This is the number and composition of family members, as well as the totality of relationships between its members. It is closely related to its function. They mutually influence each other. For example, divorce affects all functions. There are the following forms of family:
The basic form of the family is the nuclear family. This is a triangle-parents and one child. It is represented by representatives of 2 generations-parents and children. There are 2 varieties – a complete nuclear family (two parents and children) and an incomplete nuclear family (the absence of one of the parents). A family without children is also an incomplete nuclear family.2nd form-extended family. This is a family that unites blood relatives of more than 2 generations who are United by a common household. The most common option is families with grandparents and other relatives.
Option 3-a large family. This is a group of blood relatives of different generations who live in the same place do not necessarily lead a joint household and are headed by the figure of a Patriarch or matriarch. This form is typical for villages or small towns or on the outskirts of large cities. There is a parents ‘ house, next to 2-4 houses, where families of children with a certain type of relationship live. Parents play the role of Patriarch, influencing the existence of families. This family is hierarchical.
4 th option-family-clan. This is a group United by blood relations, which does not necessarily live in the same place and does not necessarily have a single leader. An example is the Sicilian mafia.
5th option-family-yard. It is typical for Russia in the 17th and 19th centuries. Now it is rare. It unites several generations of family members, and the family includes people who are not related by blood (governesses, servants, maids).
Violations of the family structure are also found, as well as violations of function. These are features of the family structure that make it difficult or difficult for the family to perform its main functions. For example, often the household function is divided asymmetrically, when the husband does not take part in it, but the wife does everything. The main form in which violations of the relationship structure are manifested is family conflict. It prevents the family from performing its various functions. Society is trying to restore the family structure. There are 2 lines here:
Not a psychological line, it restores the physical structure of the family (Dating services, fortune tellers, astrologers).
psychological line – allows you to restore the structure of relationships in the family.
The study of family structure and relationships is extremely important.
The family has its own life cycle, which begins from the moment of marriage, which goes through a certain life stage, disappearing in 2 variants:
Death of a family member
In the literature on family psychology, there are many classifications of stages of family life. Each stage has its own challenges and has its own crises that are important to overcome in order to move to the next stage. This is a regulation.
Stage 1 – the stage of a young family (0-5 years). It starts from the birth of the family until the birth of the 1st child in the family. Gregory Bateson called it the dyad stage. The main tasks of development at this stage are the problems of adaptation of young spouses to each other. Adaptation includes mutual sexual adaptation, as well as the task of initial family accumulation. At this stage, the relationship of the family with other families is formed. Especially trauma, when a young family does not have their own home. Family psychologists believe that marriage is not between people, but between families. Intra-family habits and values are formed. This period of adaptation causes a strong emotional stress. Many young families do not stand it – the peak of divorce at this age.
Reasons for high divorce rates:
lack of preparation for marriage
poor living conditions
lack of living space
interference of relatives in the relationship of young people
Stage 2-family with minor children. This is a triad, square, pentad, etc., depending on the number of children. From the birth of the first child and ends when the last child leaves the family. This is the Central stage of the life cycle, lasting at least 18 years. In the process, the family becomes Mature. This is the period of greatest economic activity. The educational function becomes very relevant here. On the one hand, the family becomes more stable, on the other hand, there are 3 sides in the triad and the distance between people increases. The appearance of the 1st child for the father is very traumatic. Someone called it a primary divorce, when the mother’s love switches from the father to the child. The peak of divorces is at the age of a child from 2 to 5 years old.
The educational function is the main feature of the stage. Overloads of spouses, overstrain of their forces and lack of opportunity to recover are characteristic. The dilemma is what to save-yourself or your family. The need to adapt to constant changes in the structure of relationships and functions in the family. You can select sub-stages that depend on the age of children:
Family with baby
Family with a preschooler
Family with a student up to 12 years old
Family with a teenage boy (12-21 years old)
Then the empty-nest syndrome.
This stage is accompanied by the 2nd crisis in the family, which is also marked by the peak of divorce. This crisis occurs at the age of 17-25 years of family life. I lived for my children, and now I’ll live for myself-start a new family. This crisis is interesting because on the one hand is the crisis of the family (gray in the head, and lusty), the other is a situation, when inside the family members going through their crises (for children – the crisis of ego identity – finding yourself; mom and dad under 40 – they have a crisis achievements). This is a very traumatic situation. It is difficult for adult parents to accept their adult children who have a right to exist. Add a crisis of circumstances (the father lost his career, someone died, etc.), it turns out an extreme pressure on the family at the confluence of 3-4 crises. Another crisis can be fatal, the family breaks up.
Stage 3 is the final stage. It begins when the last of the children leaves the family and starts working – the crisis of the empty nest. The husband suddenly begins to see his wife after 25 years of marriage. The stage begins with loss, and we need a new adaptation to each other at the end of adulthood and the beginning of old age. The educational function disappears. Intense resistance of grown-up children, violation of emotional interaction. The problem of an elderly parent accepting an adult son or daughter. Physical strength is weakened, rest becomes important, and health is a problem. Mastering the roles of grandparents, the problem of surrogate mothers. The main problem of this age is meeting the need for recognition and respect, especially from children.