concept of family.

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