As you reviewed chapter 11’s PowerPoint and the chapter reading, you were given information and research about the dynamics of family cohesion, communication and conflict in relationships. As our chapter states so clearly, “Families are powerful environments…” Think back over your own family system growing up to present day, and how they communicated and interacted with one another.
The purpose of the family case study is to help students become more aware of family dynamics and to better understand and appreciate the complexity of a family system, especially their own by using the Couple and Family Map provided to analyze your family of origin or the family you have created through marriage or children. The purpose of the Family Case Study is to increase awareness of family systems and the family dynamics within these systems. More importantly, this assignment is to help you understand and take a deeper evaluation of your particular family system. Thus, this project will enable you to learn more about your own family and to help you integrate and apply information from the course into your own life and familial experiences.
It is a personal project that requires a lot of reflection but is by no means designed to make anyone feel uncomfortable disclosing information about their family. However, it is intended for all students to take a critical analysis of their family and the inner workings of their family system from their perspective. In the documents provided entitled Couple and Family Map Rating Form and scales (See Table 1 and 2), you will be provided instructions and scales for completing the Family Case Study. The study is comprised of 2 sections. The first section will be an introduction to your family, and the second section will be describing the family system using the Couple and Family Map terms and descriptions.
PLEASE NOTE: NO FAMILY IS PERFECT–every family has a measure of dysfunction! I am NOT hear to judge or critique your family; as noted above, the purpose of this project is for students to think about their families in a unique, more in-depth way and provide opportunity to think deeper and more critically concerning the way your family system operates. It is to enhance YOUR understanding of your family and provide potentially more insight and awareness. Many students have found and shared with me how helpful this project was for them.
This is an introduction of your family—please feel free to include any information necessary or feel comfortable sharing that you believe is important for me to know about in order to fully understand your family system.
: if you have a family of your own that you have created with your partner and have children, I advise you to do your family of procreation and not family of origin.
1. Composition of the family: marital status, ages, children, and sibling order (including yourself)—who’s in your immediate family that you live with or are dependent upon.
2. Occupation of parents (if you still live with them) or if you are independent then your occupation, educational achievement of family members, ethnicity, religious/faith background, and family social class.
3. Description of community/neighborhood in which your family lives—what was/is your neighborhood like (i.e. friendly, disconnected, diverse, family-centered, ect.)
4. Level of interaction and connection with extended family.
*First, make sure you read chapters 2 (regarding Family Systems Theory) and 11 (cohesion and communication).
Then, rate your family on the three dimensions of family cohesion, family flexibility, and family communication based on the rating form.
Upon completion of rating your family (using the scale and rating form provided below), you will write up the results of your family assessment on the Couple and Family Map Rating Form (see Table 2), which will be what you address in your “case study.” This means rating your family on each of the concepts and then making a global rating (average rating) related to the three major dimensions using the 1-8 rating scale (see rating form and scale in Tables 1 and 2). Please use thefor HOW to calculate all ratings.
Begin, by looking over the Scales to get an understanding of what each dimension (e.g., cohesion) looks like and then you will use that understanding to fill out the rating form. Therefore, when you fill out the Couple and Family Rating Form to get your ratings for each dimension of cohesion, flexibility, and communication, you will take your cohesion global/average rating and flexibility global/average rating to find out where your family fell on the Couple and Family Map (). Basically, tell me what system your family fell into based on your family’s global scores of cohesion and flexibility in addition to what you scored overall in cohesion, flexibility, and communication (e.g. “After mapping my family on the Couple and Family Map, I found that my family is Structurally Connected with a global rating of a 3 in cohesion, a 4 in flexibility, and a 3.5 in communication…”).
Once you have identified your current type of family system (e.g. structurally connected or rigidly enmeshed), you will then discuss in your case study the perceived strengths and challenges for each dimension with this type of family system based off how you rated your family—what areas did you score high versus areas you scored lower in; where does your family thrive but where can they improve. This section is designed for you to look at each dimension of the Couple and Family Map (i.e., cohesion, communication, and flexibility) and to pick at least 2 concepts under each—one strength and one challenge (for example, under cohesion: you may choose loyalty as a strength and shared activities as a challenge) and discuss it by providing examples and illustrations of what that concept looks like in your family and why you scored it the way you did.
Do NOT be general or abstract in explanations and descriptions such as: “My family is very loyal so it is a strength for us and we scored an 8 on it.” But in what ways are you loyal and how did you come to give your family such a high score? What examples can you provide to demonstrate loyalty to the family among the members? Think of it this way: after you score your family in cohesion—ask yourself, “What is a strength for us in this area and what is a challenge/growth area or something we could work on?” You will need to explain why by choosing from the various dimensions. For example again, you may choose “activities” as a strength; thus you will need to explain how by illustrating and describing—“We have high cohesion due to our activities. We enjoy doing things together such as: we have a game night every Tuesday and every weekend we try to get together because we enjoy being in each other’s presence and doing activities together…it is a strength for us.” In short, you are to explain through examples why you scored your family a certain number for the areas of Cohesion, Flexibility, and Communication and talk about the strengths and challenges you believe your family has in each dimension.
Finally, you are to include at the end of your analysis study a reflection of the process. Some examples of what you could discuss though you are NOT limited to these considerations: Were you surprised at the results? Did you find it difficult or easy to rate your family? Which dimensions did you feel were the most challenging and why? What do you think of where your family fell on the Map? After assessing your family, what would you recommend that your family could do to become a stronger and healthier system? What do you like best about your family?
Also, feel free to include any family pictures if you would like 🙂
Please look over ALL files below (some are already provided above): clearly reading through the criteria outline and reviewing the scales and forms provided as well as the templates. It is critical and expected that you follow the criteria.
The Couple and Family Map Important Documents (which were previously posted above):
*All resources taken from Marriages and Families: Intimacy, Diversity and Strengths by Olson, DeFrain & Skogrand (8th edition) by McGraw Hill.
Make sure you have met and followed all criteria! Please submit your paper as an attachment below.
The paper must be double-spaced, using Times New Roman preferably, in 12 pt. font, and pages numbered. ALL written assignments should be proof-read for proper grammar & spelling so that you submit your best work.
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