Couples and families2015 Edition
This first edition of Couples and families in the "Insee References" collection provides a description of the different types of couples and families in France today. It highlights the permanence of lifestyles and their changes, with an increase in separt
Single-parent families in Europe: new ways of forming families for new standards?
Family lifestyles have diversified in all European countries, but to different degrees and at different speeds. An analysis of social representations simultaneously shows greater tolerance for behaviour previously considered to be deviant compared to the standard of the married couple with children. In a context where the institution of marriage was the norm and divorce forbidden or taboo, widowhood was the main cause of single-parent families. The context has changed, single-parent families have become more general and other forms have emerged, particularly divorced or single mothers and fathers. A cross-analysis of two European surveys outlines five groups of countries. The first three can be seen in a sort of continuum stretching from the Northern European countries, in which France is included here, characterised by a relatively high rate of single-parent families, and a spread of cohabitation and extra-marital births, to Eastern Europe countries, still strongly attached to traditional family norms, with the middle group (Southern countries and Central Europe) being situated in a sort of transition between these two models. The British Isles and Baltic countries form the last two groups, completing this range of situations with their own specific combinations of behaviour and values.