Families and family study in international perspective


University of Wisconsin—Madison, Madison, WI 53706 (adams@ssc.wisc.edu).


Many changes are occurring in the world's families. Some observers feel that the changes are destructive, whereas others see them as leading to new opportunities and understanding. Issues in international family studies include regional limitations and the various aspects of doing research cross-culturally. Knowledge regarding certain categories of families, inheritance, and the social psychology of families is incomplete. There are, however, some universals and universal or worldwide changes, including movement toward individual partner choice, more divorces, lower fertility, and greater opportunities for women.