Melbourne, July 10 : With nearly one in three Aussie kids now living in a step, blended or single-parent family, the trend of nuclear families is fading away, claims a new research.
However, this rate of relationship breakdown and rapid repartnering makes life harder for many children, speakers at the Australian Institute of Family Studies conference said on July 9.
Researcher Joanna Forster-Jones said there were now 250,000 non-nuclear families - and they are now the fastest growing type in the country.
In particular, blended families - where both natural and stepchildren live together with their parents - grew by 17 per cent in the past decade, compared with just 1.2 per cent for nuclear families.
Earlier, scientists reckoned that he number of non-nuclear families was about one in five, rather than between a quarter and a third, said Forster-Jones, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Conference keynote speaker Andrew Cherlin, professor of sociology and public policy at Johns Hopkins University, said some children "have difficulty coping with a series of partners moving in and out of their homes".
"Most will be OK but there will be a higher risk of behavioural problems and teenage pregnancy if the child is exposed to many different family situations. Adults are judging relationships in very individual ways - in terms of whether they are happy or not themselves," News.com.au quoted Cherlin, as saying.
"It's more about them than their children," Cherlin added.