The traditional nuclear family is best defined as the classical mother/father unit, sustaining biological children within the same home environment (Gordon, 2004). It has been criticised that the nuclear family is the ideal type of family environment which provides the most significantly-positive environment for all family members. This argument may have been constructed by the psychological outcomes which occur in families that are non-traditional (non-nuclear) in which children experience a wider variety of dilemmas such as lower academic achievement, diminished self-confidence, and difficulties with positive peer socialization (Morris & Maisto, 2005). Many of these negative social outcomes, especially for children, stem from inadequate support in the non-nuclear household (such as the lone parent environment) due simply to time-related constraints such as balancing work and family (Weiten & Lloyd, 2005).
Giles (2007) argues that policymakers have traditionally spent plenty of financial resources on assisting single-parent families to improve their economic condition. However, such spending is not improving social issues, leading policymakers to consider alternative methods at building a more cohesive and rewarding social landscape in the UK (Giles). Thus, restructuring the concepts of family and creating new policies and programmes to best suit the non-nuclear household lends credence to the notion that family can be a viable variable in improving today’s social problems. For instance, Grewal (2007) offers that nearly 30 percent of children in London alone live within lone parent households; with England (as a whole) sustaining lone parent households at 23 percent. These are considerably high demographics for the lone parent environment.