The Family in Europe: Structure, Intergenerational Solidarity, and New Challenges to Family Health
Keywords: 
Materias Investigacion::Geografía
Family
Intergenerational relations
Family structure
Family health
Europe
Issue Date: 
2019
Publisher: 
SAGE
ISSN: 
1552-549X
Note: 
© The Author(s)
Citation: 
Montoro-Gurich, C. (Carolina); Garcia-Vivar, C. (Cristina). "The Family in Europe: Structure, Intergenerational Solidarity, and New Challenges to Family Health". Journal of Family Nursing. 25 (2), 2019, 170 - 189
Abstract
Understanding the family experience of health and illness within the family’s social and cultural context helps health professionals understand a family’s stories. The purpose of this article is to present salient characteristics of the Western European family to extend understanding about family structure and values in relation to caring and intergenerational solidarity. The goal is to provide nurses and other health professionals with culturally competent knowledge that can inform practice with families. Evidence suggests that a family model, characterized by strong-family type societies consisting of coresidence, solidarity, and intergenerational relationships, stalwartly continues in Mediterranean countries. However, due to the recent economic crisis in Spain and other European countries, there is a trend toward the withdrawal of state responsibility toward the family, and an increasing weight on families’ responsibility, particularly for women, toward the care of their old and chronically ill relative. Therefore, there is a need to make health and social systems more effective, sustainable, and focused on family care.

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