In the early twentieth century Canada made strides in understanding the family dynamic more. These changes started with the focus on surveys within Canada. These surveys focused on changes within the family and the upbringing of children within these different situations. Some of the first studies focused on complete families and how the children of these families grew up and how these families became this way. Later the surveys started to shift from the focus of the complete families (mother, father, son, daughter, etc.) to “separate” families. These split families were focused upon because of how the parents became single.  The government wanted answers on why these families became single parent households and how it impacted the lives of everyone involved. The census created “reveals rates of single parenthood similar to those of today, with windows as the major group in contrast to divorced parents.”[1] However this statement is not important until prior knowledge is attained. This knowledge is that a world war just happened before some of the most crucial census surveys were done.  The focus on the family life was spurred by many reports; however “the Hazen report reiterated beliefs common among Protestants. The family formed the basis of Christian society.”[2] This idea of religion playing a major role within society does not change until the later part of the twentieth century. However this idea of the perfect family was later perpetuated after the war. This “perfect” family image however was being created prior to the war, and these families that did not conform to this idea became stigmatized by society.

[1] Bradbury, “Single Parenthood in the Past: Canadian Census Categories, 1891-1951 and the ‘Normal’ Family,” Historical Methods, 33, 4 (Fall, 2000): 216.

[2] Gidney, “Under the President’s Gaze: Sexuality and Morality at a Canadian University During the Second World War,” Canadian Historical Review, 82, 1 (March, 2001):45.