Discuss about the Contemporary Family and Strength Framework.
Review of the concept of family in contemporary society
Traditionally, a family refers to a structured patriarchal institution that consists of a father, mother, and children living together under one roof (Shapiro, 2008). However, due to the societal changes, a contemporary 21st-century society has ignored the traditional prototype to introduce a new meaning to a family. In the contemporary society, a family can consist married couples who have children but are not living together under one roof. This is due to the numerous incidents of separations resulting from different types of misunderstanding between couples, which forces one-half of the couple to live separately yet they still form a family. A family in a contemporary society also refer to unmarried couples who have children but and are cohabiting or not living together at all (Shapiro, 2008). A family in the contemporary society can refer to a childless couple who live together but have adopted a child. The couple becomes the parents of the child through adoption. Finally, families in the contemporary society also refer to same sex couples who have chosen to live together as a family. This type of family has emerged due to the increased push for the rights of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals. This type of family forms a large percentage of those who adopt and raise children.
Family strength framework description
The Family Strength Framework (FSF) is a nursing tool that consists of eight major dimensions that used to determine the strength of a family as described below.
- Commitment: The level of focus that family members have placed on promoting the happiness, relationships, and the welfare of the family.
- Affection: How a family promotes personal value and self-worth of every family member (Arshat, Baharudin, Juhari, Hasbullah, & Ishak, 2012).
- Togetherness: The degree of unity that exists within a given family.
- Communication: The family uses effective conversation and listening skills to address issues that are affecting them as a family
- Resilience: The ability of the family to handle crisis and stressful situations that they encounter.
- Sharing activities: How well a family divide and share responsibilities amongst the members. It also refers to how well-balanced the family members are committed to activities within and outside the family.
- Support: How well the family members help one another to deal with the situations that are affecting them, for example, during grief or illnesses.
- Acceptance: How the family members accept one another as their member and how this contributes to the bond and love for one another in the family.
Family strength framework application to health care practice
There are several ways through which the FSF can be applied in the health care service. For an affective application, the health care practitioners can use the FSF to identify the strengths of a family based on the eight dimension and developing an appropriate feedback for use in health care service delivery.
A health care practitioner can use the FSF to help a family to effectively cope with crisis and stressful events (Zarnaghash, Zarnaghash, & Zarnaghash, 2013). During a health care program, a care provider can use the resilience dimension of the FSF to provide a family with consistent information to use to acquire counseling services to enable them to overcome the stressful factors (Sallee, Giardino, & Sanborn, 2012). Here, the care provider will also be required to boost positive communication among members of the involved family by utilizing effective listening skills and by establishing trust to help the family members to be free with one another and also with their counselor to improve patient outcome during the counseling period.
Care providers can also apply FSF to help families to boost family relationship by carrying out an assessment of the family’s degree of support and commitment to both short and long term relationship. A healthy family depends on the strength of the relationship that exists among the family members (DeFrain & Stinnett, 2002). This is because factors such as dependability, honesty, and support for one another contributes significantly to the emotional and physical well-being of an individual. In this regard, due to the associated health benefits, care providers need to promote a family’s commitment to one another, particularly during sickness.
Finally, care providers can also enlighten family members on how to show support and affection to their sick members. In cases of where there is a lack of sufficient affection and support for one another, a care provider can develop strategies to help boost the family members’ togetherness and love for one another. For example, the involvement of a patient’s family member in developing the treatment plan of a patient helps in the development of a patient-centered care plan that improves patient outcome (Sittner, & Hudson, Defrain, 2007). Besides, patient’s visits by family members play a major part in boosting the emotional and physical well-being of a patient.
Arshat, Z., Baharudin, R., Juhari, R., Hasbullah, M, & Ishak, N. R., 2012, Research report of Development Malaysian Family Strengths Scale, Funded by Ministry of Higher Learning.
DeFrain, J., & Stinnett, N., 2002, Family strengths, In J. J. Ponzetti, Jr. (Ed.), International encyclopedia of marriage and family (2nd ed., pp. 637-642). Macmillan: New York, NY.
Sallee, Alvin; Giardino, Angelo P.; and Sanborn, R. D., 2012, ‘Family Strengths: A Long Tradition’, Journal of Family Strengths, Vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1-2.
Shapiro, S., 2008, ‘The Theme of the Family in Contemporary Society and Positive Family Psychology’, Journal lf family Psychotherapy, Vol. 15, no. 1-2, pp. 19-38.
Sittner, B. J. & Hudson, D. B., Defrain, J., 2007. ‘Using the concept of family strengths to enhance nursing care’, MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. Vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 353-357.
Zarnaghash, M., Zarnaghash, M., & Zarnaghash, N., 2013, ‘The relationship between family communication patterns and mental health’, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 84, pp. 405 – 410.