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Family System: Nuclear family Extended family, blended family, single parent family etc.

Family System: Nuclear family Extended family, blended family,

Family System: Nuclear family Extended family, blended family, single parent family etc.




Family System: Nuclear family Extended family, blended family,


is made up of parents and their children living together OR
A group of people closely related by blood, marriage or adoption. OR
All those descended from a common ancestor.

Types of family

-nuclear family
-extended family
-Single parent family
-Blended family
-polygamous family

Nuclear family:

Consists of husband, wife with or without children living together. Also referred to as “natural”, „primary‟ or „restricted family‟

Advantages of nuclear family

_ reduction of conflict between family members
_There is privacy
_ dependency ratio on the bread winer is low
_children are easily controlled and nurtured
_children inherit parents properties when they die
_decision making is easy


Disadvantages of nuclear family

_members suffer when the bread winer dies
_children may not know the norms and traditions of their ethnicity
_children may not benefit from stories and old folktale from grandparents
_they may not get support from extended family member in times of crises.
_in case of infertility the couple will not get children from extended family to help them in house hold chorces

Extended Family:-

Nuclear family together with other relatives related by blood.
Each of the husband or wife has his/her own extended family. They may not share a common residence.


Nephew_ your sister’s or brother’s son
Niece_ your sister’s or brother’s daughter
Cousin_ your uncle’s son or daughter o
Uncle_ your father’s or mother’s brother
Aunt_your father’s or mother’s sister

Advantages of extended family

_it brings about division of labour
_it helps members to learn the customs and traditions of their society
_children are taken care of by other members if their parents die
_duringcrises like sickness, family members are available to help each other
_in case of infertility in couple, children of other members are available to help them in house hold chorces

Disadvantage of extended family

_decision making is difficult
_there is lack of privacy
_conflict is very high
_children are easily denied from inheriting their parents properties when they die
_ children May not get care and proper parental control

Single Parent Family

This is the type of family where either the husband or the wife lives with a child or children
One parent, husband or wife, man or woman living with the children.
This type family can occur through death or divorce

Advantages of single parent family

_decision making is easy
_children learn to be independent
_children inherit parent properties when he or she does
_conflict is minimized in the family
_No discrimination among children like the blended family


Disadvantages of single parent family

_children take extra responsibilities
_children suffer when the parent dies
_children may lack adult role model from the parent who is not available
_one parent may find it difficult to nurture and control children appropriately
_ the family may mis the help and financial guidance from the other partner


Blended Family

A married couple with their children and those from previous marriages.
Or it is a type of family where where one or both spouses bring children from their previous marriage into the family

Advantages of blended family

_children learn skills and other resources from each other
_both parents put their resources together to take care of the family
_if one parent dies the other parent can take care of the children
_ there may be devision of labour among members
_ children get adult romodels from both parents

Disadvantages of blended family

_adjustment to blended family lifestyle may be stressful
_ there may be pressure on the use of family resources due to the presence of step children
_children may not receive adequate love from parents
_there may be discrimination among children and step-children
_it can easily create conflict between parents or children and step-children


Polygamous family

It is a type of family where a man or a woman is legally married to two or more partners
In Ghana, polygenous is common

Advantages of polygamous family

_having many wives and children gives the man prestige
_it can increase labour force for the family
_children may learn skills and talents from each other
_In terms of childlessness of one partner, the other partner can marry and bring children to the family
_during crises like sickness, one can get care and attention from other members of the family

Disadvantages of polygamous family

_it is difficult to control the behavior of children
_it can bring pressure on the use of family resources
_conflict rate may be high
_it brings about discrimination of children
_it can lead to the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases(STDs)
_ problem over distribution of inheritance or properties when the man dies

Family of orientation

The family one was born into. It is acquired through birth
Family of procreation
Family one creates through marriage or after marriage

Functions of the Family:

-procreation/ reproduction having the children ensures the continuation of the family and the survival of the society
-identity and status: The person knows where he/she belongs
-Socialization function includes:
-transmitting values
-provision of basic needs
-Emotional support to family members
-security: emotional and physical security.
Socialization; it is the transformation of culture from one generation to another generation

Rights of the family

They are benefits or privileges individuals enjoy as members of the family. OR
They are claims family members should have as members of the family to ensure growth and development as individuals

Rights of the family

-right to be cared for by the family
-to be provided with basic needs
-right to security
-equal treatment without discrimination
-have emotional support
-enjoy opportunities in the society



They are duties individuals are expected to perform as members of the family.
Responsibilities of the family
-respect authority
-respect privacy of others
-support others
-take responsibility of their personal effects and those of the family and the society
-show respect to others
Stages of the

Family Life Cycle

It is the stages of growth or changes a family goes through as it goes through life

Stages of the family life cycle

-beginning stage
-expanding stage
-Contracting stage
-Empty nest stage

Beginning stage

It starts when a couple marries to the time the first child arrives.

Expanding stage

When the first child arrives to the time children begin to leave home and become independent.

Contracting Stage

Begins when the first child leaves home and ends when the last child goes away.

Empty Nest stage

This is the stage when all the children leave home and the couple are left alone. Family Needs at the different stages


Characteristics of the beginning Stage

-Need to establish the kind of relationships and home they want
-Choice of a house depending on the economic situation
-Set financial goals
-Time and energy demands are minimal unless there were children already.
-May have few resources in terms of income, space, household equipment.

Characteristics of the expanding Stage

-Demands on income, space, time and energy increase.
-Housing needs may increase
-Parents set goals for socializing children especially education

Why some families may skip some of the stages of the family life cycle.

a) The number of children and spacing will make the family skip certain stages –e.g. when the couple does not have children.
b) Divorce or death of a spouse will make one miss other stages.
c) Single parenthood.
d) A person divorced or widowed may marry again to form a blended family.
e) Parental stage may be long because of large family.

Characteristics of contracting stage

-demands on time, energy and financial resources may decrease
-parents may recover financially.
-may set new financial goals for retirement.


Characteristics of empty Nest.

-income may be low.
-have more time.
-energy will decline due to age and poor health
.-set new goals
Note. The need to plan ahead for future financial security is important.

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