15 THE FAMILY LEARNING OBJECTIVES After students have read and studied the material in this chapter, they should be able to answer the following questions:
1. 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?
2. How is the father/infant relationship similar to and different from the mother/infant relationship?
3. 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?
4. How do social class, culture, and ethnic variations affect parenting style?
5. What effects do children have on their parents?
6. What features characterize sibling relationships across the life span? How do siblings contribute to development?
7. What are relationships like between adolescents and their parents?
8. What is the typical pattern of marital satisfaction? What factors impact marital satisfaction in adulthood?
9. What types of relationships are found between young and old adulthood?
10. What sorts of diversity exist in today's families? What is the life satisfaction of people in these different types of families?
11. How does divorce affect family relationships?
12. How does family violence influence relationships? How can spouse abuse and child abuse be reduced?
CHAPTER OUTLINE I. Understanding the family
A. The family as a system
1. family systems theory-- family as “whole” made up of interconnected parts each
affecting the other
a. beyond traditional emphasis on mother-child relationship
1. Nuclear family-- two generation system (i.e., father/mother/child(ren))
a. reciprocal influence-- each members influences all others
i. combinations of influences are mother-child, father-child, mother-
ii. parenting affects marital relationship with affects infant
development with affects both parenting and marital
2. Extended family household-- nuclear family system plus other kin (e.g.,
a. more common in cultures outside the United States
b. more common in African American and Hispanic American families
B. The family as a system within other systems
1. Ecological approach (Bronfenbrenner)-- must take into account many levels of
a. the family does not live in a vacuum and is embedded in larger context of
cultures of neighborhood, city, and country
C. The family as a changing system
1. Family best defined as dynamic, developing system
a. family life cycle-- sequence of changes in composition, role and