Many Americans formed their idea of family life in the nineteen - fifties. But that kind American family has become increasingly less common in the last this wept through American life. Almost every American family was affected. Historians say the American family has change more rapidly in the last thirty years than in any other time period. // Social historians say the most far - reaching change in the family has resulted in changes in women's work. A majority of married women in the United States no longer stay home all day to cook， clean and raise children. They now have paid jobs outside their homes. // Changes in the family also resulted from changes in marriage traditions. During nineteen - sixties， many young men and women began to live together without being legally married. Some had children. They were a family， but not in the traditional sense. // At the same time， more people ended their marriage if it was unhappy. The rate of divorce in the United States increased by more than three times in about twenty years.