What Makes a Flourishing Family?
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What Makes a Flourishing Family?
By: Tyler Ackerman, Destiny Grant,
Michelle Miller, Alex Weaver, and Ben Weaver
The Resilient Family Definition
“Healthy families which adjust well and flourish during and after challenges are referred to as resilient families.” (pg. 119)
Recent research has changed to scope of resilience to include aspects such as self-regulation; optimism; problem-solving ability in everyday life; and successful adaptation to adverse events.
Aspects of Research
Patterson identified three aspects of research for the concept of resilient families:
1) Family level outcome must be created so that it is possible to determine the degree to which a family is able to achieve a certain outcome.
2) There has to be a risk that the family will not be successful.
3) They need to understand the protective mechanisms that could prohibit poor expected outcomes.
Traits in Psychologically Healthy Families
1) Secure loving and marital relationship
2) Commitment of family members to one another
3) Respectful patterns of communication among all members
4) Clear household rules and boundaries between children and parents
5) A preference for discussion and negotiation in the decision making process
6) An authoritative rather than an authoritarian or permissive parenting style
Traits of Psychologically Healthy Families cont.
7) Encouragement of individual autonomy and responsibility
8) A religious orientation
9) Share leisure and recreational activities
10) Effective strategies for dealing with stress
11) Emotional intimacy among members
12) The presence of humor and laughter (Peterson and Chang; 2003)
A few additional elements of happiness include; living space in the home, traditions, ceremonies, and a shared family narrative. (Lopez; 2009) (pg. 119)
Family-centered Positive Psychology
Promotes strengths and the ability to strive in a changing world instead of focusing on resolving problems or fixing shortcomings.
There is a focus on strengths and aspects that will promote better families regardless of risks.
Resilient Family Video
Developed by Alfred Adler (1930-1938), emphasizing the universal struggle of children to achieve a sense of competency within their world and their family
The seeking of validation for their talents and abilities
Adler’s four healthy characteristics of a psychologically healthy family
Warmth and respect amongst members
Democratic parent style rather than authoritarian in decision making
Emotional maturation and autonomy
Friendly and constructive relations with member of family and the wider community
A psychologist named Diana Baumrind (1973) conducted studies on what makes a healthy family, stating that a psychologically healthy family should be able to create an instrumental competence in children, meaning it should teach them to function with confidence and mastery.
Four Types of Parental Behavior
Warmth and Support
Least effective parenting styles
Best parenting style
High warmth and support
One study found that college students who had authoritative parents, also had higher self-actualization scores.
Marissa Diener and Mary Beth Diener McGavran, who have added to Baumrind’s analysis, state that the relationship between parents and children must change as children grow up.
Infants require a secure attachment to a caretaker
Adolescents, however, flourish when they feel close to both parents
The Best Parenting Behaviors for Higher Well-being Include…
Maintaining continuity in positive caregiving (This can be done throughout the lifespan and improves well being of both parents and children)
Modeling emotional regulation skills
High but reasonable emotional involvement with children
Positive relationships between parents and young children often leads to healthy relationships between parents and adult children
As a side note, healthy sibling relationships are important as well
The Family Life Cycle pp.120-121
Figure 5.3 show the results of Marital Satisfaction over the “Common” Life Cycle.
Stages of Life Cycle
Stage 1, Beginning families
Stage 2, Child-Bearing families
Stage 3, Families with Preschool Children
Stage 4, Families with school-aged children
Stage 5, Families with Teenagers
Stage 6, Families as launching centers
Stage 7, Families in the middle years
Stage 8, Aging families
The arrival of children can be considered a stressor and decrease Marital Satisfaction.
Marital Satisfaction is almost always high during stage 1 Beginning years.
Average satisfaction levels slowly decline once children come into the picture until hitting rock bottom during stage 5 Families with teenagers.
Empty nest period syndrome turns out to be a myth showing increases in marital satisfaction in women during this stage.
A reason for the decrease in marital satisfaction include increased anxiety levels from the wife due to becoming a new mother and the increased demands placed in the mother for child care.
Another reason stated that if both partners agreed life became more chaotic after the baby was born
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