Family Systems





Inthe recent years, viewing the family as a system has become morepopular and important theory for family therapy professionals. Asystem is largely known as a restricted set of interrelated objectsexhibiting the same conduct as a trait (Miller, 2010). The family isconsidered as a system as it is a social and biological unit made upof people who are related either by blood or intention. By itsdefinition, a family system performs as a unit, and every memberplays a unique role in the system. In understanding a family, it isimportant to look at it entirely and not just part of it (Miller,2010).

Therelationship between family systems and health development has beenunderstood by medical experts and has led to numerous healthpromotional interventions that aim at improving health by enhancingthe environment of a society (Miller, 2010). According to a study onhealth affairs, an individual’s social environment and relationshiphave a profound impact on the quality of parenting and in turnaffects the health development of a child. The study mainly focusedon the health of children raised by blended families, single mother,step families, grandparent and biological parent families (Miller,2010). It was concluded that children brought up in all the familieshad poor physical and mental health indicators except those livingwith biological parents.

Afamily atmosphere should be characterized by a belief in assistingeach other, support and acknowledging mistakes as humans, and it isextremely easy to discern a healthy family system. In a healthyfamily system, members are governed by rules that enhance the welfareof each person (Miller, 2010). Each and every incident occurring in afamily builds on its self to create a future and compassion andpatience are the best allies for a family orientation.

Tostart with, a healthy family system is characterized by clearboundaries between family members and the duties and responsibilitiesof the parents are distinct from those of the children (Miller,2010). This means that parents make appropriate decisions. Familymembers express themselves autonomously, and opinions are freelyexercised.

Secondly,Warmth, humor and joy are amazing resources in a healthy family(Miller, 2010). This shows that there is always someone to talk toand listen to, who cares. Enjoyment and trust are important elementsevidenced in family systems. Humor helps in family bonding. Thisenlightens and emotionally help recover from polarized situations.

Unhealthyfamily system is spawned by either of the family members who have aserious problem such as drug and alcohol addictions or mentalillness, and this affects the other family members (Miller, 2010).These families are strained ideas are ignored inflexible andcommunication is distorted. When these problems of mental illness,alcoholism and child abuse interfere with the functioning of thefamily system, this affects the children, and they feel guilty,unloved and abandoned. These effects can linger even after they havebecome grown adults (Miller, 2010).

Peoplebrought up in these dysfunctional families experience difficulties intheir relationships, lack the skills of participating in love andbecome hard for them to distinguish between what is appropriate andinappropriate for them. In addition, they find it hard to maintaintheir positive self-esteem and are commonly faced with fear of lossof control (Miller, 2010).

Howdifferent family systems operate affects the development of the childin that particular family. The physical surrounding deeply affectsone`s development (Miller, 2010). Environment characterized by goodquality facilities affect a child’s health and development. Theemotional and psychological wellbeing which a child experiences whenthey have a good social relationship influences their mentaldevelopment positively (Miller, 2010). Moreover, sufficient evidenceshows that a child’s development of social skills and educationalperformance is affected by the nature of their family systems.Children in good social environments perform extremely well and arealways present in school as compared to those in low social, economicstatus who are in most cases absent and likely to drop out of school.


Miller,J. R. (2010). Encyclopedia of human ecology. Santa Barbara,Calif: ABC-CLIO.