Social change and policy challenges in developing countries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Western capitalist economies have an established history of dealing with the pressures arising from social change, such as; increasing rates of divorce and separation; rising numbers of lone parent families and greater labour market participation rates among women. However, there remain many policy challenges resulting from both the consequence of family breakdown and the drive for greater gender equality. East Asian countries and developing regions may face comparable challenges as they are exposed to similar global pressures, though the antecedents of social change may be slightly different. In China for example, high fertility rates led to direct policy action with the introduction of the ‘one child policy’ in an effort to control population size. In contrast, the fertility rate in Korea is one of the lowest in the world following a rapid decline since the 1970s (OECD, 2014). The government is now trying to boost fertility through the provision of more childcare services to support women to both work and care. Such social changes and the policy responses to them could have profound effects on the nature of family relationships in these countries, but little research is currently available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-285
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Family Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

article available online from: 30/01/2015


  • social change
  • social policy
  • Developing countries
  • family transitions

Cite this