Sample Social Work and Human Services Essay Paper on The Extended and Childless Families

The Extended Family

The extended family has several relatives living together and cooperating in the duties of raising their young. Therefore, the extended family members are the grandparents, their children and their grandchildren who live closely together (Aisenbrey, & Fasang, 2018). Some of the reasons for the formation of this family include financial difficulties or taking care of the elderly and those who cannot take care of themselves in the family. This type of family has become popular in the world today.

The Extended Family Race

Connidis & Barnett, (2018), argue that many black people also embrace the extended family structure because most of them live within their ancestral lands where one piece of land may not be enough for the entire family if it is divided among the members. People have extended families as the basic family unit in many cultures around the world, such as the Middle Easterners, Latin Americans, Africans, and other parts of the globe.

Extended Family Social Class and Life Stage

The social class of the extended family is mainly the middle income earners, and the upper class. Additionally, the life stage of the extended family can last for generations as newly born are integrated in to the family to follow their elder’s customs. However, geographical isolation from distributed opportunities and locations for middle-income and upper class income earners is higher compared to the low-income earners. However, nuclear families retain their independence (Farrell, 2018). For example, the Australian Aborigines are one of the many races that live beyond the nuclear family structure. Therefore, they choose the extended family structure thereby saving on land leaving room for other projects such as farming.

Extended families enjoy some benefits, which include help from several adults in raising the children, a factor that can significantly reduce the pressure on the parents. The grandparents are also a great source of information for their grandchildren. However, extended families face problems too. Some of them include the fact that cross-generation living together can experience intrusive parents or relatives (Connidis, & Barnett, 2018). Consequently, personal boundaries are limited in the extended family structure compared to the nuclear families.

The Extended Family Issues

Some of the historical extended family issues include the unsolicited opinions and advice from other family members and persistent criticism of treatment that the parents seek for their young (Aisenbrey, & Fasang, 2018). However, this is focused on the parents who have chosen controversial or experimental therapy that the relatives do not approve.

Childless Family

Some couples cannot have children because of different reasons. While most people would think that children are a must have, some couples either choose not to have children or cannot have them due to some health factors. A childless family is made up of the husband and the wife who live and work together (Hutchison, 2018). 

The Childless Family Race

Primarily,whites tend to have lower fertility rates as compared to other races around the world. Consequently, there are more white childless families than the other races. Extensive statistical research of childlessness and its possible causes has been carried out especially among women aged 45 years and above around the world. Moreover, the Hispanic and the black races tend to have very few childless families due to their high fertility rates.

Social Class

Childlessness is more prevalent among highly educated and resourceful couples. According to Aisenbrey & Fasang (2018), there are more educated and resourceful whites in the world than any other race. Similarly, most couples may marry because they are preoccupied with studies and businesses as compared to the other races who mainly fall under the low income social status.  Thus, the high-income earners tend to have fewer children and some may even opt to be childless as compared to the low-income earners who have multiple children According to Treas, Scott, & Richards (2017), variables such as widowhood, celibacy, age are some of the factors that cause childlessness in many communities around the globe. In modern societies, the connection between socioeconomic status and sexual productivity among the high-income earners is particularly low.

Life Stage

In modern societies, individuals are voluntarily reducing their levels of fertility particularly in families of higher socioeconomic status (Jaskiewicz et al., 2017). However, the number of unmarried individuals and the married but childless couples has drastically reduced over the years with many of them being between the ages of 36 to 45 years. Therefore, the proportion of the childless in the household decreases through the age of late 30s and early 40s (Aisenbrey, & Fasang, 2018).

Global research indicates that the highest proportion of unmarried and childless men is found in the highest and lowest educational levels. In the U.S., the association between the proxy for childlessness and educational attainment is homogenous to that between the marital status and educational levels (Treas, Scott, & Richards 2017). Moreover, Whites are more likely to be childless, followed by the Blacks, Asians, and lastly the Hispanic. Similarly, for the most part, higher educational levels are associated with increased rates of childlessness, particularly for women. (Aisenbrey, & Fasang, 2018).

The Childless Family Issues

One of the most significant problem that a childless couples face is the choice of living a child free life, while they watch other people raise their children. Moreover, a childless couple can be faced with the pressure of a divorce, increased stress, and cultural hostility.


Aisenbrey, S., & Fasang, A. (2018). Social location matters: Inequality in work and family life courses at the intersection of gender and race.

Connidis, I. A., & Barnett, A. E. (2018). Family ties and aging. Sage publications.

Farrell, B. (2018). Family: The making of an idea, an institution, and a controversy in American culture. Routledge.

Hutchison, E. D. (2018). Dimensions of human behavior: The changing life course. Sage Publications.

Jaskiewicz, P., Combs, J. G., Shanine, K. K., & Kacmar, K. M. (2017). Introducing the family: A review of family science with implications for management research. Academy of Management Annals11(1), 309-341.

Treas, J., Scott, J., & Richards, M. (Eds.). (2017). The Wiley Blackwell companion to the sociology of families. John Wiley & Sons.