Dysfunctional Family through the Life Span Essay Assignment Paper

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Dysfunctional Family through the Life Span Essay Assignment Paper


A dysfunctional family refers to a situation whereby family member’s emotional needs are not sufficiently met. Children from such families are faced with problems and dysfunction on their development. It affects their mental and social life in their later years. One of the best methods of recovering from this problem is application of disenfranchised grief perspective. Disenfranchised grief is used to describe the grief that an individual experiences after losing someone. The loss is not openly acknowledged or even publicly mourned, causing an individual to carry it into adulthood.

Childhood- Behaviors gained

During childhood, children learn various behaviors through their parents and the immediate surroundings. These experiences are important to children later in life. Children growth and development in later life depends on such experiences.

Aggression in children

According to McAdams & Foster (2010), aggression in children is as a result of poor parent to child relations (p. 8). Parent’s conflict and separation may cause emotional and psychological damage to their children. Therefore, they should collaborate and provide support to their children during the course and aftermath of their conflicts. Faulty parent-child-alignment leads to alienation, emotional abandonment and betray which causes children to adopt aggressive behaviors. Hence, it is imperative that parents provide enough security to their children to ensure their health development

Abuse and its effects

Child abuse is yet another problem that affects the emotions and psychology of children. Parents have been entrusted with the responsibility of ensuring that children are raised in a conducive environment. However, the way children are raised may have adverse effects on their growth and development into adulthood. Children who are mistreated by their parents grow up with negative attitude about life. They also grow up having negative attitude towards parents (Zupanick, 2001, p. 183). This has negative effects in that it makes the children to have negative perception about life. It also impairs the cognitive ability of the children. Furthermore, such children may react in a disorganized manner and may exhibit violent behavior in their immediate environment.

Emotional impact from parent

Parents are essential in the growth and development of their children. However, they can also be detrimental to the upbringing of their children. Parents who usually engage in confrontation may not provide good mentorship to their children. When children perceive that their parents have abandoned them, they may loss hope in parental care. Therefore, they may not have trust and confidence in the authorities and may become self-sufficient. Therefore, such children will not seek any guidance from other parties.

Young Adult- Dealing with emotional imbalance

Young adult are faced with numerous challenges especially in dealing with emotional imbalances. These challenges are diverse and result from various situations such as divorce of parents, abuse and parental incarceration. Other challenges include the issue of juvenile court, and suicide.

Divorce, abuse and parental incarceration

Divorce of parents affects the emotions and psychology of young adults. When parents are divorced, the children are denied enough parental love. This destabilizes the family union and cohesiveness. It also affects or destabilizes the emotions of children making them feel not loved. An abuse and parental incarceration are also key factors that cause emotional dilemma among young children. Effects of parent-child separation caused by incarceration causes economic strain on the part of children. Children are forced to cater for themselves and this adds to their emotional strain (Rodriguez, Smith & Zatz, 2009, p. 177).

Juvenile court

These courts are established for the purposes of trying juveniles who commits crimes. These courts may affect the emotions of these juveniles if they are not taken through counseling. Studies have revealed that juveniles whose parents have been incarcerated are highly affected by the family dysfunction and family structure. Such juveniles are also more likely to be imprisoned (Rodriguez, Smith & Zatz, 2009, p. 180). This explains why it may not be easy for such children to cope up with their emotions. It has also been revealed that social stigmas maybe placed to parents who have been incarcerated hence affecting the court ruling on those juveniles that have parents that have been incarcerated. This social stigmatization further affects the emotions of such juveniles leading to further challenges on the juveniles.


Suicide of parents is another cause of emotional imbalance among youths. The loss of parents from suicide causes a lot of pain and emotions to youths. Therefore, such youths require guiding and counseling to enable them manage their stress and emotions. In some instances, children who go through such experience may have negative attitude towards life and therefore may be tempted to take off their life when angered due to such experiences (Cautley, 1980, p.380).

Adult-How it affects the entire family

Adults in a family have the responsibility of providing leadership and guidance to the rest of the family members. If they fail to carry out this responsibility well, they risk leading their families into the wrong direction.

Environment at home and work

Environment at work should promote cohesiveness and unity. Parents should yearn to create an environment that will nurture the rest of family members to enable them coexist well with one another.

Lack of emotion or overabundance

Emotions of adults play a crucial role in the overall upbringing of family members. Lack or overabundance of emotions may affect the way the children are brought up. Parents that do not express their emotions; anger, happiness, resilient, satisfaction and many others, may influence the behavior of their children and in their adult life.

Family structure as a term, positive and negative aspects

Family structure refers to the composition and the hierarchy of the family. Different families have different structures. According to McAdams & Foster (2010), these family structures are important in shaping and instilling behaviors to their children. They could predispose their children towards aggressive or violent behavior and vice-versa. Therefore, it is advisable for parents to establish the link between dysfunctional family links and such behaviors in order to provide appropriate directions to such children (Carol, 2007, p. 22)
Geriatric- Coping with life

Coping with life, especially to those members of family where dysfunctional family dynamics are presented increase the challenge to health providers.

Compassion fatigue is one of the inherent risk factor when health providers are working patience during their terminal phases. Staff members are at risk of developing this kind of fatigue due to the circumstances that they work in because of various parties involved in dysfunctional cases. Therefore, it requires understanding and effective communication between the health providers and the family members (Holst, Lundgren, Olsen and Ishoy, & 2009, p. 34).

End of life strategies

End of life strategies should focus on an individual regardless of the many interest parties. Providing end of life services as challenged to hospital staffs. This is because of the many dynamics that are presented to the hospice staff in their efforts to provide palliative care. The parties with interest include the staff, patient and family members. They form the basis of intervention and communication in hospital. When providing medical to these dysfunctional patient, medical staffs are challenged by the high expectations from the educated members of family in terms of communication and information when planning for the acre.

Existential distress

This is a distress that a patient goes through in contemplation of surviving. Family support during the terminal phase may differ but is important that they are provided. Dysfunctional family dynamics may increase the burden to an individual with existential distress (Holst, Lundgren, Olsen and Ishoy, & 2009, p. 34).

Emotional distress of family

A family may experience emotional distress if they perceive or go through a bad experience, for instance, when a children or a parent is imprisoned or if one of the family members passes away. Therefore, they have to be counseled and encouraged to move on with life again after such distressful experiences.


Many families have in one-way or another experience dysfunctional characteristic among their members. This is because of the various social and psychological distresses that they encounter in their day-to-day living. Dysfunctional families have some effects ranging to, aggression, and suicide, among many others. Families are therefore encouraged to provide support to their children to ensure that they develop good strategies of managing their emotions. I have also come to appreciate positive communication and intervention during provision of services to patients that have a dysfunction. This ensures that appropriate care is provided even during end of life. Family structure should also be improved. Parents should carry out their responsibilities diligently to ensure that their children grow up well.


Carol, B. (2007). Functional Families: Functional Teams, 27.1:22-28.

Cautley, P. (1980). Treating dysfunctional families at home, National Association of social workers, Inc. 380-388.

Holst, L., Lundgren, M., Olsen, L., & Ishoy, T. (2009). Dire deadlines: coping with dysfunctional family dynamics in an end-of-life care setting, International journal of Palliative Nursing, 15.1: 34-43.

McAdams, C. & Foster, V. (2010). Dysfunctional family structures and aggression in children: A case for school-based, systemic approaches with violent student

Rodriguez, N., Smith, H, & Zatz, M. (2009). Youth is enmeshed in a highly dysfunctional family system”: exploring the relationship among dysfunctional families, parental incarceration, and juvenile court decision-making, Criminology, 47. No 1: 177-210.

Zupanick, C.E. (2001). Adult children of dysfunctional families: Treatment from a disenfranchised grief perspective, Adult children and disenfranchised grief, 183-197.

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