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ch 11 notes

Course Code
Chandan Narayan

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Chapter 11: The family
Socialization: the process by which parents and others ensure that a childs
standards of behaviour, attitudes, skills, and motives conform closely to those
deemed appropriate to her role in society
The family system
Parents influence their kids but their kids also influence them and play a role in
their own socialization
Families dont function in isolation; they’re influenced by the bigger physical,
cultural, social and historical settings and events around them
Families are not static; they change over time
The ecological System perspective
the view of family as an interdependent system that functions as a whole has 2
principal origin:
othe realization by psychotherapists that to change the behaviour of a troubled
child, one usually has to change the family system also AND
obronfendbrenners ecological theory this looks at the relations between the
child and the system within which he develops and also with the relations
among these systems
according to the dynamic systems theory, the family system is:
ocomplex and organized
oit has an ongoing identity of its own
oalthough it maintains a certain stability over time, it has to be capable of
morphogenesis- adapting to changes both within the system and outside of it
oit has equifinality as time goes by-developing many similarities with other
system like it, even though such systems (ex. families in different cultures)

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may express these similarities in different way
2 other principles that govern system functioning are:
oInterdependency which explains why the functioning of the family system is
not always smooth. Cuz each family member and family subsystem influences
and is influenced by each other member and subsystem, both cooperative
behaviour and hostile/anit-social behaviour may have a big effect on the
system as a whole
Parents who have a good relationship with each other are more likely
to be caring and supportive with their children and in turn are likely
to be cooperative and responsible
Parents who are unhappy with their marriage may be irritable with
their children, and the children may show anti-social behaviour and in
turn intensify problems in the parents relationship
oFamilies tend to get equilibrium or homeostasis, in their functioning and to
become resistant to forces that might change this balance
However, resistance to change can prevent parents or other family
members from recognizing problems and can cause members to blame
all family difficulties on one child, who becomes a scapegoat for
everyone else.
Families have boundaries that vary in how permeable or vulnerable they are to
outside influences
oA well functioning family tends to have a permeable boundaries that allow
members to maintain satisfying relationships within and outside the family
oIf families are too rigidly bounded, members may have a hard time
disengaging appropriately from the family
ex. in adolescence, when starting uni, when marrying, making use of
resources outside the family. Such families may have few positive
community contacts and supports and be more likely to see their
children in a negative way and to be punitive and inconsistent with
ex. families whose boundaries are too permeable can be vulnerable to

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disruptions by outside forces like in-laws or peer groups whose
behaviours are at odds with the familys standards
The marital system
both partners in a marriage, or other form of committed relationship, make up the
marital system which is the first subsystem within the family system
How does the marital relationship affect children?
When partners are mutually supportive, they are more involved with their children
and their relationships with their children show affective, sensitivity and competent
child-rearing practices
Amount of shared parenting predicted marital satisfaction, parental competence,
and closeness to their children
oCouples who share child care and household chores have more time for
pleasurable interactions with their children and increase their chances of
seeing developmental milestones. These couples are help each other shoulder
some of the epical burdens that new parents experience like changing
diapers, soothing crying, etc
Conflict between partners can have negative effect on the parents and their children.
Not only the level of conflict but also the way the partners manage their conflict can
have negative effects on their children
oWhen the partners confronted conflicts with hostility and contempt, children
tended to show more aggressive behaviour
oFathers who have a angry and withdrawn style of dealing with martial
disputes had children who were more likely to be depressed
Effect of martial conflict on children can take one of two pathways: direct and
oChildren may be affected indirectly when marital disputes cause parents to
change their child-rearing practices or interact differentially with their
children these kids tend to be angry and non-compliant when interacting
with their parents
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