–focused or centered on the mother.
–of, pertaining to, or designating a family unit or structure headed by the mother and lacking a father permanently or for extended periods.
The matrifocal family occupies a curious position in anthropological writings, sometimes seen as a definite family structure based on a cultural valuing and centrality of the mother, and sometimes as a temporary or ad hoc response to poverty and exclusion.
— Edited by Alan Barnard and Jonathan Spencer , The Routledge Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology , 1996
Therefore, we are not talking about matriarchal families in which mothers head the household, but rather matrifocal societies than emphasize the mother-child bond.
— Venetria K. Patton , The Grasp That Reaches Beyond the Grave: The Ancestral Call in Black Women’s Text , 2013
Matrifocal is a blend of the combining form of māter , Latin for “mother,” and focal , “of or pertaining to a focus.” It entered English in the mid-1900s in the context of cultural anthropology.