Family structure outcomes of alternative family definitions

Charles B. Nam, Florida State University
Kathryn H. Tillman, Florida State University

The traditional definition of the family used in most censuses and surveys - persons related by blood, marriage, or adoption and living in the same residence - limits the description and analysis of family structure. We use the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study to develop alternative family definitions and assess differences in describing family structure. Three definitions are employed - the traditional definition, one that also includes adults cohabiting and their children in the home, and one including all of the above irrespective of residence. We find significant differences in number of families, and family size and structure across the three definitions and by stages of the life cycle. These findings have implications for interpretation of group variations and time trends in family structure.

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Presented in Poster Session 1