The individual nuclear family is a universal social phenomenon. It can be defined as “a small group composed of husband and wife and immature children which constitutes a unit apart from the rest of the community.” (Duncan Mitchell in his “Dictionary of Sociology’).
In simple words, a nuclear family is one which consists of the husband, wife and their children. Soon after their marriage, the children leave their parental home and establish their separate household.
Hence, a nuclear family is an autonomous unit free from the control of the elders. Since there is physical distance between parents and their married children, there is minimum interdependence between them. Thus, a nuclear family is mostly independent. The American family is a typical example of the modern independent nuclear family.
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