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Did you know this about friends and family?

Our friends and family can be an amazing source of support during tricky times. But sometimes the interference of loved ones can cause rows. Although the interfering in-law might be a stereotype, finding our own way as parents and partners can be harder when other people add their views to the mix! The statistics below are about what British people do and feel about their friends and family.

How many people spend time with family and friends?

  • The second most common leisure activity for adults aged 16 and over is spending time with friends and family with two thirds saying this was something they did with their free time. (1)
  • A survey for 4Children found that 49% of people surveyed saw extended family members (including grandparents) twice a year or less frequently.

Do other people argue about the in-laws?

  • 11% of married and cohabiting couples said that parents / grandparents / in-laws was something that they argued about. (3)
  • How many people live with grandparents?
  • In 2001, 2.3% of households were multi-generational households. Multi generational households were most common where they were headed by a married couple step-family or lone parent. For example many young single parents continue to live their parents. (4)

Do people talk about personal issues with their friends?

  • Most people, nearly three quarters, reject the idea that “friends are for fun, not for discussing personal problems with” which suggests that people do use their friends for discussing personal problems. (2)

Do married people have fewer friends?

  • Married people are more likely to lack a close friend, although this might have more to do with age, married people generally being older than single or cohabiting couples. (2)
  • Men are less likely than average to have a close friend with 33% lacking one. (2)

References

  • National Statistics. (2009). Social Trends 39. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.
  • Duncan, S. & Phillips, M., (2008). New families? Tradition and change in modern relationships in Park, A. et al., eds British Social Attitudes: the 24th Report 2007/2008. London: Sage, 2008.
  • You Gov. (2007). Marriage and Divorce YouGov / Sunday Times Survey Results. Available from http://www.yougov.co.uk/extranets/ygarchives/content/archivesMain.asp?rID=4
  • Smallwood, S. & Wilson, B. eds. (2007). Focus on Families. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan. Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland.
  • 4Children. (2009). Family life gets harder for 50% of Britons. Available from http://www.4children.org.uk/information/show/ref/1584.

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