The importance of considering the problem of the family is explained by the fact that the number of marriages is decreasing, the number of divorces is increasing, the birth rate is low, infant mortality is increasing, and the pathology of newborns is increasing. The deterioration of the socio-demographic situation transfers the problem of the family from the social plane to the economic, psychological plane.
The family is an unusual social community, the perception of which changes not only from social conditions, but also under the influence of a person’s professional activity. The Yugoslav writer B. Nusic gives the opinions of representatives of various professions about marriage:
Historian: “Marriage is one of the very rare historical phenomena when the winner submits to the subordinate.”
Writer: “Marriage is an interesting story, and sometimes a romance with a very beautiful beginning, but often with poor content and most often with an unexpected end.”
Physicist: “Marriage is such a phenomenon when two bodies, in order to acquire greater stability, have a common but imaginary point of support and therefore lose their balance very easily.”
Chemist: “Marriage is a combination of two elements, each of which still retains its own characteristics. A drop of foreign acid that has entered this compound causes a reaction in it and decomposes it into its component parts.
Doctor: “Marriage is a poison that contains an antidote in itself. Patients feel best at a high temperature and very badly at normal. The diet in this case does not help, as it only worsens the patient’s condition.
Prosecutor: “Marriage is a temporary reconciliation of two warring parties.”
The difficulties of considering the socio-psychological specifics of the functioning of the family, on the one hand, are largely due to the “borderline” status of social psychology itself. On the other hand, they are aggravated by the peculiarities of the object of analysis itself. So, in one of the most authoritative domestic monographs on the problems of the family, duality is already in its very definition: the family is at the same time a socio-psychological community – “a small group whose members are interconnected by marriage or family relations, common life and mutual moral responsibility” , and a social institution – “a historically specific system of relationships between spouses, parents and children …, the social need for which is due to the need of society for the physical and spiritual reproduction of the population.”
Finally, an important circumstance is the interdisciplinary nature of many studies of the family. In this connection, for example, according to the authors of the Psychological Dictionary, such a branch of psychology as the psychology of family and marriage is an interdisciplinary area of research, including “research in the field of sociology, economics, ethnography, jurisprudence, demography, etc. “. Among its main problems are: the study of factors affecting the quality of marriage, the family development cycle, its role structure, the distribution of power between family members, intermarital communication, attitudes towards marriage and family, the determinants of choosing a marriage partner, the effectiveness of parenting patterns, the psychological characteristics of parents and their children, etc.
What makes a family different from other small groups?
Signs of a family: marriage or family ties between its members; common life; special moral-psychological, emotional-ethical and legal relations. The need for the existence of the family is due to the need of society for the physical and spiritual reproduction of the person himself and human society.
Reasons for studying the family:
1. 80 percent of people form families. Until the 1990s, 70 percent of women could not imagine life without a family, today 30 percent.
2. From the birth of a child, the family is the ideal society for him, since this is the first place where a person belongs.
3. Not all families are happy:
a) the problem of alcoholism (in West Germany, 37 percent of adults are alcoholics, of which 10 percent are teenagers, the rest are mostly women);
b) the problem of suicide, so for men most often the negative end of marriage is suicide, for women it is depression. Every third child is alone in his family;
c) the growth of child crime, drug addiction (in 1999, in Pskov, the number of drug users increased by 20 percent (heroin) and the age of those using drugs decreased to 14 years old, was 18 years old);
d) high divorce rate: from 1965 to 1991, the number of divorces doubled. The prognosis is not comforting. As a result, incomplete families, unhappy children, unsatisfied adults.
4. The study of this field of knowledge in other sciences (sexology, physiology …) is intensifying, due to the need of society for knowledge about intimate relationships.
5. Use of new methods in family research. More often in our time it is a natural experiment.
6. In modern times, the possibility of studying family life in different countries has increased, the intercultural aspect is expanding.
The home must be
Not a location, but a place
Where we always return.
BV Nichiporov (The Sacrament of Marriage and Family: An Introduction to the Cosmology of Homebuilding\ Issues of Psychology, 1991 No. 6) believes that the house is a place where the bodily, spiritual, and spiritual life of the family unfolds. He writes that a house has its own space and volume, its own scent, its own face, its own voices. House attributes:
1. ROOF – in culture it is shelter, cover. In the spiritual and psychological sense, this is an image of reliability, spiritual simplicity and strength;
2. FOUNDATION – it is good if it is based on stone, and not on sand, because. if it rains or the wind blows, it will fall.
3. WALLS – an image of a fence, a fortress, an image of autonomy and restrictions. The walls carry a ancestral memory, correlation with one or another spiritual reality. It is important what hangs on the walls in the house, what is on the walls, then in the soul of the owners.
4. WINDOWS and DOORS – the possibility of communication with the world. Cultural associations: “Window to the world”, “Breaking through an open door”, “The doors of my house are always open for ..”.
5. THRESHOLD – an internal limit, a line that must be crossed, to enter a new space or exit, departure. (They do not greet through the threshold, as it separates two spheres of space).
6. STEPS – entry “up” it can be a height, both spiritual and career. No need to jump over steps. The ladder is also an image of patience, they express a sense of the length of time in life.
7. LOCATION OF THE ROOMS – and who lives in them and how, will tell us a lot about the family: about the existing hierarchy, the psychology of relationships, and much more.
8. CORNER (or corners) in the house have their own symbolism (symbolic load). Angle is a certain limit, a junction of two spatial and force lines. This is a symbol of a dead end, an end, a certain limit, obstinacy. (Punishing child put in a corner, “cornered”).
COMFORT – an aestheticized feeling and love for home. Spiritual – psychological comfort means harmony and structure of the soul, is associated with a sense of peace. Comfort is a measure of a woman’s return to her original essence, a measure of her finding herself. Comfort is a house with all the listed components.
The HOUSE may or may not take place. Instead of a house, there may be some limited space where people eat, sleep, and so on. In modern times, there are many spiritually homeless people.
Definition of family
A family is a small social group of society, the most important form of organization of life, based on a marital union and family ties (living together and leading a common household).
E.G. Eidemiller gives the following definition of a family: “A family is an open, living, developing system that functions due to the interrelated action of two laws: the law of maintaining homeostasis and the law of deviations from homeostasis.”
A dysfunctional family (disharmonious) is a family that does not provide for the personal growth of each of its members and blocks their need for self-actualization. This is a rigid family system that tries to maintain the usual stereotypes of interaction, regardless of changes in external conditions. As a result, the actual needs of the “weakest” family member (usually a child) are blocked, and he develops some kind of disease (somatic, psychosamotic, mental disorder)
In characterizing the family, researchers include: the functions of the family, the structure of the family, and the dynamics of family development.
The function of the family is a sphere of life associated with the satisfaction of certain needs of each family member, as well as the family as a whole and its needs (social, group and individual). Andreeva T.V. (2004) highlights:
1. Specific functions of the family: the birth, maintenance and upbringing of children;
2. Non-specific: accumulation and transfer of property, status, rest and leisure, care for the health and well-being of family members.
From this follow the main functions of the family:
1. Reproductive function, i.e. the birth of children, the continuation of the human race. This is not only the number of children, but also a qualitative characteristic, i.e. to what extent the family will be able to introduce the new generation to the culture of society, raise spiritually healthy children. The reduction in the birth rate is associated with socio-economic conditions, the centralization of people in the city (a lot of children were born in the countryside, because the laborers needed in the economy are needed), the employment of women, the decrease in mortality (scientific researchers have revealed a direct relationship: there used to be high mortality and high birth rates, now mortality is lower than previous years (due to longer life expectancy?) and the birth rate is lower).
2. Household function – participation of family members in the production of livelihoods; distribution of family responsibilities; the problem of family leadership and management.
3. Educational function – the development of the child’s personality, the influence of the family as a team on the child and the influence of the child (children) on the parents.
4. Communicative function – the family acts as an intermediary in contacts with the media, between family members and nature, the organization of intra-family communication.
5. Emotional function – organization of recreation, leisure; emotional protection.
7. Spiritual function.
The instinct of procreation develops in a person into the need to have children, raise them and educate them. Without satisfying the need for procreation, a person does not feel happy. The appearance of children transforms spouses, parental love awakens and completely new feelings for women – motherhood, for men – fatherhood.
1. Family structure by number of children:
A. Childless families, if 10 years of life without children (16 percent in Russia); cannot have children (14 percent). Of the childless families, every 3rd such breaks up at the request of her husband.
B. One-child families. The following problems are possible here: 1. Socio-cultural plan – the child will be more egocentric, the culture of communication will not be developed enough; 2. Genetic problem if the child is “special” or defective.
B. Small family – no more than 2 children. Such a family combines the advantages of one-child families and avoids their disadvantages.
D. Large families – 3 or more children, is considered the strongest family, they have few divorces.
2. Family structure by composition:
A. Incomplete family (without 1 spouse) for reasons: divorce, single mother, death of one of the spouses, adoption of a child by one adult.
In Russia every 6th family is incomplete. Psychological consequences of incomplete families: disruption of relations between family members, low academic performance in children, children prefer to be away from home more. The good news is that kids grow up early.
50 percent of all offenses are committed by teenagers from incomplete families.
B. Separate, nuclear family – a married couple living separately with or without children. On the positive side, more chances for self-expression. Negative moment: young people love each other, but they do not know how to come to the same opinion or conclusion, as a result there will be frequent quarrels, intemperance.
B. Extended family, i.e. consists of several generations. According to statistics, 70 percent of young families under 20 and 25 percent of young families under 30 live with their parents. The positive thing is that there are no problems in raising children, a well-established life, restraint controls the behavior of young people.
D. Large family – 9 or more people – an intergenerational or large family.
3. Family structure by type of leadership, headship:
A. Egolithic – Decisions are made in a joint family council (60 percent).
B. Authoritarian – one head of the family who makes important decisions (a man in every 6 families, a woman in every 8).
4. Family structure by way of life:
A. Family outlet (sensitivity, revelation, trust, etc.).
B. Child-centric – children are the axis around which everything revolves in the family (80 percent).
B. Debatable families (purposeful, aspiring, love to do something: travel, socialize, go to the movies, etc.)
5. Family structure according to the homogeneity of the social composition:
A. Homogeneous or homogeneous (by education – 70 percent)
B. Socially heterogeneous (30 ave.) A different level of education is the reason for the lack of common interests, jealousy.
6. Family structure in terms of the quality of relationships and the atmosphere in the family:
A. Prosperous families, where both highly value each other, the high authority of the husband, both make concessions, compromise, there are family traditions.
B. Resilient families – without conflict, living for a long time.
B. Socially dysfunctional families (alcoholism, difficult children).
D. Problem families who are unable to cooperate and solve common problems.
D. Conflict families – psychological incompatibility of spouses. Children in such families grow up neurotic. or emotional disturbance.
E. Pedagogically weak families that are not able to give children a primary stock of knowledge. The main thing in such a family is to clothe and feed the child. Children are pedagogically neglected.
G. Unstable families – after 3 years of marriage, they divorce due to dissatisfaction in relationships and the desire to re-educate each other. Children from such families will have bad behavior.
Z. Disorganized families – the level of relations is lower than the level of social relations, they are united only by a common roof.
7. Family structure according to the conditions of family life:
A. Student. Difficulties are material. Positive – unity of interests, cohesion, striving for a common goal, for the future.
B. Distant families that are often separated due to the profession of one of the spouses (sailor, geologist, stewardess, etc.). Positive is a constant sharpness of feelings. Negative – there may be betrayals; children see an example of the absence of one of the parents – a family pattern of this type is being formed.
8. Family structure by geographical principle:
9. Structure according to the direction of meeting the needs:
– natural needs;
– intellectual orientation;
– intermediate type.
10. By the number of marriage partners , they distinguish
“monogamous” (one husband and wife) and “polygamous” families. Last
has two options: “polyandry” – (polyandry) and “polygony” (polygamy).
11. “Alternative family life styles” , which include:
Homosexual families (both male and female), including those registered in some countries. Group marriage.
12. Finally, from the point of view of the compliance of marriage and family relations with social norms , families are distinguished:
A. Patriarchal (traditional) relations, in which they are guided by patterns that dominated in the past: the husband, the “father-breadwinner”, provides for the family, makes the main decisions regarding family members; wife – does not work, brings up children.
B. Modern family relationships are combined with the norms of love, emotional closeness, mutual respect extends to all family members.
13. By participation in public life, modern families are divided into: collectivist and individualist.
The dynamics of family development. family roles. Myths and family rules.
The functions and structure of the family change over time. Classification of family stages by the presence of children and their development (Vasilyeva, 1975):
1. The origin of a family from marriage to the birth of the first child.
2. The birth and upbringing of children. The stage ends with the beginning of the labor activity of children.
3. The end of the family’s educational function, the children are independent.
4. Adult children live with their parents and at least one child does not have a family of his own.
5. Spouses live alone or with children who have children of their own.
Tseluiko V.M. (2004) identifies periods in the development of the family when it is necessary to show more patience, avoid rash actions and decisions. Not all families successfully overcome these periods:
– the first days after marriage;
– 2-3 months after the start of married life;
– six months of living together;
– year of marriage;
– after the birth of the first child;
– interval 3-5 years;
– 7-8 years;
– after 12 years of marriage;
– 20-25 years of marriage.
She distinguishes 2 crisis periods. Divorces and reckless remarriages are frequent during these periods.
1 critical crisis period between 3 and 7 years, with a positive set of circumstances, lasts about a year. Romantic relationships, the growth of disagreements in everyday life, the growth of negative emotions, the feeling of dissatisfaction, silent protest, the feeling of being deceived, reproaches disappear. Psychologists recommend limiting conversations about marital relationships, avoiding discussion of practical problems. Talk about professional interests. Spouses must independently look for a way out, the intervention of third parties can aggravate the situation.
2 crisis period between 13-23 years. It is less deep, but longer in time than the first. It coincides with the age of the “mid-life crisis”. There is a heavy pressure of time, a feeling that a person will not have time to do everything planned. The social environment evaluates a person by what he has achieved. The result of the crisis is the development of a new image of one’s “I”, a rethinking of life goals. This crisis is a difficult test for the family.
Classification of family roles:
1. Equality partner: expects equal rights and equal responsibilities.
2. Romantic partner: Expects spiritual agreement, wants to create strong bonds of love, sentimental. Feels cheated if the partner refuses to play these games.
3. Parental partner: takes care of the other with pleasure, educates the other (the partner should take the position of the child).
4. Child partner: brings spontaneity, spontaneity and joy to the marriage, but through weakness and helplessness gains power over the other.
5. Rational partner: monitors the manifestation of emotions, strictly observes rights and obligations, is responsible and sober in assessments. May be mistaken about the experiences of his partner.
6. Fellow partner: wants to be a partner and is looking for the same companion. Does not pretend to romantic love and accepts the usual hardships of family life as inevitable.
7. Independent partner: keeps a distance from the partner. Avoids intimacy and wants partner to respect his demands.
Role positions depend on what kind of marriage model the spouses want to create, taking into account personal attitudes and their ideas about the role of each of them in marriage.