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Chapter 15 The Family

Chapter 15 The Family. The Family as a System. Family Systems Theory A “whole” consisting of interrelated parts Each affects and is affected by the others Nuclear family: mother, father, children Extended family household Ecological systems approach Family as system within a system

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Chapter 15 The Family

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  1. Chapter 15The Family

  2. The Family as a System • Family Systems Theory • A “whole” consisting of interrelated parts • Each affects and is affected by the others • Nuclear family: mother, father, children • Extended family household • Ecological systems approach • Family as system within a system • Family as a changing system

  3. Figure 15.2

  4. More Family Diversity • More single adults, empty nesters included • Postponed marriage • Decline in child-bearing • More divorce, remarriages • Reconstituted families • More single-parent families, child poverty • More multigenerational (beanpole) families • Fewer caregivers for aging adults

  5. Trends • Decline of marriage and family • Negative effects • Divorce, single parent family, poverty • Purpose of marriage debate • Meet emotional needs of adults? • Raise children? • Postponed marriage improves success rate • More equality of sexes in family roles

  6. Infancy: Relationships • Fathers are capable of sensitive parenting • A more playful parent role • Mothers spend more time with them • Divorce means less fathering • Fathers warmth and affection promotes • Social competence, achievement • Fewer psychological disorders • Indirect effects: how parents get along

  7. Parenting Styles • Two dimensions of parenting • Acceptance/Responsiveness (AC) • Demandingness/Control (DC) • Baumrind’s parenting types • Authoritarian: AC=high, DC=low • Authoritative: AC=high, DC=high • Permissive: AC=low, DC=high • Neglectful: AC=low, DC=low

  8. Figure 15.1

  9. Outcomes of Parenting Styles • Children of authoritative parents • Adjusted, responsible, high achievement • Children of authoritarian parents • Moody, unhappy, aimless • Children of permissive parents • Low: self-control, independence, achievers • Children of neglectful/uninvolved parents • Behavior problems, antisocial

  10. Effects of Social Class • Lower-class parents • Stress obedience to authority • Restrictive and authoritarian • Use reasoning less • Show less warmth/affection • Middle-class parents • Stress individual initiative, achievement

  11. Models of Influence on Family • Parent effects model • Parental influence and style important • Child effects model • Nature of child stressed • Transactional model • Reciprocal influences

  12. Sibling Relationships • Firstborn stress at new sibling • Temporary behavior problems • Sibling rivalry • Less conflict by adolescence • Typically ambivalent about sibling • Overall, mostly positive effects of having a sibling • Emotional support, teacher to younger

  13. The Adolescent • Close relationships with parents • Conflicts mostly over minor issues • Change in balance of power • Authoritative parent most effective • Autonomy, independence achieved

  14. Establishing Marriage and Family • 90% of adults choose to marry in the US • Honeymoon: happy but short • Problems: Loss of enthusiasm • Usually exist beforehand • Negativity common • New parenthood • Stressful, joyful • Coping skills, resources important

  15. Child Rearing and Launching • A heavier workload • More stress • Marital happiness declines • Best if both parents share home workload • The empty nest • Marital happiness increases after the children leave home

  16. Grandparenthood • Average age: 47 • Grand-parenting styles • Remote (29%): distant • Companionate (55%): frequent enjoyable visits • Involved (16%): child care, advise, like substitute parents • Most find it gratifying • Parent/grandparent relationship important

  17. Marriage Relationships • Marriage brings stability • Happier, healthier, than nonmarrieds • Lonelier if divorced or widowed • Better off financially • Widowhood: by age 65 • 73% men still living with their wives • 59% women widowed or living alone

  18. Sibling and Parent-Child Relationships • Siblings: longest lasting relationship we have • If close in childhood, also when adult • Not close in childhood, not close as adults • Parent-child remain close • Modified extended family • Caring for aging parents • “Middle generation squeeze” • Filial responsibility common

  19. Diversity in Family Life • Cohabitation: on the rise • Higher divorce rate • Childless married couples • Marital satisfaction higher • Dual-career families: spillover effects • Both positive and negative • Gay and lesbian families: more egalitarian • Children generally well adjusted

  20. Divorce • High-risk couples • married 7 years • Teen-age marriages, short courtship • Pregnant before marriage • Low SES • Post-divorce crisis • 1-2 years • At risk for depression

  21. Children of Divorce • Often angry, fearful, depressed, or guilty • Custodial mother overwhelmed • Behavior problems • Peer relationships suffer/change • Sometimes negative effects are lasting • 1-2 year adjustment

  22. Family Violence • Child abuse: much unreported • Sexual abuse • Spouse abuse • Most common worldwide • Elder abuse and neglect • Cognitive impairment a risk factor

  23. The Abuser • Typical child abuser • Young, single, poor, unemployed mother • Cycle of abuse • Often a battered woman • Low self-esteem • Unrealistic expectations

  24. The Abused • Target child • Hyperactive, difficult • Often disabled or sickly • Parent feels powerless • Parent feels threatened

  25. The Context of Abuse • Life changes • Poverty • A violent society • Lack of social support

  26. Effects of Family Violence • Physical damage to abused • Brain damage – shaken baby syndrome • Child behavior problems common • Social and cognitive skills deficient • Academic problems common • Lack of normal empathy – young children • Emotional development disturbed • Problematic for normal development

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