Research based on the latest census data indicate that the American family is no more. The dramatic changes in living arrangements, delayed child-bearing and longer singlehood mean that what we once thought of as a “traditional” family may be long gone.
But here’s something very interesting from a news report on the study:
Despite the negative changes in American families, one group has remained stable and most closely resembles what was once considered the American norm and that is the immigrant community. [This study] found that immigrants tend to be married at a higher rate, and divorce and remarry at a lower rate when compared to those born in the United States.
It seems like those on the road to becoming our newest citizens seem to look and act more like traditional Americans than even we do! Immigrants depend upon their families for so much:
- Economic support and launching into a new society – who but family wants me to succeed more?
- Remaining close in order to maintain important traditions and values during assimilation – while we’re becoming Americans, we want to keep cherished traditions from where we came
- Collaboration with other immigrant families from similar backgrounds for help making the social transitions – people who have come here ahead of us can help to show us the ropes. Family members help other family members.
As I think about it, what’s tragic is that we all need our families like this, still. It doesn’t matter if we are immigrants or native born. We all need help making it in the world around us. Family is supposed to fulfill that function.
More people in our country have terrible difficulty in life because their family just isn’t there anymore. Maybe we should look to our immigrant neighbors as examples?