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CHAPTER 15 THE FAMILY

CHAPTER 15 THE FAMILY

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CHAPTER 15 THE FAMILY

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  1. CHAPTER 15THE FAMILY

  2. Learning Objectives • How is the family viewed by the family systems theory? • How do individual family systems change? • What social trends emerged during the 20th century and altered the makeup of the typical family and the quality of the family experience?

  3. Understanding the Family • Proponents of family systems theory view the family as a system • The family is a whole consisting of interrelated parts, each of which affects and is affected by every other part, and each of which contributes to the functioning of the whole • The family is a dynamic system – a self-organizing system that adapts itself to changes in its members and to changes in its environment

  4. Understanding the Family • The nuclear family typically consists of father, mother, and at least one child • Every individual and every relationship within the family affects every other individual and relationship through reciprocal influence • The family system has subsystems • Marital, parent-child, sibling, and co-parenting subsystems • Co-parenting refers to the ways in which two parents coordinate their parenting and function as a team in relation to their children

  5. Understanding the Family • Many families live within an extended family household in which parents and their children live with other kin (grandparents, siblings, etc.) • The family is also a system within other systems • The family is a system that is embedded in and interacts with larger social systems such as a neighborhood, a community, a subculture, and a broader culture

  6. Understanding the Family –The Family as a Changing System • Scholars have developed a number of concepts related to the family system • Family life cycle theory outlined the eight-stage sequence of changes in family composition, roles, and relationships from the time people marry until they die • Each stage has a particular set of family members who play distinctive roles

  7. Understanding the Family –The Family as a Changing System • Scholars have developed a number of concepts related to the family system (continued) • More recently, family researchers expanded on the traditional family life cycle concept to describe a wider variety of family life cycles • Elder and his colleagues (Elder & Johnson, 2003; Elder & Shanahan, 2006) proposed that we lead linked lives –that our development as individuals is intertwined with that of other family members • Family researchers have embraced the concept that families function as systems and that they, like the individuals in them, develop and change over the lifespan

  8. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • The family is a system embedded in a world that is ever changing • During the second half of the 20th century, several dramatic social changes altered the makeup of the typical family and the quality of family experience • More single adults • More adults are living as singles today than in the past • Often they are living with a partner or a partner and children but are unmarried

  9. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • More postponed marriages • By 2009, the average age of first was 26 for women and 28 for men • More unmarried parents • In 2007, 40% of births were to unmarried women • Fewer children • By 1998, 19% of women ages 40 to 44 were childless

  10. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • More working mothers • By 2005, 60% of married women with children younger than 6 years of age worked outside the home • More divorce • More than 4 in 10 newly married couples can expect to divorce, and up to half of children can expect to experience a divorce at some point in their development

  11. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • More single-parent families • Because of more births to unmarried women and more divorce, more children live in single-parent families • In 2008, 70% of children younger than 18 years lived with two parents, 23% lived with their mothers only, and over 3% lived with their fathers only

  12. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • More children living in poverty • The higher number of single-parent families has affected the proportion of children living in poverty • About 18% of children in the United States live in poverty today • 35% of African-American children are poor • 29% of Hispanic-American children are poor • 43% of children in female-headed families are poor

  13. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • More remarriages • With more divorce has come more remarriages • Remarriages often result in reconstituted families – also called blended families – that consist of at least a parent, a stepparent, and a child • Sometimes reconstituted families include multiple children from two families into a new family

  14. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • More years without children • Because modern couples are compressing their childbearing into a shorter timespan, because some divorced adults do not remarry, and mainly because people are living longer, adults today spend more of their later years as couples without children in their homes • Men 65 and over are more likely than women 65 and over to live with spouses (73% vs. 42%) • Older women are more likely than older men to live alone (39% vs. 19%)

  15. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • More multigenerational families • Over the 20th century, three- and even four-generation families became more common • More children today than in the past know their grandparents and even their great-grandparents • Parent-child and grandparent-child relationships are lasting longer • The different generations of a family typically do not live together • However, economic necessity has forced an increasing number of Americans to live in multi-generational households

  16. Understanding the Family –A Changing System in a Changing World • Social changes (continued) • Fewer caregivers for aging adults • More aging adults have fewer children to provide care as a result of • Smaller families with fewer children • Increases in the numbers of adults living alone • Increased longevity • Increased geographic mobility • The large Baby Boom generation now entering old age

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

  18. The Infant – Mother-Infant and Father-Infant Relationships • Researchers have considered how mothers and fathers interact with their children and contribute to children’s development • Researchers find that fathers and mothers are more similar than different in the ways they interact with infants and young children • Fathers are no less able than mothers to feed their babies effectively • Both fathers and mothers provide sensitive parenting, become objects of attachment, and serve as secure bases for their infants’ explorations • No basis exists for thinking that mothers are uniquely qualified to parent or that men are hopelessly inept around babies

  19. The Infant – Mother-Infant and Father-Infant Relationships • How mothers and fathers interact with their children and contribute to children’s development (continued) • Fathers and mothers differ in both the quantity and the style of the parenting they provide • Mothers spend more time with children than fathers do • This gender difference is common across cultures • When mothers interact with their babies, a large proportion of their time is devoted to caregiving such as offering food, changing diapers, wiping noses, and so on • Fathers spend much of their time with children in playful interaction such as tickling, poking, bouncing, and surprising infants • Mothers hold, talk to, and play quietly with infants • Fathers are able to adopt a “motherlike” caregiver role if they have primary responsibility for their children

  20. The Infant – Mother-Infant and Father-Infant Relationships • Fathers contribute to their children’s development by • Providing financial support (whether they live together or not) • Being warm and effective parents • Babies are likely to be more socially competent if they are securely attached to both parents than if they are securely attached to just one • Children whose fathers are warm and involved with them are more likely than other children to become high achievers in school • A father’s tendency to challenge his young children during play may foster a secure attachment style and an eagerness to explore later in life • Children generally have fewer psychological disorders and problems if their fathers are caring, involved, and effective parents than if they are not

  21. The Infant – Mother-Infant and Father-Infant Relationships • Factors that influence the involvement of fathers of babies born to unmarried mothers • The quality of the relationship between the mother and the father • Whether the father lives in the same household as the mother and the child • Involvement in a constructive lifestyle that include job training and religious participation • Involvement in the life of the child before the child is born

  22. The Infant – Mothers, Fathers, and Infants: The System at Work • The family is a three-person system functioning in a social context • Parents have indirect effects on the children through their ability to influence the behavior of their spouses • Indirect effects within the family are instances in which the relationship or interaction between two individuals is modified by the behavior or attitudes of a third family member

  23. The Infant – Mothers, Fathers, and Infants: The System at Work • The family is a three-person system functioning in a social context (continued) • Fathers indirectly influence the mother-infant relationship through the quality of the marital relationship • Mothers who have close, supportive relationships with their husbands tend to interact more patiently and sensitively with their babies than do mothers who are experiencing marital tension and who feel that they are raising their children largely without help

  24. The Infant – Mothers, Fathers, and Infants: The System at Work • The family is a three-person system functioning in a social context (continued) • Mothers indirectly affect the father-infant relationship through the quality of the marital relationship • Fathers who have just had pleasant conversations with their wives are more supportive and engaged when they interact with their children than fathers who have just had arguments with their wives • Infant development is facilitated when parents get along well and truly coparent, or work as a team

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

  26. The Child – Parenting Styles • Two dimensions of parenting contribute to the concept of parenting style • Acceptance-responsiveness refers to the extent to which parents are supportive, sensitive to their children’s needs, and willing to provide affection and praise when their children meet their expectations • Includes affection, praise, encouragement • Less accepting and responsive parents are often quick to criticize, belittle, punish, or ignore their children and rarely communicate to children that they are loved and valued

  27. The Child – Parenting Styles • Two dimensions of parenting contribute to the concept of parenting style (continued) • Demandingness-control (sometimes called permissiveness-restrictiveness) refers to how much control over decisions lies with the parent rather than with the child • Controlling and demanding parents set rules, expect their children to follow them, and monitor their children closely to ensure that the rules are followed • Less controlling and demanding parents (often called permissive parents) make fewer demands and allow their children a great deal of autonomy to explore, express opinions and emotions, and make decisions

  28. The Child – Parenting Styles • Four basic patterns of child rearing emerge from crossing the acceptance and the demandingness dimensions • Authoritarian parenting • This restrictive parenting style combines high demandingness-control and low acceptance-responsiveness • Parents impose many rules, expect strict obedience, rarely explain why the child should comply with rules, and often rely on power tactics such as physical punishment to gain compliance

  29. The Child – Parenting Styles • Four basic patterns of childrearing emerge from crossing the acceptance and the demandingness dimensions (continued) • Authoritative parenting • Authoritative parents are more flexible; they are demanding and exert control, but they are also accepting and responsive • They set clear rules and consistently enforce them, but they also explain the rationales for their rules and restrictions, are responsive to their children’s needs and points of view, and involve their children in family decision-making • They are reasonable and democratic in their approach, but they are in charge • They communicate respect for their children

  30. The Child – Parenting Styles • Four basic patterns of childrearing emerge from crossing the acceptance and the demandingness dimensions (continued) • Permissive parenting • This style is high in acceptance-responsiveness but low in demandingness-control • Permissive parents are indulgent with few rules and few demands • They encourage children to express their feelings and impulses and rarely exert control over their behavior

  31. The Child – Parenting Styles • Four basic patterns of childrearing emerge from crossing the acceptance and the demandingness dimensions (continued) • Neglectful parenting • Parents who combine low demandingness-control and low acceptance-responsiveness are relatively uninvolved in their children’s upbringing • They seem not to care much about their children and may even reject them • Or, neglectful parents may be so overwhelmed by their own problems that they cannot devote sufficient energy to expressing love and setting and enforcing rules

  32. Caption: The acceptance-responsiveness and demandingness-control dimensions of parenting

  33. The Child – Parenting Styles • Warm, responsive parenting is associated with secure attachments to parents, academic competence, high self-esteem, good social skills, peer acceptance, and a strong sense of morality • Lack of parental acceptance and affection contributes to depression and other psychological problems • Diana Baumrind (1967, 1977, 1991) found that children raised by authoritative parents were the best adjusted – cheerful, socially responsible, self-reliant, achievement oriented, and cooperative with adults and peers • Children of authoritarian parents tended to be moody and seemingly unhappy, easily annoyed, relatively aimless, and unpleasant to be around • Children of permissive parents were often impulsive, aggressive, self-centered, rebellious, aimless, and low in independence and achievement

  34. The Child – Parenting Styles • Subsequent research has shown that the worst developmental outcomes are associated with the neglectful, uninvolved style of parenting • Children of neglectful parents display behavioral problems such as aggression and frequent temper tantrums as early as age 3 • They tend to become hostile and antisocial adolescents who abuse alcohol and drugs and get in trouble • The link between authoritative parenting and positive developmental outcomes is evident in most ethnic groups and socioeconomic groups studied to date in the United States and in a variety of other cultures

  35. The Child – Social Class, Economic Hardship, and Parenting • Researchers have found that social class influences family socialization goals, values, and parenting styles • Compared with middle-class and upper-class parents, lower-class and working-class parents tend to stress obedience and respect for authority more • They are often more restrictive and authoritarian, reason with their children less frequently, and show less warmth and affection

  36. The Child – Social Class, Economic Hardship, and Parenting • What explains the influence of socioeconomic factors upon parenting styles and child outcomes? • Low family socioeconomic status may be associated with poor developmental outcomes because of • Economic stresses that result in authoritarian, nonnurturant, and inconsistent parenting • Limited investment of resources, financial and otherwise, in children’s development • An orientation toward preparing children to obey a boss rather than be the boss

  37. The Child – Social Class, Economic Hardship, and Parenting • What explains the influence of socioeconomic factors upon parenting styles and child outcomes? • Researchers describe a relationship among family economic stress, patterns of parenting, and adolescent adjustment • Financial stresses have negative on parents • Parents experiencing financial problems (economic pressure) tend to become depressed, which increases conflict between them • Marital conflict, in turn, disrupts each partner’s ability to be a supportive, involved, and effective parent • This breakdown in parenting then contributes to negative child outcomes such as low self-esteem, poor school performance, poor peer relations, and adjustment problems such as depression and aggression

  38. Caption: A model of the relationship among family economic stress, patterns of parenting, and adolescent adjustment

  39. The Child – Social Class, Economic Hardship, and Parenting • The influence of socioeconomic factors upon parenting styles and child outcomes (continued) • Parents living in poverty tend to be restrictive, punitive, and inconsistent, sometimes to the point of being abusive and neglectful • In high-crime poverty areas, parents may also feel the need to be more authoritarian and controlling to protect their children from danger • Both parenting and child development may suffer due to the stresses of coping with a physical environment characterized by pollution, noise, and crowded, unsafe living conditions and a social environment characterized by family instability and violence

  40. The Child – Social Class, Economic Hardship, and Parenting • The influence of socioeconomic factors upon parenting styles and child outcomes (continued) • Another explanation is that low SES parents have fewer resources to invest in their children’s development, compared to high SES parents • Wealthier parents can invest in a good education, books, computers and other learning materials, and cultural opportunities for their children

  41. The Child – Social Class, Economic Hardship, and Parenting • The influence of socioeconomic factors upon parenting styles and child outcomes (continued) • A third explanation is that high and low SES parents have different socialization goals in preparing their children for the world of work because they have had different work experiences • Kohn (1969) observed that parents from lower socioeconomic groups tend to be authoritarian and emphasize obedience to authority figures because that is what is required in jobs like their own • Middle-class and upper-class parents may reason with their children and foster initiative and creativity more because these are the attributes that count for business executives, professionals, and other white-collar workers

  42. 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 lifespan? • How do siblings contribute to development? • What are relationships like between adolescents and their parents?

  43. The Child – Models of Influence in the Family • Researchers consider three models of influence in the family • The parent effects model • The child effects model • The transactional model

  44. The Child – Models of Influence in the Family • The parent effects model of family influence has guided most of the study of human development • This model assumes that influences occur in one direction, from parent to child (and particularly from mother to child)

  45. The Child – Models of Influence in the Family • The child effects model of family influence highlights the influences of children on their parents • As children develop, parenting shifts from (a) parent regulation of the child to (b) parent and child co-regulation of the child to (c) self-regulation by a more capable child • Typically, parents become less restrictive as their children mature and gradually, with parental guidance, become capable of making their own decisions

  46. The Child – Models of Influence in the Family • In the transactionalmodel of family influence, parent and child influence one another reciprocally • Child problems develop when the relationship between parent and child goes bad as the two interact over time • Optimal child development results when parent-child transactions evolve in more positive directions

  47. The Child – Sibling Relationships • A family system is affected when a new infant arrives • Researchers found that mothers typically pay less attention to their firstborns after the new baby arrives than before • The child may resent losing her parents’ attention and demonstrate difficult behaviors • The child may become more demanding or more dependent and clingy and may develop problems with sleeping, eating, and toileting routines • Secure attachments can become insecure, especially if firstborns are 2 years old or older

  48. The Child – Sibling Relationships • Adjustment to a new sibling can be made easier • If the parents’ marital relationship is good • If the firstborn had secure relationships with both parents before the younger sibling arrived and continues to enjoy close relationships with them • If the parents continue providing love and attention to their firstborn • If the parents maintain the child’s routines as much as possible • If the father increases his involvement in parenting • If parents encourage older children to become aware of the new baby’s needs and feelings and to assist in her care

  49. The Child – Sibling Relationships • Sibling relationships typically involve both closeness and conflict • Sibling rivalry – the spirit of competition, jealousy, and resentment between brothers and sisters – is normal • Siblings may be motivated to compete with each other for their parents’ time and resources • Sibling conflict is most often about possessions