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CHAPTER 15 THE FAMILY. Learning Objectives. How is the family viewed by the family systems theory? How do individual family systems change? How have families in general changed during the 20 th century?. The Family as a System. Family Systems Theory

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  2. Learning Objectives • How is the family viewed by the family systems theory? • How do individual family systems change? • How have families in general changed during the 20th century?

  3. 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 • Ecologicalsystems approach • Family as system within a system • Family as a changing system

  4. More Family Diversity • More single adults, empty nesters included • Postponed marriage, Fewer children • More years without children • More women working, More divorce: 4/10 • More 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. A model of the relationship among family economic stress, patterns of parenting, and adolescent adjustment.

  7. Learning Objectives • How is the father-infant relationship similar to and different from the mother-infant relationship?

  8. 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

  9. Learning Objectives • What are two basic dimensions of parenting? • What patterns of child rearing emerge from these dimensions? • How do these parenting styles affect children’s development? • How does social class affect parenting style?

  10. 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

  11. The acceptance/responsiveness and demandingness/control dimensions of parenting. Which combination best describes your parents’ approach?

  12. 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, independent, achievers • Children of neglectful/uninvolved parents • Behavior problems, antisocial

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

  14. Learning Objectives • What effects do parents have on their children and what effects do children have on their parents? • What is the transactional model of family influence? • What features characterize sibling relationships across the life span? • How do siblings contribute to development? • What are relationships like between adolescents and their parents?

  15. Models of Influence on Family • Parent Effects Model • Parental influence and style important • Child Effects Model • Nature of child stressed • Transactional Model • Reciprocal influences

  16. 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

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

  18. Learning Objectives • How does marriage and parenthood affect adults? • What changes occur in the family as the children mature and leave home? • What sorts of roles do grandparents establish with their grandchildren? • How do various family relationships (e.g., spouses, siblings, parent-child) change during adulthood?

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

  20. Child Rearing and Launching • A heavier workload for parents • More stress in life generally • Marital happiness declines • Best if both parents share home workload • The Empty Nest • Marital happiness increases after the children leave home

  21. 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

  22. Marriage Relationships • Marriage Brings Stability • Happier, healthier, than non-marrieds • Lonelier if divorced or widowed • Better off financially • Widowhood: By about age 65 • 73% of men still living with their wives • 59% of women widowed or living alone

  23. Sibling and Parent-Child Relationships • Siblings: Longest-lasting relationship we have • If close in childhood, also as adults • 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

  24. Learning Objectives • What sorts of diversity exist in today’s families? • What is the life satisfaction of people in these different types of families? • How does divorce affect family relationships?

  25. Diversity in Family Life • Cohabitation: On the rise • Higher divorce rate if they marry • 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

  26. Divorce • High-Risk Couples • Married about 7 years • Teen-age marriages, short courtship • Pregnant before marriage • Low SES • Post-Divorce Crisis • 1-2 years • Parents, children, at risk for depression

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

  28. Learning Objectives • Why might family abuse occur? • What can be done to reduce spouse abuse and child abuse?

  29. Family Violence • Child abuse: Much unreported • Sexual abuse • Spouse Abuse • Most common worldwide • Elder Abuse and Neglect • Cognitive impairment a risk factor

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

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

  32. Responses to distressed peers observed in abused and non-abused toddlers in day care. Abused children distinguish themselves by a lack of concern and a tendency to become upset, angry, and aggressive when other children cry.

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

  34. 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

  35. Empowerment training for low-income mothers under stress reduces harsh parenting practices, especially among mothers who are the most at risk of being abusive because their babies had medical problems or were born prematurely.

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