Many factors influence childhood experiences - perhaps none more so than the families in which children live.
There is far more diversity among Canadian families now than in the past. Children are more likely to have fewer siblings and older parents. More mothers are in the labour force, and a larger proportion are working full time.
Many children will experience more than one type of family configuration. For example, they may begin life in a two-parent family, become a single-parent family, and later live in a blended or step-family. More children than ever are in shared custody arrangements, and many are members of more than one family at the same time.
Most parents are supportive and positive, but those numbers change as children get older. About one child in 10 lives with a parent who suffers from symptoms of depression; among lower-income children, it’s one in five. More young adults – especially men - are living at home with their parents for longer than in the past.