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19 Examples of Extended Family

Extended family is a family that live together at the same location with members beyond parents and their children. These may form a single household or multiple households at the same location. The following are possible members of an extended family followed by examples of common structures.
Common Law Partners
Divorced persons who continue to reside together or with their former in-laws.
Foster Children
Foster Parents / Guardians
Great Grandparents
Second Cousins
Adopted children have the same status as biological children and therefore aren't separately listed above.

Multigenerational Household

A household that includes a grandparent or great grandparent, parents and grandchildren. This is the traditional type of family unit in many cultures. Multigenerational households can be extremely efficient and also tend to occur in places where families are under economic pressures.

Stem Family

A stem family is a common occurrence whereby adult children continue to live with their parents after getting married such that their spouse moves in with their parents. This becomes a multigenerational household if this couple has children.

Extended Single-Parent Households

It is common for single parents to form a household with relatives. This can represent a solution to pressures in areas such as childcare and cost of living. The additional adults in these families may also offer support to children such that these relationships may resemble parenting in some cases.

Skip-Generation Families

A family with grandparents and grandchildren but no parents living in the same household.

Multiple Households

It is possible for an extended family to include multiple households at the same location such as a farmstead with multiple homes. For example, in Japan it is common to construct a family house with two completely separate living areas, kitchens, bathrooms, entrances, addresses and utility bills. These are used to form extended families consisting of two distinct households on the same land. For example, grandparents may reconstruct their house on existing land to make room for the family of one of their adult children.

Informal Usage

In the United States, it is common to use the term extended family to describe relatives whether you live with them or apart. This is an informal use of the term.
Overview: Extended Family
A family that live at the same location with members beyond parents and their children.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about family.
Economic Life
Epic Meaning
Extended Family
Family Culture
Family Life
Family Traditions
Filial Piety
Household Items
Importance of Family
Nuclear Family
Personal Relationship
Quality Of Life
Role Of Family
Social Roles
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An overview of family with examples.


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