Family Systems and Healthy Development In today’s world, families are dynamic and interdependent systems. The developmental processes of the children in the family are deeply affected by how the family system operates. However, a family’s structure does not determine whether it is a healthy family system or not. Today, families consist of single parents, stepparents, divorced parents, remarried parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. They are all able to contribute to a healthy functioning family system by meeting each family member’s needs and encouraging positive communication (Jamiolkowski, 2008). Unhealthy family systems have negative and possibly …show more content…
It can sometimes be difficult to discern whether a family system is healthy or not. Even healthy family members can become understandably upset by circumstances and don’t always deal with stressful situations well. However, an unhealthy family system is usually created by one or more members. Parents who were raised in unhealthy family systems may carry over the same traits to their own families. Also, other factors that can cause an unhealthy family system is a parent or main caregiver with a serious problem such as mental illness, alcohol abuse or drug addiction. This causes communication in the family to be strained and distorted. Opinions and ideas are discouraged and usually ignored. Usually children deal with mixed messages and conflicting ideas, making it harder for them to discern between appropriate and inappropriate behavior. They develop poor personal boundaries and have a hard time participating in loving relationships (Jamiolkowski, 2008).
Effects of an Unhealthy System
Children in unhealthy family systems usually suffer from one or more forms of abuse. This can range from physical abuse