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World Family Map   versione testuale
This project focused on change in families and child welfare is now in its third edition

A chart of the changes in families and the peaceful growth of children is provided the World Family Map, a project that uses 16 structural, socioeconomic, developmental and cultural indicators in countries around the world to monitor the overall health of the family. Each annual report of the project, now in its third edition, presents the most recent data on these indicators, along with an original essay focused on an important aspect of the life of the contemporary family: this year the discussion concerns the way in which couples share work and family responsibilities. International data show that no single motivation prevails in the disrtibution of paid and domestic work. Moreover, a constant link exists between a particular distribution of work and the level of a family's happiness, although parents who have a partner with whom to share the work are happier than those who do not have one.
World Family Map indicators show that there are different family patterns in the regions, and even variations within regions. The family structure depends on the context in which a child lives: in this sense, most of the world's children live in two-parent families, while in Latin America and in sub-Saharan Africa, where a relatively large minority of children live with only one parent or without parents, families compensate for the absences by being more inclusive. The socioeconomic situation of families depends on the conditions of poverty, malnutrition, parental education, employment and public benefits destined to them: the economic conditions in childhood can greatly influence the development of children. The section on family culture monitors national attitudes and values concerning family issues: this indicator describes the cultural climate in which children grow up. The processes explain how family members interact with each other, the rate of time they spend together, and if they are satisfied with the lives of their families. These processes can affect the lives of individual family members, both positively and negatively.
In detail, the data on the 32 countries studied in the 2012 International Social Survey Program (ISSP) on the family and changing gender roles were used to examine how married and cohabiting couples with children share work "outside" and in the home, and to investigate whether a couple's happiness depends on this distribution of work. The study shows that there is a predominant model: men and especially women with children do more housework than their childless peers. The distribution of the tasks in couples with children does not correspond to any particular levels of happiness, except in Europe. However, there are differences in the happiness levels of single parents and childless couples: people are happier living as a couple. The study is aimed at monitoring the strength of the family globally and providing indicators to identify opportunities to help families to be founded and to remain stable; reducing poverty; alleviating malnutrition; and studying the cultural norms that help shape the daily lives of people.
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