Introduction to the standard
The identification of extended family networks within multi-family households is of interest to many users of social statistics. The 'Relationship between families' variable, along with the 'Lone ancestor' indicator, can be used to identify the presence of 'extended families' in Australian families. In ordinary usage 'extended family' indicates a family comprising not only parents and children but also other members of the immediate family.
Data about the type of extended family within a household is gathered through the 'Relationship in household' questions. Of particular relevance to the 'Relationship between families' variable is the allocation of household and family reference persons. Relationships within families are assigned through the initial identification of a family reference person around whom the family is constructed. The familial or non-familial relationship which exists between families is established by examining the relationship between the reference persons of each family. For example, the reference person in the second family could be the son or daughter of the reference person of the 'Primary family'.
Another variable required to determine relationships between families is the 'Family number'. In multi-family households the families present are identified by allocating a different family number to each separate family.