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© 1995, The Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska on behalf of the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension. All rights reserved.


This NebGuide discusses strategies for strengthening interpersonal family relationships.

As the 20th century draws to a close, there has been increasing concern about the family's ability to cope with the multiple stressors and demands placed upon it. Is the family still capable of providing a safe, nurturing, and wholesome place where children can grow up to become competent, productive adults? The current divorce rate claims one in two first marriages. Alcoholism among adults and youth is a major social and family problem. Reports of domestic violence and child abuse have increased 500 - 700 percent in the past 25 years. Juvenile crime and gang violence seem to have mushroomed. Vandalism, theft, and youth dropping out of school have increased dramatically. In two-parent households with children, 80 percent of the mothers work outside the home. Some researchers suggest one-third to one-half of children will live part of their childhood in a single-parent household. Regardless of structure, a family that sustains, supports, and nourishes its members across its life cycle seems imperative.