Basic concepts of family psychology
The definition of the family:
A family is a small social group that is based on marital Union and kinship relationships (husband-wife relationships, parents and children, siblings) that live together and run a common household. The most important characteristics of a family are its functions, structure, and dynamics.
Functions of the family
The function of the family is understood as the sphere of life activity, which is associated with the satisfaction of family members of their specific needs.The classification of needs according to Maslow – 6 levels. A simpler one is the need for security, attachment, and achievement.
Functions of the family according to need:
1. Educational function
It consists in meeting the psychological needs of family members for fatherhood, motherhood, interaction with children, raising children and self-realization in children.
The function of the family is not only related to the individual needs of a person, but it is also relevant to society. In relation to society, the family, raising children, performs the function of socialization of the younger generation. They raise a son or daughter, as well as a member of the community. This function is quite long-lasting-from birth to adulthood. This function also ensures continuity of generations. In order to extend themselves in children, it is important that children can extend themselves. And for this purpose it is necessary to give them the maximum of mental, physical and social health.
2. Household appliances
It consists in meeting the biological and material needs of family members and in meeting the need to preserve their health – physical, mental and social. In the course of performing this function, the family recovers the physical and mental forces that were spent in the field of work.
3. The function of emotional exchange
A family is formed by people who are related. These connections are based on emotional-positive contacts, which are called attachments. This normative attachment initially exists between family members and manifests itself in the experiences and expressions of one family member’s relationship to another. We Express attachment in the form of emotions. To Express them is an axiom for us. Gradually, this attachment is expressed in a serious psychological need. This is the need for love, sympathy, respect, recognition of the other, emotional support for the other, and psychological protection. This function normally assumes that family members know what feelings are and are able to Express and experience them, which leads to an emotional exchange in the family. Accordingly, since the family is an integral entity, not only do family members exchange emotions within, but the family as a whole expresses a certain emotion and directs it to the environment. Therefore, emotional exchange is expressed not only within the family, but also in relation to other families and social groups. Often, the emotional exchange within a family is of one nature, and between families is completely different. There is a “fortress family” type of family. Inside her, there is love and sympathy and hatred for other families. The emotional exchange is different.
This function is considered feasible if there is a constant emotional exchange between the family and the environment. This means that the family allocates emotions to the environment and receives some experiences in response. If this interchange is broken, the family is filled with unexpressed and unconscious feelings. This leads to diseases of the family as a whole.
4. Communicative function
It consists in meeting the family’s need for joint spending of time (leisure), mutual cultural and spiritual enrichment, and this function contributes to the spiritual development of members of society. The degree of development of communication in the family corresponds to the degree of development of communication in society. Through communication, there is a serious personal growth. Implementation of this function leads to serious personal growth of family members.
5. The function of primary social control
The goal of society is not only to help a person survive, but it also involves the function of control – the introduction of restrictions and prohibitions that help the person who created them survive. A family is a small social group in which a new member of society is born. Ensuring that family members meet social norms is an important feature. Especially those members of the family who do not have sufficient ability to build their behavior in accordance with existing social norms. Such factors that limit the ability to build their behavior are age (the family controls children, the elderly and elderly family members), the fact that one of the family members is ill, leading to disability (relatives must exercise social control as guardians)
6. Sexual-erotic function
It exists to meet the sexual needs of the family, regulates the sexual behavior of family members. Ensuring the biological reproduction of society, so that families are transformed into genera going into generations.
Just as a person has a date of birth and death, so the family exists in time, at some stage it appears and then disappears. It also has its own phases of development. The dynamic component is that the relative weight of each function may change over the course of a family’s life. Some functions can go to the 1st plan, and some on the 2nd or disappear altogether. The appearance of children in the family puts on the 1st plan the function of education and life. In a young family, there may be sex in the 1st place, in an older family, the parenting function may disappear. Functions change not only in the family development cycle itself, but also in the historical cycle. In history, there were stages when the family passed on private property (palaces) and social status (the house of Lords in Britain) from generation to generation.
A family that adequately performs all its functions is called a functional family. If a family has a violation of a function or several functions together, then this family is called .dysfunctional. It is the main object of social work, family counseling or family therapy. The psychologist helps the family as a whole, not an individual member.All these functions are related to each other and in practice it is very rare to encounter an isolated function violation. It is necessary to restore 2-3-4, etc. functions.
Violation of the family’s function is such features of its life that make it difficult or prevent the family from performing its main functions. For example, in the families of sailors, the sexual and erotic functions of the family are violated.