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Indigenous Australian Families, White Settlement, Family Trends: A Long-term Perspective, Family Diversity

As in most Western countries, family life in Australia has changed dramatically over the last few decades. Some changes in family trends— including increases in divorce, more cohabitation, and the falling fertility rate—have sparked misgivings about the direction that marriage and family life is heading. Such issues are best understood within a historical framework. Is today different from earlier periods of Australia's history of white settlement? Was the post-World War II period an aberration? Before attempting to answer these questions, it is important to recognize that family life before white settlement was markedly different from any period thereafter.

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Marriage and Family EncyclopediaMarriage: Cultural Aspects