The main difference between nuclear family and joint family is that a nuclear family is a small family unit consisting only the parents and their children, while a joint family is a larger family unit consisting the extended family as well.
Nuclear Family and joint family are two types of families that can be observed in the society around us. A nuclear family has an adult couple and their children. A joint family, on the other hand, extends beyond a joint family as it includes multiple generations living under one roof. Both these types of families have their own pros and cons.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is a Nuclear Family
– Definition, Nature, Characteristics
2. What is a Joint Family
– Definition, Nature, Characteristics
3. What is the Difference Between Nuclear Family and Joint Family
– Comparison of Key Differences
Conjugal Family, Joint Family, Nuclear Family
What is a Nuclear Family
A nuclear family is a family that consists of two married parents and their children, all living under one roof. There can be any number of children in a nuclear family. The children can be the couple’s biological children or adopted children. A nuclear family is usually centred around the married couple. This is also known as a conjugal family.
The concept of the nuclear family has evolved over time; traditional nuclear family typically included married partners of opposite sexes. However, today, partners of the same sex (gay or lesbian couples), unmarried partners who raise child/children together also fall under the category of a nuclear family.
Furthermore, nuclear families are a very common concept in the modern world, especially in western countries. There are both pros and cons of nuclear families. In nuclear families, one or both partners may work outside the house. If only one parent is working, the family may face financial problems; especially, if that family have many children. If both parents are working, they may face problems with taking care of the children alone; for example, if both spend a lot of hours out of the house, children will be alone at home.
What is a Joint Family
A joint family is a family that extends beyond a nuclear family, consisting of several generations – children, parents and grandparents. It may also consist of aunts, uncles and cousins. The main feature of a joint family is that all these relatives live under one roof. A joint family usually forms when children (usually either sons or daughters) do not leave their parents’ home at marriage but bring their spouses to live with them. Typically, a joint family may consist of an older man and his wife, his sons their wives and children, and unmarried children.
A joint family has both pros and cons. Since there are more than two adults in a family, they have a larger income. The burden of earning will not fall on the shoulders of only one member. Moreover, members of a joint family share all the tasks such as cooking and child-rearing. Since there are many adults in the house, children may spend more time with them, and receive adult guidance and care. Besides, children of joint families tend to be more accommodative and adjusting than children brought up in nuclear families. However, a joint family may allow less privacy and may hinder individual expression.
Difference Between Nuclear Family and Joint Family
A nuclear family is a family that includes two adult spouses and children whereas a joint family is a family extends beyond a nuclear family as it includes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
A nuclear family is typically smaller than a joint family.
Moreover, a nuclear family has two parents and their children, while a joint family usually has grandparents, parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins.
In a nuclear family, one or both parents have the responsibility to earn an income. However, in a joint family, usually more than two adults work, and financial responsibilities are shouldered jointly.
Children in a nuclear family may not spend a lot of time with adults at home, especially if both parents are working. In contrast, there are other adults to take care of the children, even if both parents are working.
A nuclear family has an adult couple and their children. A joint family, on the other hand, extends beyond a joint family as it includes multiple generations living under one roof. The main difference between nuclear family and joint family is that a nuclear family is small while a joint family is big.
1. “Joint Family.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 20 July 2017, Available here.
2. Applebury, Gabrielle. “Definition of a Nuclear Family.” LoveToKnow. LoveToKnow Corp. Accessed May 11, 2020. Available here.