Where Have all the Families Gone— Is There a Future for Family Businesses?

  • Gibb Dyer Brigham Young University, United States of America
Keywords: Business families, Family businesses, Family size, Family structure


In this essay, the author describes some of the trends regarding the family that he has witnessed over his lifetime as well as raise some questions concerning family formation, structure, and size that may influence the creation and sustainability of family businesses. Moreover, he makes some suggestions for those who, like himself, would like to see family businesses survive and thrive in the future.


Amato, P. R. (1996). Explaining the intergenerational transmission of divorce. Journal of Marriage and Family, 58(3), 628-640. https://doi.org/10.2307/353723 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/353723

Amato, P. R., & Booth, A. (1997). A generation at risk: growing up in an era of family upheaval. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4159/9780674020191

Brown, S. L. (2004). Family structure and child well-being: the significance of parental cohabitation. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 66(2), 351-367. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2004.00025.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2004.00025.x

Brown, S. L., Manning, W. D., & Payne, K. K. (2014). Relationship quality among cohabiting versus married couples. Journal of Family Issues, 38(12), 1730-1753. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X15622236 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X15622236

Cherlin, A. J. (2010). The marriage-go-round: the state of marriage and the family in America today. New York: Vintage Books.

Dyer, W. G. (2019). The family edge: how your biggest competitive advantage in business isn’t what you have been taught—It’s your family. Sanger, CA: Familius.

Fairlie, R. W., & Robb, A. M. (2008). Race and entrepreneurial success. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/7961.001.0001

Graff, N. (2019). Key findings on marriage and cohabitation in the U.S. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/11/06/key-findings-on-marriage-and-cohabitation-in-the-u-s/

Hawkins, M. E. A. J. (2015). Does it work? Effectiveness research on relationship and marriage education. In J. J. Ponzetti Jr. (Ed.). Evidence-based approaches to relationship and marriage education (pp. 82-96). New York: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315757353 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315757353-12

Hudson, V. M., & Den Boer, A. M. (2004). Bare branches: the security implications of Asia’s surplus male population. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Huxley, A. (1932). Brave new world. New York: Harper & Brothers.

Hvistendahl, M. (2011). Unnatural selection: Choosing boys over girls, and the consequences of a world full of men. New York: Public Affairs.

Korenman, S., & Neumark, D. (1992). Marriage, motherhood, and wages. Journal of Human Resources, 27(2), 233-255. https://doi.org/10.2307/145734 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/145734

Larson, J. H. (2001). The verdict on cohabitation vs. marriage. Marriage & Families, 4(1), 7-12. https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/marriageandfamilies/vol4/iss1/3

Lillard, L. A., & Waite, L. J. (1995). Til death do us part: marital disruption and mortality. American Journal of Sociology, 100(5), 1131-1156. https://doi.org/10.1086/230634 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/230634

Marripedia (2019). The effects of cohabitation on children. http://marripedia.org/effects_of_cohabitation_on_children#

Rapp, I., & Stauder, J. (2020). Mental and physical health in couple relationships: Is it better to live together? European Sociological Review, 36(2), 303-316. https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcz047 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/esr/jcz047

Stanley, S. M., & Rhoads, G. (2018). Premarital cohabitation is still associated with greater odds of divorce. Institute for Family Studies. https://ifstudies.org/blog/premarital-cohabitation-is-still-associated-with-greater-odds-of-divorce

Stanley, S. M., Whitton, S. W., & Markman, H. J. (2004). Maybe I do: interpersonal commitment and premarital or nonmarital cohabitation. Journal of Family Issues, 25(4), 496-519. https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X0325779 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0192513X03257797

Waite, L. J. (1995). Does marriage matter? Demography, 32(4), 483-507. https://doi.org/10.2307/2061670 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2061670

Waite, L. J. (1996). Social science finds: “marriage matters”. Responsive Community, 6, 26-36.

Wilcox, W. B., Wang, W., & Rowe, I. (2021). Less poverty, less prison, core college: what two parents mean for black and white children. Institute for Family Studies https://ifstudies.org/blog/less-poverty-less-prison-more-college-what-two-parents-mean-for-black-and-white-children

How to Cite
Dyer, G. (2022). Where Have all the Families Gone— Is There a Future for Family Businesses?. European Journal of Family Business, 12(2), 220-225. https://doi.org/10.24310/ejfbejfb.v12i2.15295
Perspective, Opinion, and Commentary