Monday, September 10, 2007

The Demise of the Nuclear Family

The urge to leave the nest has never been stronger. Many Americans value their freedom more than they desire to raise a family. Their willingness to relocate for personal and/or professional reasons may cause them to settle in numerous communities throughout the course of their lives.

Whether children leave home to travel, seek their fortunes elsewhere, get married, or go to college, the odds are pretty slim that they will continue to live within the same zip code as their parents.

With divorce reaching record levels in the United States, the glue which once held the American family together has lost much of its strength. As the members of each family head off on their separate paths in life, they lose touch with the community in which their lives were once held together. Subsequent marriages (which involve numerous stepchildren and may involve cross-generational partners), further confuse matters when one inquires into a family's roots, hereditary factors, and a family's medical history.
Many families are now single-parent households, forced to move to another location for economic reasons. As a result of becoming homeless, some have fallen through the cracks of any system which can track a patient's history of health care.

Next: Increased Job Mobility

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