As per the Encyclopedia Britanica, a family is “A group of persons united by the ties of marriage, blood, or adoption, constituting a single household and interacting with each other in their respective social positions, usually those of spouses, parents, children, and siblings” (Barnard, 2021). However, with today’s modern family, the wording would need to be adjusted, a few things taken away and a few added. Green states “A couple and their children, without indication of gender, marriage, or biological relationships” (2018). The definition of family is subjective and changes dependent on who you are asking. Single families, blended families and family of choice are becoming more common in today’s world (Green, 2018).
Family systems theory is helpful to understand interactions of a family by breaking it down to the individual. “Each family member experiences the togetherness, attachment, and intimacy of the family system, but the family member remains an independent thinker with individual purpose driven actions” (Green, 2018). Interactions between the family change whenever changes occur. In the family, every person has a role to play. The outcomes of them changing or modifying this role can be positive or negative. If there is a positive change such as a promotion at work or a negative one like losing a job, both will cause the family to interact in a different way. Changes were evident when COVID impacted the world. People lost their jobs, worked from home or, like nurses and other health care professionals, stayed for the fight.
Barnard, Alan John. “family”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 6 May. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/topic/family-kinship. Accessed 12 October 2021.
Green, S. Grand Canyon University (Ed). (2018). Health promotion: Health & wellness across the continuum.Retrieved from https://lc.gcumedia.com/nrs429vn/health-promotion-health-and-wellness-across-the-continuum/v1.1/
What is a definition of family that encompasses the different family structures prevalent today? Discuss the importance of acknowledging nontraditional family structures. Explain how family systems theory can be used to better understand the interactions of a modern family (traditional or nontraditional).
Re: Topic 2 DQ 1
How one defines family is highly debated as the definition has different meaning depending on how one perceive as family. Theologically, A family is a group of two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption who live together. A family systems approach to individuals and their families provides a means to better understand the interactions of a societal family unit (Huffman, Mathews, & Irving, 2017). Family members influence each other and the family as a whole. The family is assessed as a whole system interacting and interdependent family members and as individual members (Huffman et al., 2017)
There are many families that are single parents, while others do not have children. The origins and importance of same-sex marriages also complicate the traditional definition of family, as there is no wife or husband in a same-sex marriage. With this in mind, it is imperative that society consider or recognize non-traditional family structures that have not been accepted in the past. This is mainly due to the fact that such recognition would allow members of society to feel accepted in society, regardless of the structure or form of their family. Some of the non-traditional family structures, such as single-parent families, arise out of unavoidable circumstances. Therefore, it is important that different family structures are recognized in modern society.
Observing or understanding the complexity and emotions of the family system lends to understanding of the individual. When a change occurs in a subsystem, the other parts of the systems react and adapt to the change in an effort to remain a stable unit (Yoder et al., 2016). For example, if one individual of a family changes to healthier behaviors, such as healthier eating or exercise, the person’s actions affect the rest of the family.
Huffman, A. H., Matthews, R. A., & Irving, L. H. (2017). Family fairness and cohesion in marital dyads: Mediating processes between work-family conflict and couple psychological distress. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 90(1), 95-116.
Yoder, J. R., Ruch, D., & Hodge, A. (2016). Families of youth who have sexually offended: Understanding shared experiences and moving towards a typology. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 25, 1581-1593.