What Is The Importance Of Family In Modern Society?

Medically reviewed by Laura Angers Maddox, NCC, LPC
Updated April 23, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

With advancements in technology, changing cultural norms, new priorities, and advanced forms of communication fueled by the internet, you may wonder how family holds up in modern society. The concept of family is likely to continue to be essential for people from all walks of life, despite changing beliefs and customs. Research often demonstrates the importance of family for numerous areas of well-being. No matter how much life changes and the concept of family evolves, it may continue to benefit human health and wellness by offering a sense of belonging and support. If you’re experiencing family-related challenges, it can be helpful to speak to an objective person, such as a licensed therapist, for insight and guidance.

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Its definition may evolve, but family may remain essential  

The traditional definition of a "nuclear family" typically entailed one man and one woman who were married and had biological children. However, today’s families can be more inclusive and may look different than family stereotypes. Additionally, research usually labels many different types of families.

In today's society, the definition of family has generally expanded beyond the traditional concept. A family might be made up of people of any gender, married or not. Children may be born to one of the parents, both parents, or neither (via adoption or foster care). Some families may have two or more partners with no children or a group of close platonic friends. You may also hear of others citing their "chosen family," people they choose to be part of their family circle who may not be biologically related to them.

Benefits of a healthy family 

As modern life can add pressure and stress, a healthy family dynamic can have multiple benefits, regardless of whether it's a biological family, adoptive family, or chosen family. 

Helps you meet your basic needs

Many years ago, Abraham Maslow created the Hierarchy of Needs. At the bottom of this hierarchy are usually basic needs, including water, food, rest, and health. A family may provide these necessities, which can serve as building blocks for other needs. 

Research also suggests that social connection can be considered a need, as it usually improves physical and mental health. Family may offer social connection in abundance. 

Allows you to belong to something

A sense of belonging can come from the family, group, or community we belong to, and it can contribute to our emotional well-being by allowing us to feel connected socially. 

Offers a built-in support system

Research shows that the support system families provide can have a profound impact throughout different stages of life. Difficult times are often inevitable, but a family may provide a sense of stability and connection that can make it easier to get through them. 


Contributes to health 

Children might experience a healthy lifestyle when they live in a healthy family. They may eat healthy meals, enjoy time outdoors, and get prompt medical attention when needed. 

Health benefits can exist for parents in families, too. Research has shown that people with children in their families tend to live longer, even after the children have grown up and moved away. 

Provides support when someone is ill

Facing medical problems alone can be challenging. A family may help alleviate this difficulty by offering support and assistance as you heal. 

Offers community benefits

A strong family structure may reduce the likelihood of delinquency and crime. This can mean that the family unit may substantially impact an individual and their community. 

Educates children

One way many parents contribute to society is by educating their children. Parents and caregivers often begin teaching children at a very young age. They may help them learn to walk and teach them new words as they develop their vocabulary and language skills. They also may teach them manners and take advantage of learning opportunities in everyday life. 

Many parents also encourage scholarship opportunities, ethical behavior, and social skills that can benefit children throughout adolescence and into adulthood.

All families may struggle sometimes

Even though families can have benefits, they may face challenges at times. When it comes to overcoming the difficulties of family life, you might find support in your friends. You can also seek the help of a professional with training and experience in family dynamics. 

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Seeking help

Talking to a therapist may help you explore your feelings about family and learn to express those feelings openly. You may also learn to understand the family influences that shaped your personality. 

Benefits of online therapy

Online therapy can be an easy and convenient way to receive insight and guidance from a licensed therapist. It can be helpful to vent to an objective person during therapy sessions, and you can attend these sessions from any location with an internet connection. With an online therapy platform, you can even seek out a therapist who specializes in helping their clients navigate family-related concerns.

Effectiveness of online therapy

Although more research may be needed regarding the efficacy of individual online therapy for addressing family-related challenges, a growing body of evidence generally supports the idea that online therapy can be just as effective as face-to-face therapy.


Families can provide many benefits for your well-being, no matter what stage of life you're in. For example, a family may provide social connection, basic needs, and a sense of belonging. However, families can face challenges, and not every family experiences healthy connections. If you want to learn more about navigating family conflicts, consider speaking with a licensed therapist in person or online.
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