Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Families are viewed by functionalists as a nuclear family structure, which are composed of a father, mother and approximated two children. According to Murdock in every society have a form of nuclear family structure, which are the majority type of family in every society that he investigated. However, family structure have gradually changed by several reasons, and different family’s structures have emerged in UK.
Functionalists such as Talcott Parsons, suggested that there are two important role within the family, called expressive and instrumental roles. The woman is the expressive role, and it means that she was the one who raised, disciplined, and educated family morals to the children. The father is the instrumental role, which means that is whom maintained the family financially, suggesting these are a segregated type of family, as they have separated conjugal roles. Parsons argued that this separated roles occurred naturally, and it is fundamental in order to have a well-structured family.
Young and Wilmott (1970) suggested that nuclear families become to have joint conjugal roles, leading to the development of a more symmetrical family structure, as men and women’s roles become more balanced, with similar roles. They believed this new family structure was developed within the middle class families, and extended to other family class such as working class, knowing as the principle of stratified diffusion. They research showed that couples commenced to share family decisions; and it also showed that the man started to stay more in the house, performing housework and looking after the children, where women began to leave the house to have a salaried job.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

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However, feminists has criticised the idea of symmetrical family, such as Ann Oakley. She believed that there are still existing a considerable difference in conjugal roles. She interviewed several mothers about their family’s relationship and their household roles; and the results showed that women still mainly responsible for the children and the housework, although some assumed that they have had a little amount of help from their partner. This research was supported by others feminists such as Boulton (1983), who also investigated symmetrical family and discovered that domestic division labour still unequal.
Margaret Benston (1972), a Marxist feminist, also believed that women are overloaded with jobs, and she named it as triple shift, which are the roles that women execute on the daily basis such as childcare, housework, paid job, and on the top of all of this, they have to deal and manage the emotional side of the family, acting as a therapists. This showed that all this effort that women put into the family are mainly beneficial to their husband, as he would have everything ready for him, such as clean clothes, ready meals and therefore he would be able to go out fresh, and successfully perform well at his job, and eventually leading to pay increase, as he do not have as much responsibilities as the woman still doing at home.
Consequently, woman have adopted feminist ideas and decide to reject tiring family’s roles, and from that onwards, family structure have changed even more. Laws such as the 1975 Equal Pay Law Act and Sex Discrimination was stablished, and the number of women going out to paid jobs have expanded. For this reason they become more independent financially and there was no more need to rely on husband financial earnings.
Furthermore, women was influenced, and supported by feminists, to divorce or to leave unsatisfied relationship Subsequently, this idea of independence have caused an increase on the numbers of divorce rates, and new family structures have emerged, such as reconstituted family. Reconstituted family structure is when a single parent try to build a new family, with another person that may even have had children, and they raise their children together. Nowadays it has become the most popular family structure in UK.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper
Over the years, a diversity of family structures have developed, and some of the possible reasons that facilitates those new trends, a part of the financial independence, are the changes on divorce laws. This legal changes collaborate and simplify legal proceedings, such as legal aid act and divorce law reform act. As result, people have more access to divorce, and encouraged to leave failed relationships, such as empty shell marriages, as there were no love between them, but simply other reasons that kept them together, such as the children or financial dependence, and in consequence more family structure emerged. Singletons is also another family structure that have surged as result of divorce, which means that when someone decide, or have to go and live alone. The majority of this type of family structure are constituted by males. However, New Right supporters have linked divorce laws to the reasons of the high rate of family breakdowns, because individuals are not devoted to their family as their used to be
Postmodernists see diversity in family structure and consumer choices, as factors that indicates that the society have acquired more choices and freedom. Individuals are not judged as before if they do not live in a traditional family structure, as people’s acceptance have expanded towards new ideas and beliefs, which has led to new laws and rights, in order to support and protect every family, making them equally respected. Postmodernist Beck-Gernsheim (2002) argued that family diversity are the replacement of family traditions and marriages expectations, as people do not feel obligated to follow traditional ideas. The result of this change are the increase of divorce, birth outside marriage, and new different family structures such as same sex family, or cohabitation, which means people that live with someone without being married. However, this have been criticised and disagreed by others that believe that family diversity become extremely, and they believe that basic family traditions still intact by the majority of the society.
Childhood has also been affected over the years. Phillipe Aries believed that childhood is a process of development, as in the middle age it did not exist. Children were treated from an early age, such as seven, in the same way as an adult. In the twenty century, people recognised that children were not emotionally and physically strong as an adult, resulting in the decline of child mortality, as their living standards began to improve. Therefore, children’s laws has been stipulated in order to protect them, such as Prevention of Cruelty to Children Act 1889; Children’s Act 1989, which refers to the right to choose which parent they want to live with if they divorce, and 1991 Child Support Act, which demands the absent parent to provide financial contribution. Children also become more family centred. However, Melanie Phillipes argues that the parents are slowly losing their authorities over their child, as the children’s right have given a considerable amount of power to the children. This result in their innocence been taken away with it; as they are in many cases using those rights in order to threat their parents; instead of being motivated to respect their parent’s authority. Adding to that, she argues that the mass media have more influence and effect on the child’s behaviour compared to their parent’s advice, and that they are not prepared and mature enough to understand it. On the other hand, this has been criticised for example by Morrow, whom suggested that generalised conventional approaches do not allow the children to be aware of the dangerous that they can be exposed in the real world.
Postman, also believes that the media are ending with today’s childhood, by facilitating them to enter into the adult word at an early age. Nonetheless, David Brooks has criticised it, suggesting that this view was exaggerated and parents has become extremely protective, controlling their child, taking away the child’s own common sense and awareness to what is surrounded them.
Britain become a multicultural country as result of international migration. The increase in the ethnicity variety has brought a huge influence on British culture and family traditions. Asian families are more likely live in extended families, whether Afro-Caribbean tend to form lone parent families. In consequence, mixed race marriages has influenced and changed family traditions in Britain, such as the increase of extended families, where more than one family generation live together.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper
In conclusion, there are a variety of reasons and influences that have modified and increased the variety of family structure in UK. Postmodernists argued that relationships are based on voluntary individual’s commitment. Interactionists such as Clark, suggested that one relationship is different from the other, and some couples are encountering difficulties, and living day after day, without setting any direction. Furthermore, families become diverse and multicultural, and are all influenced by their immediate surroundings through society, media, learning and work environment, and social interactions have a strong effect on relationships roles, resulting in the increase of the variety in family roles and structures in UK.Question 1: In The Way We Never Were, Stephanie Coontz suggests that society romanticizes past generations of family life and points out that these memories are merely myths that prevent us from “dealing more effectively with the problems facing today’s families” (Coontz x). Coontz proposes that researchers can take empirical data and create misleading causality for that data, thus feeding cultural myth and/or experience. Coontz believes that “an overemphasis on personal responsibility for strengthening family values encourages a way of thinking that leads to moralizing rather than mobilizing for concrete reforms” (Coontz 22). She calls on us to direct our attention to social reforms, which can be accomplished by avoiding victim-blaming The family you come from isn ‘t as important as the family you ‘re going to have.” – Ring Lardner. Even though traditional values should change, families should be more traditional with mortality and respect. A family is the best thing that anyone can ask for. Traditional families hold the true values of friendship, honesty, loyalty, morals, and respect. While this issue is complex and may be hard to discuss there is a simple answer. Traditional families use morals to raise their children and create good people to better the world someday. Morals help better the individual. Traditional families teach each member the respect required to be shown towards others whether it be the workforce or in a grocery store. Morality is the key to a good person. Morality is the quality that drives individuals to better the environment around them and, while doing so, better themselves in the process. Morality is a quality that shapes and develops the world we live in. If all families were built from the ground up such as, the father being the family leader and the mother being the one who keeps things in order amongst the family, then there would be much less problems in the world that we live in today.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

When raising a child one is taught values by their families that they feel are important for their child to have. I believe that family values consist of certain actions and qualities that are important to a family to uphold. Values that are important in my family are honesty, trust and to have respect for others. Each of these values is equally important in my family. They played a big role into making me the person I am now. Growing up in my family taught me that honesty is the best policy. When I would get into trouble as a child I would often try to lie to my mom thinking that would save me from being punished. I soon learned that lying would only get me into more trouble than I was already. 

Respect is an important value to be taught when growing up. Through the years I have learned that in order to learn anything you must have respect for others. I have learned many valuable lessons from listening to my grandmother. She has told me many of her experiences, which has made me a better person. Having respect for other people has allowed me to be more open-minded and see qualities in people that most would not. I have always listened to what my friends and family has to say. That doesn’t always mean that I agree with them, but it is their opinion, so I respect it. In return I receive respect from them. As people begin to respect me more their trust in me also grows. Trust is a value that was very hard for me to learn. I was always afraid that someone was going to hurt me one way or another. My mother was always telling me that I should learn to trust others so that they could help me from time to time, but I never could do it. Eventually I finally learned to trust others a few years ago. I have realized that other people can do many things for you if you just trust in them. This helps me in the relationships I have with my friends. In addition to demographic change, several social changes over the twentieth century have altered family relations involving older people. First, alternative family forms (blended families, single parent families, cohabiting relationships, gay and lesbian unions) have become more common and more accepted. It is not clear how this diversity of “family” forms will affect the lives of older people in the twenty-first century. On the one hand, the plurality of forms may create a broader range of available kinship ties. On the other hand, these alternative kin relationships may not be as strong as the enduring parent-child relationships that have been the primary source of long-term caregiving for disabled older people. The negative effect of divorce on the strength of intergenerational relationships tends to be more significant for males than females.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay PaperMore than half the children in the United States are living in homes without two married parents.  In fact, in 2013, the Pew Research Center explained that 46% of kids under 18 years of age are living with parents in their first marriage; 34% are with a single parent, 15% are with two parents, one or both of whom are remarried; and 5 % have no parents at home.

Family life becomes much more demanding when one parent shoulders the responsibilities of the household. Kids in single-parent families sometimes feel cheated or feel a sense of loss. Because single-parent families result from different circumstances, it is important for single parents to recognize the specific needs of their children.

Families

In human context, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, affinity, or co-residence. In most societies, it is the principal institution for the socialization of children. Occasionally, there emerge new concepts of family that break with traditional conceptions of family, or those that are transplanted via migration, but these beliefs do not always persist in new cultural space. As a unit of socialization, the family is the object of analysis for certain scholars. For sociologists, the family is considered to be the agency of primary socialization and is called the first focal socialization agency. The values learned during childhood are considered to be the most important a human child will learn during its development.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Conjugal and Consanguineal Families

A “conjugal” family includes only a husband, a wife, and unmarried children who are not of age. In sociological literature, the most common form of this family is often referred to as a nuclear family. In contrast, a “consanguineal” family consists of a parent, his or her children, and other relatives. Consanguinity is defined as the property of belonging to the same kinship as another person. In that respect, consanguinity is the quality of being descended from the same ancestor as another person.

Other Types of Families

A “matrilocal” family consists of a mother and her children. Generally, these children are her biological offspring, although adoption is practiced in nearly every society. This kind of family is common where women independently have the resources to rear children by themselves, or where men are more mobile than women.

Common in the western societies, the model of the family triangle, where the husband, wife, and children are isolated from the outside, is also called the oedipal model of the family. This family arrangement is considered patriarchal.

The impact of industrialization on kinship has
been no less dramatic. The consequences for
kinship, can be seen in its changing functions,
smaller size, altered composition, and changing
roles of its members
In industrial societies, many of the familys
traditional functions have been eliminated or
greatly altered.The family is now an
economic unit only in terms of consumption,
not of production. Families no longer control
the political system; nepotism may still occur,
but it is not accepted as legitimate. Schools,
religious groups, and other organizations have
assumed much of the responsibility for the
education, socialization, and supervision of
children, and a wide variety of organizations,
from youth groups to summer camps and
universities, have taken over the task of
providing young people with the skills they will
need in their adult lives Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper
Some of the most critical functions, however,
still fall to the nuclear family ).
Marriage today is taken for more personal
reasons and is undertaken primarily to enhance
personal happiness

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Many sociologists argue that the family has lost a number of its functions in modern industrial society. Institutions such as business, political parties, schools, and welfare organizations now specialize in functions formerly performed by the family.

Talcott Parsons argues that the family has become ‘on the “macroscopic” levels, almost completely functionless. It does not itself, except here and there, engage in much economic production; it is not a significant unit in the political power system; it is not a major direct agency of integration of the larger society.

Its individual members participate in all these functions, but they do so as “individuals”, not in their roles as family members’. However, this does not mean that the family is declining in importance. It has simply become more specialized. Parsons maintains that its role is still vital.

By structuring the personalities of the young and stabilizing the personalities of adults, the family provides its members with the psychological training and support necessary to meet the requirements of the social system.

This view is supported by N. Dennis who argues that impersonal bureaucratic agencies have taken over many of the family’s functions. As a result the warmth and close supportive relationships which existed when the family performed a large range of functions have largely disappeared.

How Have Families Changed over Time, and Why?

The structures, or forms, of the family vary as much as the definition itself. There is no single “true” family form. In Western Europe the nuclear family (a single set of biological parents residing together with their children) was prevalent in the Middle Ages, but at that same time in Eastern Europe multiple generations of the same family lived together in the same household (Coltrane and Collins, 2001). Indeed, the United States has also seen many types of family forms throughout its short history. Stephanie Coontz’s (2005) research on the history of marriage reveals that the family forms we see today in the U.S. are actually the result of an evolution of the family that began with an important shift in the culture of marriage in the mid-18th Century.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Coontz (2005) found that only in the mid- to late-18th Century in Western Europe and North America “did the notion of free choice and marriage for love triumph as a cultural ideal…[opening] the way for it to become an optional and fragile [institution]” thus influencing the structure of the family at that time and into the future (p. 7). Earlier in history, during the Stone and Middle Ages, marriage was not based on love and men and women had very little choice about whom they married. In the Stone Age men and women married in order to improve the economic situation of their respective clans, then in the Middle Ages and into the 18th Century marriage served the economic and political needs of a particular extended family group (Coontz, 2005).

As marriage evolved in the mid- to late-18th Century into a union based on love, other economic, cultural, and political shifts in the U.S. and in other nations were happening that would further influence the structure of the family. In the 19th Century an ideal of the husband as breadwinner and the wife as homemaker became popular, but the majority of families could not achieve this ideal, as few jobs paid wages high enough to support a single-earner family. This changed as World War II ended and the U.S. experienced a time of dramatic economic growth. The economic prosperity of the time combined with the popular cultural ideal gave rise to family trends in the 1950s and early 1960s that had never been seen before. “Ozzie and Harriet” families that married young, remained married, and had many children were the major family form at this time (McLanahan and Casper, 2001). The realization of the Ozzie and Harriet ideal did not last long, however. In the late 1960s and 1970s divorce rates rose, births to unmarried women increased, and the average age of first marriage also rose. The reasons for these changes in the ’60s and ’70s were many: real wages for women rose while those for men fell, the economy weakened, wives joined the workforce due to the downturn in the economy, and women gained access to legal rights, education, birth control, and paid work (McLanahan and Casper, 2001; Coltrane and Collins, 2001). This historical examination of the evolution of the family and marriage shows that the family has constantly been under pressure to evolve and shift with changes in the economy, our values, and even politics. The evolution of marriage into an institution of love along with changes in the economy, our culture, and the political scene since the 1950s has meant that American men and women have been able to realize their ideals of the male breadwinner and marriage for the sake of love and personal freedom as time changes.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

These influences and trends in marriage, divorce, and non-marital fertility did not escape rural America. Comparing urban and rural parts of the country between 1950 and 1970 reveals, however, that rural divorce rates were lower, fewer women age 20-24 were unmarried, and the number of children per 1,000 ever married women age 35-44 was slightly higher in rural America (Brown, 1981). The changes in marriage, divorce, and fertility we observe during the 20th Century in all parts of the U.S. demonstrate that the structure of families are changing and becoming more diverse. While there are now many forms available to people, the family itself is not disappearing.

Why Do Families Matter?

The increasing diversity of the family in the U.S. has led scholars to examine if and how different family forms are associated with different groups of people who then may experience different outcomes. Research has found that not all racial groups participate in each family type equally, thus not all family forms are equally available to all people (McLanahan and Casper, 2001). Scholars have also found that each type of family (e.g., married with kids, married with no kids, single-parent with young children, etc.) is associated with different economic, child, and health outcomes. Demographers Sara McLanahan and Lynne Casper (2001) explain that past research has found that:

Children who grow up with only one of their parents”¦are more likely to drop out of high school, to become teenage and single mothers, and to have trouble finding and keeping a steady job in young adulthood, even after adjusting for differences in parents’ socioeconomic background (McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994). (p. 6)Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

They clarify, however, that “about half of the disadvantages associated with single parenthood are due to lower incomes [of single parents]. Most of the rest are due to too little parental involvement and supervision and too much residential mobility” (p. 6). Stephanie Coontz (2005) also clarifies that the psychological, health, and economic benefits of marriage for families are due to a number of factors like: the effect of selection (people who are already healthier, more psychologically stable, and better able to manage finances tend to marry more than those who are not), the “expectations about responsibility, fidelity, and intimacy” in marriage, and the freedom to exit psychologically, physically, and economically stressful unhappy marriages (p. 309-310). While we see increasing diversity in family types in the U.S. across time it is clear that not all types lead to equal outcomes or are equally available to all.

Dennis argues that in the impersonal setting of modern industrial society, the family provides the only opportunity ‘to participate in a relationship where people are perceived and valued as whole persons’. Outside the family, individual’s must often interact with strangers in terms of a number of roles.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Adopting roles such as employee, customer, teacher and student, they are unable to express many aspects of themselves or develop deep and supportive relationships. Young and Willmott make a similar point arguing that the emotional support provided by family relationships grows in importance as the family loses many of its functions.

They claim that the family can provide some sense of wholeness and permanence to set against the more restricted and transitory roles imposed by the specialized institutions which have nourished outside the home.

The upshot is that, as the disadvantages of the new industrial and impersonal society have become more pronounced, so .the family has become more prized for its power to counteract them’. Not all sociologists argue that the family has lost many of its functions in modern industrial society.

Ronald Fletcher, a British sociologist and a staunch supporter of the family, maintains that just the opposite has happened. In The Family and Marriage in Britain Fletcher argues that not only has the family retained its functions but those functions have ‘increased in detail and importance’.

Specialized institutions such as schools and hospitals have added to and improved the family’s functions rather than superseded them. Fletcher maintains that the family’s responsibility for socializing the young is as important as it ever was.

State education has added to rather than removed this responsibility since ‘Parents are expected to do their best to guide, encourage and support their children in their educational and occupational choices and careers’.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

In the same way, the state has not removed the family’s responsibility for the physical welfare of its members. Rather than removing this function from the family, state provision of health services has served to expand and improve it.

Compared to the past, parents are preoccupied with their children’s health. State health and welfare provision has provided additional support for the family and made its members more aware of the importance of health and hygiene in the home.

Even though he admits that the family has largely lost its function as a unit of production, Fletcher argues that it still maintains a vital economic function as a unit of consumption.

Particularly in the case of the modern home-centred family, money is spent on and in the name of the family rather than individual. Thus the modern family demands fitted carpets, three-piece suites, washing television sets and ‘family’ cars.

Young and Willmott make a similar point with respect to their Stage 3 family. They argue that, ‘In its capacity as a consumer the family has also made a alliance with technology’. Industry needs both a market for its goods and a motivated workforce.

The feelings kids have about their relationships with both present and absent parents create dynamics that affects their capacity to trust.  For example, hostility and anxiety of children during divorce also generates very different kinds of emotions than the feelings of grief and resentment a child may feel when a parent dies that may affect the relationships of that child with members of the opposite sex positively or negatively. In both of these situations, however, experiences of abandonment and loneliness may interfere with a child’s ability to trust and invest in relationships.

In divorce, children often feel torn between their allegiances. Many struggle to balance or negotiate a connection with both parents. Parents are often unaware of or unable to manage the strain that their marital plight places upon their children.  While the circumstances of divorce may disable coordinating parental guidance of relationships and sex education, parents need to communicate clearly about specific relational and sexual needs that their children are confronting for their overall well-being.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The sometimes reactive and changing moods of teens, especially in families of divorce or with children whose parents have died, can set parents into a tailspin. It’s helpful to keep in mind that many adolescent manage their angst and defy parents even in the most stable homes. When intense stressors occur for families, it’s understandable that emotions intensify that can be particularly overwhelming for single parents. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that for children, the dissolution of the family or home means dissolving both critical established relationships and parts of their very life. No matter how our children act out, it will help if we can sympathize with their needs and offer reassurance about love and intimacy.

It’s true that without direct experience of demonstrable intimacy and love between their own parents, this discussion may feel remote, yet the demonstration of accessible love for them becomes the foundation for learning lessons of how the power of love can overcome pain and loss. Building blocks for intimacy and love are created through our own relationship with our children and through working through discussions of appropriate loving and intimate experiences in relationships that we have with others or in relationships that exist around us, and in managing the struggles of emotions and communication.

To appreciate the powerful impact that a single parent can have, consider how the feelings of one mother affected her son when single parentingemerged not from the struggles of divorce but of an absent parent (Note details are changed to protect confidentiality):

Lou, a handsome, young man in his early twenties came to see me in therapy because of erectile dysfunction. A competitive kick-boxer, Lou had created a macho public persona that many women found attractive; however, Lou felt deep feelings of inadequacy that led him to overcompensate in school and work. Lou was a classic perfectionist, never letting up on himself. He knew that a medication for erectile dysfunction wouldn’t help him because he realized that the source of his difficulty was primarily emotional.

Changes in family patterns are being produced by many factors. The important among these are science and technology (industrialization), expansion of towns and cities (urbanization) and employment of men and women both within organizations outside family influence.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The material condition of industrial-capitalist society is the main cause of change in the family. Greater affluence, geographical and occupational mobility and economic independence of (some) women are the main contributing factors for the change in patterns of residence and family life.

The global factor (technology and industrial change) is nearly encom­passing everything. Since it is everything, naturally it causes everything. Industrial change or industrialization includes not merely machines, but the science and engineering that produced them, the secular attitudes of the modern era, anti-traditionalism, job placement on the basis of competence, an open-class system, high geographical mobility and urbanization.

Industrial­ization in this enveloping sense does ’cause’ the modern social and family patterns. These changes are tending to produce a worldwide movement towards nuclear family systems, eroding extended (joint) family forms and other types of kinship group. It is opined that there is a ‘fit’ between industrial­ization and the conjugal (nuclear) family.

There is also some sort of natural harmony between the modern complex of industrialization and the conjugal system. The industrial system has increased the demand of emotional satis­faction which is provided by conjugal bond only. Thus, this family system is attuned to serve the needs of industrialization.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The extended family system is unfit to the demands of industrialization. Decreasing emphasis on land ownership also increases the ease in mobility. The conjugal family is neo-local and its kinship network is not strong, thus it puts fewer barriers in geographical mobility.

Due to its purchasing power, the family is believed as the most important consumers buying unit by many marketers (Dalakas & Shoham, 2005). Therefore, a great number of previous studies have been done to understand how a family makes purchasing decisions over the years. As new social trends, the structure of family has changed dramatically in the past three decades in most countries in the world (Brace et al, 2008). The family is convinced as composing by parents and unmarried children in traditional mind. However, in the modern society, the definition of family has moved from only couple and children to family household. According to European Community Household Panel, a family household is a group of people who live together, share the bill and housekeeping arrangement (Askegaard et al, 2006). In view of most marketers, changes in family structures provide marketing opportunities. As the differentiation of the composition, families’ need and demand is diversified than before.

Changes in family structure and modern family

Family household types in modern society are diversified, such as single parent families, reconstituted families, unmarried cohabitation families, traditional families, couple with no children families and roommate family households. The reason of diversified family household type is that unmarried cohabitation, delayed marriage and delayed childbirth are trends for young people in the recent years. Furthermore, there have been increases in the proportion of the return of mothers to the workforce and the number of divorces and a decrease in the proportion of “intact” family unit (two biological parents and their dependent children). It is known that 76 per cent of UK children in 2004 lived in a family unit headed by a couple (UK Office of National Statistics, 2005). But, this official data does not differentiate families by couples who are intact or step parent. Also, it is acknowledged that 83 per cent of children in step parent families or single parent families live with their natural mother (Brace et al, 2008). Therefore, most of single parent households are headed by females.

Although the family types are diversified in the present day and age, intact families, step parent families and single parent families are three major types of composition for modern families. Haskey (1998) indicated there has been an obviously decline in the intact or traditional family household type and step families are more prevalent than single parent households. People are remarrying more often than before, and male is more likely to reconstitute a family than female. For example, step families are the fastest growing type of family in the UK (Mintel, 2005). There are totally 35 per cent British parents live as a non-traditional family unit. Concretely, 19 per cent of British parents are single parents. 16 per cent of British parents have children with ex-wife or ex-husband and now reconstitute families with new partners and the children (Mintel, 2005).Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Family structures have changed, which influence family decision making. Thus, some researchers argue that family communication has become more open and democratic (Belch and Willis, 2001). Particularly, the role of women has changed in the present society. The changes include education, increasing number of double-income families and the advent of career women. Further to say, these changes have impacted on family buying decisions and the role structure between family members. An increasing number of women are contributing to the incomes of their families and more women are motivated to succeed in their careers. For instance, nearly 60 per cent of women in New Zealand are employed in the workforce (Beatty & Lee, 2002). This is much higher proportion than before.

Some previous studies indicated that a person’s power to make family purchasing decisions depends on his/her ability to satisfy his/her marriage partner’s needs (Beatty & Lee, 2002). Therefore, the more a husband contributes to the resources of the family, the more the wife will accept the husband’s buying decisions. In the same way, if the wife contributes significantly to the family income, then the wife’s impact on family buying decisions would be greater than in families where the wife does not provide income to the family. It does not mean the person who contributes a dominant income to his/her family must accounts for the completely dominant position in the family buying decision making process. It is more likely that there is more equality in double-income families. Therefore, a wife’s occupational status has an obviously effect on the family decision making.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The prevalence of women working outside the home is not only because of the necessity to help the family in finance, but also because of the changes in social and cultural trends. Therefore, women obtain more power in some families which both family members will make decisions jointly. This type of family is more likely to be called modern family and it has a more democratic influence structure. In contrast, a traditional family has a more dictatorial husband and the decisions are made more autocratic.

Family life cycle

There are many factors influence family buying decisions. Despite the family type and women’s role in the family, family life cycle (FLC) also significantly affects the family purchasing decisions. The family life cycle describes the changes that occur in family and family structures as they progress over time (Askegaard, 2006). The FLC shows the changes in both the family income and family composition over time. As the time passed, the needs and demands of families tend to change. Therefore, their preferences and behaviours will be changed. Families in similar stages of the life cycle share similar demographic, financial and buying characteristics. In contrast, families at different life cycle stages show different interests, needs and demands and use different communication strategies (Lee & Levy, 2004).Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Children’s roles in family buying decisions

Since 1990s, the growing awareness on children’s role is largely because of children’s steadily increasing impact on family buying decisions and increasing spending power (Caruana & Vassallo, 2003; Dalakas & Shoham, 2005; Fan & Li, 2010). Many previous studies pointed out that children have became an extremely vital consumer group which influences family purchases of various products in many ways (Burns et al, 2007; Caruana & Vassallo, 2003). Thus, many marketers recognize children as a primary market, an influencing market, and a future market. For example, children in the USA directly spent over $60 billion and influenced over $380 billion of spending by other members of their family per year (Chou & Wut, 2009). In Australia, the adolescents’ market is estimated to be worth about $3.9 million, and in New Zealand the market size is about $800,000 (Wimalasiri, 2004). Therefore children are increasingly attractive targets for marketers.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Children as independent consumer

In the contemporary world, as primary market, children have increasing spending power in terms of being independent customers. They are seen as different from previous generations. Today, children are more connected, more direct and more informed. They have more personal power, more money, more impact on family decisions and attractive more attention than their parents and ancestors. Most of teenagers receive allowances from their parents or eldership. Also, a great number of adolescents have income from jobs. Past study showed 51.1 per cent of the high school students admitted that they get an allowance from family members in the USA and the median amount was $50 (Dalakas & Shoham, 2003). Moreover, Chou & Wut (2009) indicated children who between ages of 2 to 12 independently spent $29 billion per year by using their own money and further to say, they indirectly influence $320 billion worth of household purchase.

Children’s influence on family buying decisions

In addition, children are also major influencers within the family decision making unit. They attempt to and succeed in influencing family purchasing decisions. Several researches have shown that the children’s degree of influence in purchase decisions varies with the type of product (Beatty & Lee, 2002). They have the most influence on buying decisions when they are the primary users of the products, for example, toys, games, and school supplies. They are also influential in purchase decisions about products which for all family members, for example, vacations, furniture, movies, and eating out. However, they have less impact on these products than in the products which they are the primary consumers. According to Dalakas & Shoham (2003) reported, 34 per cent of nine to 14-year-olds acknowledged they influenced their parents’ purchasing decisions on videogame systems, 19 per cent affected decisions on vacation choice, 18 per cent have impact on stereo equipment, and 14 per cent participated the family decisions making process on computer equipment, VCRs, and televisions. Moreover, adolescents’ influence has been affected by the cost of the products on purchasing decisions. Their influence decreased for expensive family purchases. Furthermore, they have most influence as regards product type, colour and brand.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

One of the areas where children have the major impact is food purchasing decision. Food plays a vital role in family life and it is the main expenditure for most families. Children have most influence on the food and the meals which are easy to prepare. US studies have shown that in the major categories of food and drinks, playthings and clothing and TV programmes, children have an obviously influence (Chou & Wut, 2009). In the UK, 84 per cent of parents said that their children decided what food to buy. 29 per cent parents admitted that their children impact on the choice of furniture. Even 20 per cent of parents said they like to listen to their children’s suggests about their own clothes when purchasing (Dalakas, & Shoham, 2005). Also, through a survey, cable television networks in the USA found that children affected average of 43 per cent of total purchases which are made the decisions by parents. Further to say, mothers who shop with their kids normally spend 30 per cent more than they originally plan and fathers spend 70 per cent more (Caruana & Vassallo, 2003).Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The ways and factors for children to affect family decisions

Generally speaking, there are four different ways for children to influence family buying decisions. First, they hugely involve in affecting their parents to purchase products which they are the finally users. Second, older children buy the products which they want directly by using their own money. This money is received as allowances or salary. Third, children participated and affected their parents in family buying decisions making process for family products. Lastly, parents consult their children’s opinion for some of their own purchase. Therefore, children exert a certain influence on the overall family decisions.

Children have more influence during the problem recognition and information search stage, but their influence decreases at the finally decision making stage. Their influence can be direct or indirect. Young children more tend to impact family purchases by directly asking. However, older adolescents may use various strategies to impact their parents’ decision making. Except the direct requests, they also take other actions like bargaining, persuasion, or using emotional strategies.

A child’s age is an important related factor of the child’s influence on family decision making. Older children have fewer requests than younger children and their parents more tend to satisfy their request. The parents believe the older children have more experience with shopping and products, so they easily yield than before. Also, parents are convinced that their older children possess more understanding of economic concepts and have higher skills on shopping than younger children. Furthermore, children’s influence on family decisions is affected significantly by family type. Children in single parent families or one child families have more influence than others and the adolescents in modern families affect their families more obviously than adolescents in traditional families.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The reasons for children influencing family decisions

In the current era, family communication has become more open and democratic. Parents pay more attention to their children and spend more time to listen to their children’s opinions. These changes in family communication caused children can exert influence on family purchasing decisions making process. Furthermore, the influence of each child has increased because of the trends of smaller number of children in families. Because of the returns of women to workforce, most families’ economic status is in good condition. It not only means parents can afford enough money to satisfy their children request, but also pushes the children to take more responsibility for family decisions. This is because working couples have little time to make decisions and have to give their children more power.

The analysis of implication for marketing

There are many factors influence the children when they making purchasing decisions and shape their habits at the present. The top three influence factors are family, friends and media. All of them have outstanding impact on children’s shopping skills and behavior. In details, the family has been believed as it has the most influence on children in the purchasing process of food products, health care products and furniture. On the other hand, friends and the media play an extremely important role in affecting the discretionary purchase of the children. In fact, most of marketers consider the media as the most powerful affecting factor to impel the children to make purchasing decisions. They are convinced the television advertising is the greatest influence marketing communication tool. Moreover, previous marketing researches also suggested the companies to access the children seriously with child friendly amenities, colourful and playful displays and even credit cards (Caruana & Vassallo, 2003).Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

In addition, it is known that most of children have low brand loyalty for most products. Because of their strong curiosity, they are easily to be attracted by original and distinct products. However, once they build the brand loyalty for one particular brand, they will be lifetime consumers for the brand.

Furthermore, for the ethic thinking, the marketers ought to avoid displaying violent or pornographic pictures to children in their advertising. This is because children are not mature enough and cannot understand the meaning of this kind of advertising. Further to say, children very like to imitate what they saw. Thus, it is dangerous for children to access violent or pornographic advertising. For example, there was lots of news regarding that children did violent events after playing violent games, such as GTA, Counterstrike, or watching violent movie.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

An analysis of the situation of children in China

Children in China have become the most significant target consumers for many marketers. This is not only because China has the largest population of children in the world, but also due to the fact that Chinese children have more economic power and influence in their families than children in other countries. Fan & Li (2010) mentioned that there are 1,321.29 million people in China at the end of 2007. Among others, 19.4 per cent (about 256.60) are under the age of 14. This made China become the largest potential market.

In the present China, children have more discretionary income compared with before and also exert a greater impact on family buying decision than other countries’ children. One couple – one child has been a basic state policy in China for a long time since the early 1970s. Therefore, as the only child in the family, both parents and grandparents give most of their love and attention to the child. Even it caused a seriously problem raised in China, the Chinese children have been considered as being like “Little emperors/empresses”. A part of parents would like to satisfy their children’s each request as possible as they can.

Due to the importance of Chinese children, marketers did many researches to seek the most relative information sources for Chinese children. Finally, they found that TV, parents, store visits and friends were ranked as the most significant sources to receive information for Chinese children (Fan & Li, 2010).

In recent years, the relationship between parents and children has profoundly changed.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

For one thing, the decision about whether or not to have children is voluntary. Electing not to have children is no longer stigmatized in the way it was.  “Child-free” adults are no longer casually dismissed as shallow and self-absorbed.

As a result, for most adults, the decision to have a child is deliberate and purposeful. Having a child represents a self-conscious decision to become a mother or father and to assume the responsibilities that parenting entails.

Whenever any change takes place, it leaves an impact on other aspects of society as well. And then these become reasons for bringing about change in the family type also. These reasons may be Economic, Social, Political or Philosophical.

Economic Reasons

(a) Industrialization:The industrial revolution brought about many changes in all types of families. Earlier the family was in real sense a virtuality self-sufficient economic unit. But as a result of industrialization, what was produced in home is now being produced in factories. Thus, the families have changed from producer-consumer entity to only a consumer unit.

(b) Material standard of living:

Previously, man used to think more on spiritual and religious lines and lived a simple and contended life. The attitude and outlook has become more materialistic and the standard of living is gradually becoming more and more materialistic and the things which were considered luxury at one time; have now become a necessity for day-to-day living. To fulfill his materialistic or worldly desires, man marries late and plans less children. He may marry for dowry or do overtime to earn more money to achieve all this.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

(c) Economic independence of women:

It all started with industrial revolution. Most household chores became easier and were quickly accomplished through mechanization or were done by outside agencies. Also the girls started getting higher education. As a result of both of these factors, women started going out of house to earn money and became economically independent. This change of economic independence also brought about many changes in the outlook, attitude and form of the family as a unit of society.

Social Reasons

(a) Urbanisation::

The rural families used to be joint, having a common occupation. As they moved to cities their structure had to change because they now have no common occupation but they are compelled to adopt separate occupations for a living and also could not find cheap big houses in cities for all the members of a joint family to live in. This made them to disintegrate into nuclear families with separate status.

(b) Mobility of population:

In order to maintain a good standard of living, people prefer to move to a new place where they get a better and more paying job. This results into mobility of families as well as society.

(c) Education of women:

With the education of girls, their average age of marrying increased. With increased awareness and better personality, they started choosing their life partners. With their education and increased independence, they have a definite and effective say in family matters. Less number of children and increased rate of divorces are also an outcome of independent thinking and attitude of girls.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

(d) New sexual morality:

In old times sexual morality had different standards for men and for women. But in modern times, moral code for men and women are same. Both are punishable for any offence.

(e) New direction of recreation:

Most of recreation today is sought outside from agencies like movies, clubs, bars, discos, video houses, etc. For this reason, members of family usually prefer to enjoy outside and devote less time for family members.

Political Reasons

(a) Change in Authority:

In old days father or head of family had a lot of power towards well being of the family, but in modern family the father has much less influence. Now the state has taken over some of the responsibilities of a family like education, health, etc.

(b) Women’s rights:

Now the women have a right to vote on the political front whereas previously they did not have a say even in their own homes. The woman now has a right to inherit father’s property by law besides a right to go to court against any crime against them. These reforms have strengthened the status of women in family, resulting in drastic changes in family patterns.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Philosophical Reasons

(a) In olden times, marriages in our society were thought to be fixed in heaven. One (especially woman) had to adjust with whatever life partner they got in the arrangement made by their elders. Marriage was thought to be a religious binding, releasing the partners from bondage only after death. But today, the attitude and outlook has changed wherein the marriage is considered to be a contract which if and when unsuitable, may be broken by either of the partners.

(b) The individuals in olden times had very close ties with the blood relations and even a person of same village or town was considered as ‘one’ this own’. This kinship and attachment of oneness is now rarely to be seen. The individuals are becoming more and more self-centered and the ‘WE’ and ‘OURS’ have been replaced by ‘I’ and ‘MINE’. This has changed the very thinking and behavior of man.

Parenting itself has become problematic in a way that differs sharply from the past.  In today’s society, it is impossible to raise a child unselfconsciously.  Bombarded with conflicting advice about the relative merits of breastfeeding versus bottle feeding, crib sleeping and co-sleeping, early versus delayed toilet training, each parent must decide for her- or himself how best to rear a child.  Labels abound: attachment parenting, natural parenting, positive parenting, slow parenting.

Lacking the clear and authoritative guidelines set by earlier childrearing experts like Dr. Benjamin Spock, moms and dads must decide whether to be strict or lenient, achievement and performance focused or indulgent, pushy or laid back.  Today’s parents receive sharply conflicting messages about whether or not to prioritize academics and other accomplishments or, instead, give their children free time, freedom, and free range to explore their environment.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

At the same time, parents have grown far more sensitive to the risks that their children face, both physical and psychological. Anxiety has become the hallmark of contemporary parenting. Even before their child is born, prenatal testing leads parents to worry about potential birth defects to an extent absent in the past. This is followed by a preoccupation with children’s safety.

Stoking parental fears are sensationalistic media accounts of the risks posed by pedophiles and the prevalence of stranger abduction of children, as well as reports about the potential perils posed by bullying, vaccines, additives, and various environmental hazards.

The result: The geography of childhood has contracted, indoor time has mounted, and adult supervision of children’s activities has greatly increased.

Equally important is a profound reversal in parental expectations.  Early in time, parents expected their children to love them.  Today, in stark contrast, parents seek to ensure that their children love them.  To that end, many seek to ensure that their children are happy and never bored.

As mothers and fathers devote more time to work, a sense of guilt also colors parent-child relations.   Even though recent research indicates that parents actually spend more face-to-face time with their children than did their 1950s counterparts, mothers and fathers worry that they are not able to provide the kind of safe, secure childhood they themselves enjoyed, involving a great deal of free unstructured play with neighborhood friends. Consequently, many overcompensate.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Underlying the shift in parent-child relationships are a raft of historic shifts.  Delayed parenthood, better educated parents, and reduced birthrates all lead parents to increase their fixation upon individual children.  In a society in which marital relationships have grown much more fragile, many parents look to their children as a source of permanent attachment and emotional fulfillment.  The increase in single parenthood and two-earner households has also altered parent-child relations, since children in these settings must take on greater responsibility for self-care and for helping out than did those in homes with full-time mothers.

Perhaps the biggest force for change in parent-child relationships lies in parents’ worries about their ability to transmit their class status to their children.  As the economy has grown more competitive and entrepreneurial, many parents seek to give their child a leg up, and as a result invest more time and resources in enrichment activities: reading to their children, conversing with them, and providing toys and activities aimed at enhancing their development.

Today, parenting does not end at 18 or 21.  Most parents not only expect to contribute to their children’s college education, but to its aftermath: To supporting them during their twenties and helping them, later, in making a down payment on a house.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

For all the disdainful talk about hovering, overinvolved, and overprotective helicopter parents, the fact is that parents today are, on average, closer to their adult children than in the past. Parent-child hierarchy has given way, to a remarkable extent, to a relationship that is closer, more intimate, and more egalitarian than ever existed in the past.  If it has become harder for some children to cut the umbilical cord and establish an independent identity, and if it has become more difficult for some parents to let go and grant their kids a fully autonomous life, for most, the ongoing bond between child and parent proves to be a crucial source of meaning and personal happiness.

Family Values Because of the opposing cultures and ideas that collide in the mind of Richard Rodriguez, his arguments tend to break boundaries of traditional philosophical writing. As a Catholic, a homosexual, a Mexican immigrant, and an intellectual, the meaning of family values can differ significantly from one aspect of his life to the next. By gathering input from each of those sectors, Rodriguez composes an array of personal anecdotes and hypothetical examples in “Family Values,” to profess his theory that Americans’ supposed beliefs do not always align with reality. 
Though generalization in nature excludes outliers and exceptions, it serves as a perfect method of exemplification in Rodriguez’s essay, as his argument involves not a specific situation or individual, but rather a national culture as a whole. Throughout the essay, Rodriguez states several themes of American society to support his idea that Americans have weak family values. The principle of departure from home is mentioned early in the essay. “The assurance of family–continuity, inevitably–is precisely what America encourages its children to overturn. Become your own man,” Rodriguez states (Rodriguez 310). Americans see dependence on family members as a terrible weakness. Therefore, committing an act like living with one’s parents during an economically difficult time, such as Rodriguez in fact committed, is frowned upon by society. Going away to study, and leaving one’s guardians is a sign of manhood and success. Ignoring the exceptions to this argument, such as the parents that persuade their children to study near home, or the children who come home with much enthusiasm, Rodriguez simply states what he thinks is dominant in American culture. Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper
When raising a child one is taught values by their families that they feel are important for their child to have. I believe that family values consist of certain actions and qualities that are important to a family to uphold. Values that are important in my family are honesty, trust and to have respect for others. Each of these values is equally important in my family. They played a big role into making me the person I am now. Growing up in my family taught me that honesty is the best policy. When I would get into trouble as a child I would often try to lie to my mom thinking that would save me from being punished. I soon learned that lying would only get me into more trouble than I was already. 
Respect is an important value to be taught when growing up. Through the years I have learned that in order to learn anything you must have respect for others. I have learned many valuable lessons from listening to my grandmother. She has told me many of her experiences, which has made me a better person. Having respect for other people has allowed me to be more open-minded and see qualities in people that most would not. I have always listened to what my friends and family has to say. That doesn’t always mean that I agree with them, but it is their opinion, so I respect it. In return I receive respect from them. As people begin to respect me more their trust in me also grows. Trust is a value that was very hard for me to learn. I was always afraid that someone was going to hurt me one way or another. My mother was always telling me that I should learn to trust others so that they could help me from time to time, but I never could do it. Eventually I finally learned to trust others a few years ago. I have realized that other people can do many things for you if you just trust in them. This helps me in the relationships I have with my friends. Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

I believe family is one of the most important values, especially for a person that comes from a shattered family like mine. From the first minutes of life, a child depends on their parents and family members for protection, love, and support. Parents and siblings are a child ‘s first relationships, which normally creates an important foundation for a framework of values. Siblings frequently teach each other, help one another, and share life lessons; therefore family provides a background for individual growth. Parents are usually a child’s first educators, and regularly act as example in how to act and how to perceive the world. Although I grew up in a problematic environment, I did have a strong relationship with my parents. I remember my father caring for me; I have memories of us preparing lunch in the kitchen together. My father not only dedicated me quality time, but also made me feel safe and loved. The world is a scary place, and children are the most vulnerable to terrible situations, that’s why parents have the responsibility to protect their children. Anywhere we went, I always felt like nothing could happen to me because I had my dad.

Question 1: In The Way We Never Were, Stephanie Coontz suggests that society romanticizes past generations of family life and points out that these memories are merely myths that prevent us from “dealing more effectively with the problems facing today’s families” (Coontz x). Coontz proposes that researchers can take empirical data and create misleading causality for that data, thus feeding cultural myth and/or experience. Coontz believes that “an overemphasis on personal responsibility for strengthening family values encourages a way of thinking that leads to moralizing rather than mobilizing for concrete reforms” (Coontz 22). She calls on us to direct our attention to social reforms, which can be accomplished by avoiding victim-blaming Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

How much is family life changing? In one of the BBC articles written by Mark Easton in 2007, he highlights that in a survey which is made by BBC, three quarters of Britain are positive about future of their family. Correlatively, it is deduced that 40 years ago people were less happy than now. When the BBC exhibited its research of families in Britain, the result demonstrated that closest relationships between family members were deteriorating in time in consequence of reduction in traditional family structures. In spite of all alterations, 93% of the people in the world are satisfied with their family life. Moreover, Easton claims that ‘for every three weddings there are now two divorces’ which shows the highest rate in Europe. Cohabitation has increased to 64% in ten years. So that, approximately half of children were born outside wedlock.

What is the Family Life for a Single Parent?

What Easton states in a BBC article in 2007 is that the highest proportion of lone parenting is in Europe which also indicates that one on four children now stay with a single mother. In addition, Academic studies have been proved in 2007 that children who have one mother are less successful at school than offspring of married couples. According to growing numbers of people (7/10) rely on that parent are getting worse at family life. Although Easton gives a general information and important statistics about lone parenting, Kimberly Gail highlights essential sides of single parenting in 2011 in BBC news.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

According to Gail’s point of view, ‘parenting is a challenging endeavour.’ Lone parenting is not only challenging but also very fulfilling. The custodial parent struggles with responsibility of looking after and providing basic requirement. When you are a lonely mother, you are expected to make up your mind by yourself and so that you can have a healthy and happy family life through following some primary steps. Gail divides lone parenting into 5 groups.

COMMITMENT- In an attempt to be as successful parent, you have to have courage to take responsibilities as they fall on your shoulders. Your family is supposed to be your priority. Due to the fact that you are a parent, you are committed to spend time and money to support your children physically and emotionally.

HOME MANAGEMENT- Because lone parenting requires you to be alone in your house hold, organisation is essential. Many single parent families are responsible for arranging household. In order to be successful in organising, one of the good ways is to create an assigned daily list of household chores for everybody. It is even very easy for a small child as she/he will be picking up and putting away the toys.

RELATIONSHIPS AND TRADITIONS- It is substantial for parents to carry daily rituals. Rituals and traditions are materials of keeping family members together and can be a relaxing reminder of stability. In order to give examples to keep rituals going; get together for a dinner, go out for bowling at the weekend and join to activities that will create a warm environment as it reinforces family chains.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

SELF-CARE- Many single parents sacrifice a lot to make stable house warmer for their children. However, parents should know that taking care of them is also very important. Daily exercise reduces stress and provides you a healthy life. Taking time with family and parents is also essential to strengthen relationships. Some parents also take advantage of religious community and spiritual guidance.

Technology’s role

The other factor in family life which we can mention is technology. As it is easier to access to a public transport than 50 years ago, the distance between family members decreased. According to Mark Easton (BBC Home Editor) mobile phones have made communication between family members easier, even though the internet has not yet become very common in family environment. With regard to the researches in 2007 less than a third of internet users preferred contacting their parents every week and 8% of them communicated everyday. Although family life changes fast, we esteem are family ties more than ever.

According to what James Westhead states, despite increasing influence on family life, with computers and internet, it is clear that they have negative impact on relationships. Parents complain about the amount of time that their children spend in front of screens rather than involve in traditional family activities. To give an example, Second Life is a programme which makes people or families interact online as an avatar and even share family meals. Professor Lewis implies that ‘Technology is a double edged sword for families, it can erode and reduce human interaction but at the same time, technology is great at bringing people together just look at mobile phone use within families.’ (Lewic.C, BBC news: 2007)Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

A BBC pool has indicated that most of the British people are very positive about their family future. A question arises; what will size of families be in the future? According to predictions, in case trends in the past continue, parents in the future will not have many children and not get married. In reference to researches, the percentage of children who has non-married parents has increased 3 times more in last 50 years to 40% while the number of children has dropped to 1.8 in a family. A third of un-married parents are single and the rest of the people are co-habiting, however are more willing to separate than in the past.

According to James Westhead, predictions are unreliable. Professor Charlies Lewis (expert on family psychology) highlights that we will encounter with more single parents and more separation ‘People are already making and breaking relationships more easily and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Fighting between parents who stay together can be harmful for children.’ (Lewis.C, BBC News: 2007). The most influential factor is most probably economic. Moreover, the increasing cost of living and pressure leads people to have fewer children.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Families become hot political topic

It was brought forward that single parents and other family variations should not be involved in government policy. It is a common thought that while some traditional families which includes a married couple looking after children in a constant home seemed to be the ideal, dramatic social changes occurred in last decades and it became intolerable to base policy on it. According to Assinder in 2007, social changes caused the nuclear family to emerge. Furthermore, it was argued by some people that most of the social problems were generated by collapse in traditional family life. Correlatively, Tory Prime Minister John Major began to cut married couple’s tax allowance in mid – 1990s and it was ended by Labour in 2000. The leader David Cameron implied in BBC’s News night in 2007: “Marriage is, on the whole, a good thing that should be rewarded not punished.” In addition, the chief secretary, Andy Burnham gave his opinion about marriage and stated that “I don’t think the Tories should have a monopoly on this kind of thing. This is totally where Gordon Brown is coming from, your roots and your family are everything.”

Never the less, the policy on family is possible to alter, as majority of people showed interest to David Cameron’s announcements. Particularly, Cameron’s promissory speech in order to increase the inheritance tax to £1million took less attention in the party conference. According to Liberal Democrats, tax break are not the right way to be chosen and they insist to focus on helping couples stay together.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

How much is family life changing? In one of the BBC articles written by Mark Easton in 2007, he highlights that in a survey which is made by BBC, three quarters of Britain are positive about future of their family. Correlatively, it is deduced that 40 years ago people were less happy than now. When the BBC exhibited its research of families in Britain, the result demonstrated that closest relationships between family members were deteriorating in time in consequence of reduction in traditional family structures. In spite of all alterations, 93% of the people in the world are satisfied with their family life. Moreover, Easton claims that ‘for every three weddings there are now two divorces’ which shows the highest rate in Europe. Cohabitation has increased to 64% in ten years. So that, approximately half of children were born outside wedlock.

What is the Family Life for a Single Parent?

What Easton states in a BBC article in 2007 is that the highest proportion of lone parenting is in Europe which also indicates that one on four children now stay with a single mother. In addition, Academic studies have been proved in 2007 that children who have one mother are less successful at school than offspring of married couples. According to growing numbers of people (7/10) rely on that parent are getting worse at family life. Although Easton gives a general information and important statistics about lone parenting, Kimberly Gail highlights essential sides of single parenting in 2011 in BBC news.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

According to Gail’s point of view, ‘parenting is a challenging endeavour.’ Lone parenting is not only challenging but also very fulfilling. The custodial parent struggles with responsibility of looking after and providing basic requirement. When you are a lonely mother, you are expected to make up your mind by yourself and so that you can have a healthy and happy family life through following some primary steps. Gail divides lone parenting into 5 groups.

COMMITMENT- In an attempt to be as successful parent, you have to have courage to take responsibilities as they fall on your shoulders. Your family is supposed to be your priority. Due to the fact that you are a parent, you are committed to spend time and money to support your children physically and emotionally.

HOME MANAGEMENT- Because lone parenting requires you to be alone in your house hold, organisation is essential. Many single parent families are responsible for arranging household. In order to be successful in organising, one of the good ways is to create an assigned daily list of household chores for everybody. It is even very easy for a small child as she/he will be picking up and putting away the toys.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

RELATIONSHIPS AND TRADITIONS- It is substantial for parents to carry daily rituals. Rituals and traditions are materials of keeping family members together and can be a relaxing reminder of stability. In order to give examples to keep rituals going; get together for a dinner, go out for bowling at the weekend and join to activities that will create a warm environment as it reinforces family chains.

SELF-CARE- Many single parents sacrifice a lot to make stable house warmer for their children. However, parents should know that taking care of them is also very important. Daily exercise reduces stress and provides you a healthy life. Taking time with family and parents is also essential to strengthen relationships. Some parents also take advantage of religious community and spiritual guidance.

Technology’s role

The other factor in family life which we can mention is technology. As it is easier to access to a public transport than 50 years ago, the distance between family members decreased. According to Mark Easton (BBC Home Editor) mobile phones have made communication between family members easier, even though the internet has not yet become very common in family environment. With regard to the researches in 2007 less than a third of internet users preferred contacting their parents every week and 8% of them communicated everyday. Although family life changes fast, we esteem are family ties more than ever.

According to what James Westhead states, despite increasing influence on family life, with computers and internet, it is clear that they have negative impact on relationships. Parents complain about the amount of time that their children spend in front of screens rather than involve in traditional family activities. To give an example, Second Life is a programme which makes people or families interact online as an avatar and even share family meals. Professor Lewis implies that ‘Technology is a double edged sword for families, it can erode and reduce human interaction but at the same time, technology is great at bringing people together just look at mobile phone use within families.’ (Lewic.C, BBC news: 2007)Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

A BBC pool has indicated that most of the British people are very positive about their family future. A question arises; what will size of families be in the future? According to predictions, in case trends in the past continue, parents in the future will not have many children and not get married. In reference to researches, the percentage of children who has non-married parents has increased 3 times more in last 50 years to 40% while the number of children has dropped to 1.8 in a family. A third of un-married parents are single and the rest of the people are co-habiting, however are more willing to separate than in the past.

According to James Westhead, predictions are unreliable. Professor Charlies Lewis (expert on family psychology) highlights that we will encounter with more single parents and more separation ‘People are already making and breaking relationships more easily and that is not necessarily a bad thing. Fighting between parents who stay together can be harmful for children.’ (Lewis.C, BBC News: 2007). The most influential factor is most probably economic. Moreover, the increasing cost of living and pressure leads people to have fewer children.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Families become hot political topic

It was brought forward that single parents and other family variations should not be involved in government policy. It is a common thought that while some traditional families which includes a married couple looking after children in a constant home seemed to be the ideal, dramatic social changes occurred in last decades and it became intolerable to base policy on it. According to Assinder in 2007, social changes caused the nuclear family to emerge. Furthermore, it was argued by some people that most of the social problems were generated by collapse in traditional family life. Correlatively, Tory Prime Minister John Major began to cut married couple’s tax allowance in mid – 1990s and it was ended by Labour in 2000. The leader David Cameron implied in BBC’s News night in 2007: “Marriage is, on the whole, a good thing that should be rewarded not punished.” In addition, the chief secretary, Andy Burnham gave his opinion about marriage and stated that “I don’t think the Tories should have a monopoly on this kind of thing. This is totally where Gordon Brown is coming from, your roots and your family are everything.”

Never the less, the policy on family is possible to alter, as majority of people showed interest to David Cameron’s announcements. Particularly, Cameron’s promissory speech in order to increase the inheritance tax to £1million took less attention in the party conference. According to Liberal Democrats, tax break are not the right way to be chosen and they insist to focus on helping couples stay together.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The structure of the family has changed drastically in Ireland and many Western countries has seen a major change in the nature and structure of the family in recent times. In recent years due to a change in demographic trends in terms of marriage patterns, occupational structures, fertility and pre- determined socially constructed norms. According to Galliagan (1998, cited in Tovey & Share 2003) there has been a change of structure in Irish society due to modernisation, secularisation of society due to the church not being dominant anymore and woman becoming dominant in society in terms of roles and family planning. There are arguments that these issues have occurred for better or worse in terms of making Ireland a modern society (Tovey & Share 2007).

The concept of the family has changed from being of an extended family in pre-industrial society which contained two or more generations living under one roof. The role of the family was primarily a unit of production and reproduction which revolved around the farm. In comparison in industrial societies the nuclear family consists of two adults living together with children. This type of family structure was referred as the “stem” family. A new type of family has evolved due to separation known as the blended family which consists of two previously married people who co-habit with their respective children (McDonald 2009). This is conveyed by Russell (2004 cited in Tovey & Share 2007) that half of all couples in Ireland were dual earners. Family patterns have changed dramatically over the past several decades. This is justified by anthropologists Arensberg and Kimball who identified the family as being a typical traditional family with several generations living together. This type of structure had an patriarchal approach which resulted in gender roles as the male being the breadwinners and females being the homemaker (Hillard 2007).Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

As a result of modernisation and industrialisation it has led to changeable demographic trends in terms of marriage , fertility, divorce, gender roles, one parent family’s and contraception. Galligan (1998 cited in Tovey & Share 2003) points out that from the 1930’s to the 1960’s woman suffered legal discrimination in terms of employment, property rights, family law and social welfare. This is highlighted by Tovey & Share (2003) which states woman who previously worked in the public service from 1932 to 1973 had to give up their job when married due to the marriage bar. However this has changed significantly in recent times due to demographic studies which shows that woman’s participation rate in the workforce was 54 per cent in 1996 compared to 28 per cent in 1971 (Tovey & Share 2003). This has been mainly achieved through feminism which enabled woman to have a say in how society is operated which occurred in the late twentieth century (Hillard 2007). They argued that there was unequal power relationships within the family and highlighted that woman should have important roles in society in terms of carers and decision making (McDonald 2009).

The Central Statistics Office 2006 shows that the trend in contemporary Irish society of family patterns has resulted in six types of family units which consists of husband and wife (225,773), cohabiting couples (77,781), husband and wife and children (516,404), cohabiting couple and children (43,982), lone mother and children (162,551), lone father and children (26,689) (CSO 2006). Due to these trends in the family there is now a huge amount of diversity in terms of what a family can be defined in terms of. Tovey and Share (2003) highlights key trends due to the changing phenomena of the family caused by a marked decline in marriage, birth and fertility rates and people remaining single. This is conveyed that in 2001 births outside marriage made up nearly a third of all births in Ireland which shows that there has been changing attitudes towards social values in terms of the family.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Over the last 20 years, an emerging theme in the developmental and family studies literatures is the significance of life transitions (e.g., Rutter, 1996; Schulenberg, Maggs, & O’Malley, 2003). For instance, a body of work has examined how the normative transitions of early adolescence, such as school changes and pubertal development, are related to youth psycho-social functioning (e.g., Eccles et al., 1993; Montemayor, Adams, & Gullota, 1990). More recently, researchers have directed attention at transitions across late adolescence into early adulthood (e.g., Aquilino, 2006; Arnett, 2000; O’Connor, Allen, Bell, & Hauser, 1996). The present study builds on this work by examining the developmental course of parent-child and sibling relationships from early adolescence to early adulthood and by investigating how these relationships change when firstborn youth leave their parents’ home for the first time.

As we review in the following pages, most research examining transitions out of the home in late adolescence has focused on the experiences of the youth who leave the home (i.e., their parent-child relationships and individual adjustment). A family systems perspective, however, highlights that such transitions also may have implications for other subsystems in the family. That is, a systems perspective alerts us to the notion that family members and dyads do not function in isolation, but both influence and are influenced by other family subsystems (Whitchurch & Constantine, 1993). Accordingly, in addition to examining the family relationship experiences of young adults who leave home for the first time, we investigated whether firstborns’ transition out of the home had implications for the family relationships of their second-born siblings.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Family Relationships From Adolescence to Early Adulthood

Early adulthood (approximately ages 18 to 25) is a time of dramatic change. Recent work documents marked variability in the timing and sequencing of life transitions such as finishing school, entering long-term romantic relationships and marriage, parenthood, and beginning a career (e.g., Arnett, 2000; Cohen, Kasen, Chen, Hartmark, & Gordon, 2003). In the face of this variability, most individuals leave their parents’ home for the first time during this period (Mogelonsky, 1996). In many cases, leaving home may represent the first marker in the developmental process of moving from adolescence to adulthood. We explored how this developmental transition was related to young adults’ family relationships.

In general, research on the transition to adulthood has documented both continuity and change in parent-child relationship qualities. For example, perspectives such as social learning (e.g., Bandura, 1977; Whitbeck, Hoyt, & Huck, 1994) and attachment theories (e.g., Ainsworth, 1982; Hazen & Shaver, 1987) suggest that patterns of functioning learned and enacted during childhood and adolescence will continue to manifest themselves in young adults’ relationships. Consistent with these notions, parent-child relationships during adolescence continue to predict parent-child relationship qualities during adulthood, especially early adulthood (Aquilino, 1997, 2006; Thornton, Orbuch, & Axxinn, 1995; Tubman & Lerner, 1994; Whitbeck et al., 1994). For example, greater warmth, intimacy, and cohesion during adolescence is associated with greater emotional closeness, support, and contact with parents during early adulthood (e.g., Aquilino, 1997; Belsky, Jaffee, Hsieh, & Silva, 2001; O’Connor et al., 1996). In contrast, more conflict and strain as well as less affectionate relationships during adolescence are associated with lower levels of emotional closeness, support and exchange and greater rates of conflict in parent-young adult relationships (Aquilino, 1997). It is important to note, however, that across these different studies, the associations between parent-child relationships qualities in adolescence and early adulthood have been small to modest.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Low levels of stability imply an opportunity for some parent-child relationships to change when youth leave home (Aquilino, 1997, 2006). For example, as youth transition out of the home, parents may reduce their levels of control, and offspring may reduce their levels of dependency. As such, “home leaving acts as a catalyst toward a more individuated relationship that is based on the mutual care and respect of two adults” (Aquilino, 1997, p. 682). In line with this notion, studying a national sample Aquilino (1997) found that parents reported decreased conflict with their child following youth’s transition out of the home. Sullivan and Sullivan (1980) documented that young adults who left home and attended college reported greater affection, communication, and satisfaction in their relationships with their parents as compared to young adults who commuted to college and resided in their parents’ homes. Similarly, Leftkowitz (2005)showed that 78% of youth who transitioned to college or university reported changes in their parent-child relationship, and more than 80% of those described these changes as positive (e.g., feel closer to parents, communication is more open, argue less). Finally, both Dubas and Petersen (1996) and O’Connor and colleagues (1996) found that leaving home was related to more positive adjustment as compared to remaining at home. In sum, although there is some stability in parent-child relationships across the transition to adulthood, the transition out of the home may provide a chance for relationship transformations, and as such, represents an important time to examine families.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

In this study we explored how leaving home was related to young adults’ relationships with their parents during the year after their departure. Using 8 years of longitudinal data we charted the developmental trajectories of youth’s family relationships from early adolescence into early adulthood. Using a multi-level modeling approach, we examined the trajectories of conflict and warmth in mother-child and father-child relationships across adolescence and into early adulthood and explored how home leaving altered these trajectories. Given recent work (e.g., Aquilino, 1997, 2006; Leftkowitz, 2005), we expected that firstborns would report improvements in their relationships with their parents following their transition out of the home.

Sibling and Parent-Child Relationships of Offspring Who Remain Home

As mentioned, the majority of research examining family relationships during youths’ transition into adulthood has focused on parent-child relationships (Aquilino, 2006). A small, but growing body of research suggests, however, that this transition also may have implications for young adults’ sibling relationships. For example, despite their centrality in childhood and early adolescence (McHale & Crouter, 1996), some research suggests that sibling relationships decrease in affective intensity as youth approach adulthood (Short & Gottman, 1997; Stocker, Lanthier, & Furman, 1997) and may become less close and more distant (White, 2001). Connecting these findings to youth’s leaving home, however, is limited by the fact that most studies have key methodological shortcomings: Reliance on retrospective reports and samples of respondents who range widely in age (e.g., ages 17 to 25). Thus, for many respondents, the transition out of their parents’ home may have occurred many years in the past, and as such, may be confounded with other developmental changes (e.g., entering long-term romantic partnership, starting a job, starting a family). In this study, we addressed these limitations, using longitudinal data to examine the implications of leaving home for young adults’ family relationships in the first year after their departure.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

Additionally, by taking advantage of a sibling research design, we moved beyond previous work’s focus on how parent-child relationships change for youth who leave home to also consider how this transition relates to their younger siblings’ relationships with their parents. A family systems perspective (e.g., Whitchurch & Constantine, 1993) highlights that changes in one subsystem are likely to reverberate in other family subsystems. From this perspective firstborns’ leaving home may lead other family members to renegotiate their roles and relationships. For example, in two-child families, second-borns become the only child remaining in the home, and as a byproduct, may receive greater time with and attention from parents who previously had to divide their energies. In families with three or more offspring, second-borns are elevated into the position of eldest sibling and may experience new responsibilities and privileges associated with their status such as serving as caregivers and chauffeurs for younger siblings or getting a bedroom of their own. In this study, we explored how firstborns’ leaving home had implications, not only for their own family relationships, but also for other dyadic relationships within the family system.Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

The overarching goals of the present study were to: (a) describe the trajectories of first-and second-borns’ family relationships from adolescence to early adulthood; and (b) to examine how firstborns’ transitions out of the home were related to those trajectories. We built on previous work with this sample, in which we followed families from middle childhood through the high school years, to study parents’ differential treatment of siblings (Shanahan, McHale, Osgood, & Crouter, 2007a; 2007b) and the family structure and relationship correlates of sibling relationship qualities (Kim, McHale, Osgood, & Crouter, 2006). In this paper, we used data collected over an additional three year period to address the novel question of how parent-child and sibling relationships change from before to after firstborns leave home. We include family relationship data beginning in middle childhood, however, to provide a picture of the larger developmental context within which changes as a function of firstborns’ leaving home emerge. Readers are directed to Kim et al. (2006) and Shanahan et al. (2007a; 2007b) for depictions of changes in youth reports of parent-child and sibling relationships between about age 7 and about age 19. Changes in Roles and Relationship within the Family Essay Paper

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