Neolocal and Multi-Generational Families

Topic: Family Psychology
Words: 880 Pages: 3

A family is an association of people based on marriage and consanguinity, bound by common life and mutual moral responsibility. The original basis of family relations is marriage, the historically changing social form of the relationship between a woman and a man. The content of the concept of family is transformed following the socio-cultural change in society. In the modern world, there are processes of transformation of the family as a social institution, a change in some of its functions, and a redistribution of family roles. Multi-generational types of family living are becoming less common, and neo-local ones are being increasingly popularized.

The family of each generation in a multi-generation household needs to have its own space – both emotional and physical, which others must respect. It is important to have separate rooms, mutual understanding, and respect for each other. The concept of trying to reduce the likelihood of conflicts or to calm people in an existing quarrel applies to all generations. Cohabitation in the living space of the older generation must be agreed upon by young couples. In the absence of payments, assistance to seniors in the household is expected. At the same time, senior family members are often expected to help raise and care for the children.

At the same time, when living apart, such expectations are much lower. When living remotely, younger generations do not expect or expect only a single rare help with newborns or growing children. In some cases, there may be an expectation of financial assistance from independent couples, depending on the social and national affiliation of family members. The level of rapport required is also lowered, as interaction occurs much less frequently.

A household is a socio-economic unit consisting of people living under the same roof and maintaining a common household. A neo-local family is a married couple moving to a dwelling that is remote from the place of residence of their parents. The neo-local family as a type of lifestyle is studied by many researchers. Some come to the conclusion that such a family leads not only to territorial, but also to social distance with parents (Budilova, 2018). However, this type of family continues to exist and only increases in popularity.

At the same time, the financial problems of many young people force them to stay in their parents’ house. Living together can be more cost effective and allows to save money on rent or purchase of home, food, or other items. Moreover, in such families, the division of duties and mutual assistance is possible. At the same time, separate living provides psychological and everyday activities comfort for different generations. Additionally, for some members of society, constant psychological support from relatives, which they have become accustomed to during their lives, may be important (Cross, 2018). Living together can allow them to feel comfortable and relaxed.

Despite the apparent benefits, there are some issues, because living with parents leaves a certain imprint on a young personality that is just being formed. There are families in which children and parents get along well with each other and do not feel disadvantaged. However, most often such a symbiosis becomes the cause of many psychological problems. Creating psychological comfort seems to be an advantage, however, in fact it is the exit from the comfort zone that is very important for the full formation of personality (Sadruddin et al., 2019). Additionally, there is another issue, because living together with parents allows to shift too many responsibilities for household chores to any generation (Cross, 2018). In this regard, there may be a lack of responsibility for one’s life, duties, and actions.

One of the problems of modern society is that a woman performs much more roles than caring for a family. In addition to raising children and domestic duties, in some cases a woman must also be a successful worker who provides for the family financially. Women who spend the bulk of their lives at work have a sense of guilt due to the insufficient amount of attention that she pays to loved ones, children, and household functions. In families where parents live together with younger generations, they can take on the role of educating and helping to care for the family (Cross, 2018). At the same time, if generations live far away, such assistance is not available.

Many young families choose to live with their parents to save money or for other economic or social reasons. From the point of view of the economy, this decision is justified, but there is a high risk of frequent conflicts in the family, especially between people with different habits, values, and behaviors. A family member in the case of living with parents often must submit to the authoritative older generation, as his or her spouse does (Sadruddin et al., 2019). Thus, living together can negatively affect the psyche and development of all generations.

In conclusion, different families choose options for themselves regarding separate or cohabitation for representatives of different generations. Living together provides a number of benefits, such as helping each other. At the same time, there are also negative aspects, since not always different generations can comfortably exist with each other. The choice of a residence model depends on personal preferences, the financial and psychological state of each family.


Budilova, L. J. (2018). Property transmission and household developmental cycle. Continuity and change. The case of a Czech village in Bulgaria (1900–1950). Ethnologia Balkanica, (21), 43-66. Web.

Cross, C. J. (2018). Extended family households among children in the United States: Differences by race/ethnicity and socio-economic status. Population Studies, 72(2), 235-251. Web.

Sadruddin, A. F., Ponguta, L. A., Zonderman, A. L., Wiley, K. S., Grimshaw, A., & Panter-Brick, C. (2019). How do grandparents influence child health and development? A systematic review. Social Science & Medicine, 239, 112476. Web.

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