Characteristics of the modern family

Respond to the following discussion prompts:

1) In the readings on Family by Joel Moraco, the author mentions several characteristics of the modern family which have evolved along with modernization and social-cultural progression. For instance, the traditional divisions of labor, family roles, marital expectations, incidence and attitudes towards divorce, gender roles, and societal and cultural norms. Briefly describe any TWO of these modern trends. Why do you consider these trends to be most interesting and why?

Be sure to cite your work using APA format. If you have questions about APA format, refer to the “APA Style Resources” module posted in the classroom.

2) In order to make this course relevant to your interests and needs, please identify 2-3 questions about parenting that you would like to have answered by the end of the course.



Modern trends in family characteristics

Human are social beings thus families are the earliest forms of relationships (Muraco, 2021). However, families have evolved over time and place due to modernization and social-cultural progression. From traditional nuclear family set ups to modern families with changed family characteristics. This has resulted to the development of complex family compositions and diversity in families and relationships. Among the many modern trends, I consider gender roles and marital expectations to be the most interesting.

1. Gender roles

Gender roles are the societal expectations of how one should dress, speak, behave and the activities they should undertake based on their assigned sex (Oláh, Kotowska & Richter, 2018). Traditionally, responsibilities in a marriage or family were allocated based on gender. Women were assigned the role of housekeeping and childrearing while men had the role of protecting and providing for their families. However, with modernization and social-cultural progression, the modern trend is that families are increasingly sharing roles regardless of gender. Men are actively participating in child care, and other domestic duties as women are increasingly joining the workforce and providing economically.

2. Marital expectations

Rani and Dovina (2018), define marital expectations as pre-existing beliefs by an individual about a marriage, the roles they will play and the role of their spouse based on how they have been socialized. In the past, marital expectations were basic where individuals only expected safety, children, and cooperation in facilitating the basic needs. However, nowadays, marital expectations have diversified. In addition to the traditional expectations, people also expect emotional support, assurance and help towards individual personal growth within the marriage.

Why these two trends are interesting

The modern trend in gender roles has created room for couples to customize and assign roles as is suitable to their circumstances. Changes in marital expectations have influenced people’s behavior towards seeking partners and developing family patterns to meet the new expectations. As the major traditional pillars to marriage stability, it is interesting to see how these two trends have created conflict in sociological discussions (Oláh, Kotowska & Richter, 2018). People supporting traditional families have identified these trends as deviation from societal norms thus the cause for increased divorce rates. On the other hand, supporters to these changes relate them to equality and freedom from outdated traditional norms.

Questions about parenting

Parenting is a crucial aspect that guides and determines a child’s future determining the types of relationships they will seek when we are adults. This makes parenting a complex element that is influenced by ones upbringing, ideals and socialization. Therefore, by the end of the course, I would like to know:

  1. How does one’s upbringing determine their parenting style? Does one replicate their parent’s style or do they implement a new style based on personality, situation and ideals? How can parents navigate this situation to ensure the best for their children?
  2. Is there a ‘best’ parenting style? Or are parents also learning on the job?
  3. Is high parental control on a child’s behavior a positive element in modern parenting? According to Muraco (2016), authoritative parenting is the best parenting style since it is highly demanding and highly supportive of the child.


Muraco, J. A. (2021). The Family. Retrieved from:

Oláh, L. S., Kotowska, I. E., & Richter, R. (2018). The new roles of men and women and implications for families and societies. In A Demographic perspective on gender, family and health in Europe (pp. 41-64). Springer, Cham.

Rani, M. R., & Dovina, D. (2018). A Study on the Marital Expectations of Female College students in Chennai City. International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews. Retrieved from:

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