Family Systems theory Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 23 March 2016

Family Systems theory

Why study families?

•Traditional psychology – problem an individual one

– Externalise distress – act out

– Internalise distress – withdraw

Theorists

– Psychoanalytic – e.g Freud – fixated at a phase due to trauma and regress to this level

– Behaviourists – e.g learn inappropriate response

– Attachment – insecure primary attachment

•Sociological perspective

Bronfenbrenner’s model – ecological approach

a)Life cycle stresses

b)Stresses related to cultural expectations

c)Stresses related to historical time

d)Random fate

e)Stress reactions which create more stress

Does research support the sociological viewpoint?

YES
– Distress related to lack of social support

– Overcrowded housing, father in gaol, depressed mother

– Parental stress & maternal negativity plus child temperament

– Poverty

What is family’s position in the sociological model?

– most influential part of child’s social context

– buffer between child and outside world – serves to protect or expose child

– usually positive

Do families need support?

– Bronfenbrenner’s model less applicable now?

– Less sense of community

– Increased fragmentation

How do families work?

Can be seen as a system – stress -> distress

– child most likely to be the distressed person as most powerless

Basic premises

Circulatory causation – interactive model

Non-summativity – whole more than sum of parts

Communication – feeling and content

Governed by rules – spoken or understood

Homeostasis – in some sort of balance

Morphogenesis – flexibility to respond to change

How do you measure family relationships?

Research relies on two dimensions

– Affection (aka warmth, acceptance, cohesion, closeness)

Disengaged————-OK—————-Enmeshed
Acceptance

– Control (aka power, autonomy, flexibility)

Neglect——————-OK—————–Rigid
Autonomy

What happens when families get stressed?

Timberlawn studies (Walsh 1993)

Optimal families

•Strong, warm relationships especially marital one
•See causes and effects as circulatory
•See events as multi-causative.
•Actively involved in world outside family
•Negotiate effectively
•Feelings and thoughts expressed and accepted
•Little blame or personal attack
•See human nature as benign – do best in a situation
•Flexible – adjust to new situations

ADEQUATE FAMILIES

Seek control rather than intimacy

•Centripetal

Rule bound
Enmeshed
Power battles
Scapegoating
Severe – eg sects
•Centrifugal

More comfortable with negative feelings
Blame and attack
Children expected to be independent early
Material wealth takes preference over relationships
Extreme – chaotic, intimidating, very unstable

How can early childhood educators help?

Recognise difficulties
Emotionally supporting
Referring on
Information
Helping with children if in crisis

Free Family Systems theory Essay Sample

A+

  • Subject:

  • University/College: University of California

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 23 March 2016

  • Words:

  • Pages:

We will write a custom essay sample on Family Systems theory

for only $16.38 $12.9/page

your testimonials