Recent research on families made up of people who do not share blood or legal ties supports AtMP’s belief that society should recognize the importance of diverse relationships. Dawn Braithwaite at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln finds that “people who have voluntary family see them as different from close or best friends in that they are expected to be permanent relationships and to fulfill roles played by family members. … Most people find voluntary family important and a great source of understanding, companionship, and support.”
The research team suggested several directions for further study, and wrote a case study of communication styles in one such family. It’s fascinating stuff! Thanks to the Council on Contemporary Families for introducing us.