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COM 3013 Ch. 5: Family Conflict, COM 3013 Ch. 6: Culture and Family Communication, COM 3013 Ch. 7: Family Stress
Terms in this set (167)
An expressed struggle between at least two interdependent parties who perceive incompatible goals, scarce resources, and interference from the other party in achieving their goals.
Key components of conflict
Perceived incompatible goals
Perceived scarce resources
Interference (interference from another person in achieving personal goals)
Conflict that results in a positive outcome and possibly strengthens the relationship
Conflict that has a damaging effect on the relationship.
Characterized by strong reliance on power manipulations, deception, threats, and coercion.
Can include perception of a lack of family resources, such as parent's attention or physical objects.
Changes as we age (you argue about different things as you get older)
Perception that we fight with our siblings more than other family members is because we spend so much time on daily basis with siblings, and increased interaction provides more opportunity to engage in conflict.
Siblings serve as allies for each other.
Sibling interaction has positive influence on well-being of older persons as they provide support and comfort through challenging times.
Siblings: relational maintenance strategies (6)
Used to bring entertainment and joy into relationship.
Teasing, making fun of parents, etc.
Sharing messages that acknowledge the communication and feelings of another person.
Statements of confirmation can strengthen bond and create perception that they're on the same page.
Listening to your sister after difficult break up, assisting brother by driving him to and from work after ankle injury, wishing sibling good luck the night before a big exam
Time shared together. Family visits enable siblings to reconnect with siblings and maintain the relationship.
Family brunch after church, family vacations, etc.
Support one another when trying to physically or psychologically remove oneself from difficult/mundane situations.
Siblings serve as "safety net" and provide us with source to focus attention to when we experience uncertain/uncomfortable events.
Anxiously waiting for news in a hospital room, so you call your sister.
Messages that attack the character, self-confidence, and/or intellectual level of another person.
Allows opportunity for siblings to blow off steam to relieve stress.
Tend to be more forgiving of verbal attacks when we're younger. Verbal attacks often decrease with age.
Conflict management styles
Physically or psychologically avoiding or evading conflict.
May rationalize decision to avoid the conflict through statements such as "it's just not that important."
While temporarily avoiding conflict in some situations may be useful to allow both parties to calm down, if families continually avoid conflict, there could be long-term negative implications.
Less cohesion/closeness in families that routinely avoided conflict.
Negatively impacts family expressiveness.
Consistently putting others' needs before your own.
May be used in situations where topic or situation is perceived as being insignificant or unimportant.
Constant accommodation can lead to one's voice not being heard and the family member may feel used or disrespected.
Delivering a message to another in an ambiguous manner.
Beating around the bush, passive aggressive notes
Useful in some families when discussing sensitive topics.
Others can get frustrated and prefer for people to be straightforward in their communication
Expression of one's thoughts and feelings clearly and directly without attacking another person's self identity or character.
Say what's on your mind.
Straightforward, assertive communication results in greater satisfaction with relationship.
: Expressing conflict in a disguised or indirect way.
: Expressing one's thoughts and feelings explicitly while simultaneously attacking another person and their character.
Both leave people feeling embarrassed, humiliated, depressed, and desperate.
Couples in conflict cover the same issues ___% of the time.
T or F: Couples will never solve most of their problems.
_______ should be a primary task for families.
Managing conflict outcomes
Conflict and communication are ____.
Communication style impacts the way we experience conflict, and conflict in turn influences communication we have with each other.
Two or more members of a family believe their ___, ____, or ____ are incompatible with those of others.
Desires, goals, or resources
Change may trigger ____ and ____.
Uneasiness and conflict
May question what other's goals/resources are
Conflict avoidance has ________.
Negative long-term consequences
Successful relationships involve partners who learn to _____ conflicts.
Learn when you can negotiate conflict with partner/parents. What's the best time to do this? Timing is key
Stages of family conflict
Existing circumstances that cause us inner conflict
Below the surface
Elements that build up over time
History you have with partner/relative
You become aware of problem
You try to fix problem
You actively address the issue
Trying to resolve conflict
Come up with solution
Work out system to solve problem
Make sure everyone's role is clear
After this, you can cycle back to prior conditions or you can move on to resolved
Issue is finally resolved
No longer conflict
Four rules for conflict
Rules governing consideration
Rules governing rationality
Rules governing self expression
Rules governing conflict resolutions
Rules governing consideration
Kindness, treating people fairly
Fair does not mean equal
Rules governing rationality
How do we display that we're rational
Ex.: When we're upset, we don't yell at each other
Rules governing self expression
How do we say how we're feeling
What does honest look like?
Ex.: Brutal honesty isn't allowed, never allow each other to call each other names
Rules governing conflict resolution
How we're going to know that the conflict is over
Are we going to explore our alternatives? Win-win, accommodation
Covert destructive conflict (five ways to express this)
Deny there's a problem
Everyone knows there's a problem but no one wants to deal with it
Ex.: "What's wrong?" "Nothing"
Express our anger and disqualify/discount the anger
Ex.: Express anger and then say, "Yeah I yelled at you but you don't know how good you have it, you should see other parents"
No matter how many ways we excuse our anger, it's not doing damage control, not really addressing the issue in a productive way
When we direct our anger at the wrong person
Ex.: Have a stressful day at work and go home and yell at the kids
Avoid the other person and express nonverbal hostility
Sit on frustration/anger and let it brew
Pretend that everything is great
Sweeping everything under the rug
Ex.: Nobody can know we have a problem
Overt destructive conflict (four ways to express this)
Any kind of aggressive behavior
Verbal or physical
Can take lots of different forms
Occurs when we're using words to attack another person in a way that insults or violates who the other person is
One-up messages can be verbally aggressive ("I'm better than you at this")
Can be one form of verbal aggression
Store up all your issues and then hit other person over the head with them
In romantic relationships, when partner does something wrong (infraction) we tend to mull them over and over
Spouses, parents to children, siblings
Parents are sending mixed messages. Kids don't follow rules and parents are piling up the infractions and then explode, resulting in a physical attack. Very sporadic, rules are inconsistent
Provides a learning experience for future conflicts
Partners create a conflict style in the first ______ of marriage that sticks with them for _____.
24 months, 50+ years
Listening leads to ____.
Better understanding of motives, opinions, and feelings
The positivity:negativity ratio
5:1. Five positive statements to 1 negative statement
Needs to be directed personally at partner (You're so wonderful/you're awful for not helping me)
But what does your partner think is positive/negative? Different for everyone
How couples handle _____ is more predictive of our success than handling ______
Look at areas where you're not alike and how you handle that
____ strategies positively impact marital satisfaction
Relationship satisfaction depends on degree of _____ and _____ to reduce problems and conflicts
Investment, positive strategies
How committed are you and your partner?
Both partners need to do these things
Elements of constructive conflict
Sequential exchange with equal time to share views
Feelings are brought out appropriately, not suppressed
Listen with empathy without constant interruption
Conflict is issue-focused, not side tracked (focus on one conflict at a time)
Respect differences of opinion, value, and wishes
Believe solutions are possible and growth and development will take place
Functional rules evolve from past conflicts (ex.: certain times and places are not a good time/place to talk to partner)
Have experience with problem solving as a process to settle differences
Little power or control is exerted by one member over the others (in perfect world there should be shared power)
Sweden family facts
- The average amount of children is 1.55 (2 kids)
- Only 1/3 of the population is married
- Working parents get 480 days of PAID parental leave combined
- Families get a monthly child allowance to that are there to help parents combine a working and family life.
- Gender equality is firmly rooted in Sweden's culture.
Philippines family facts
1. The family is the centre of the social structure and includes the nuclear family, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and honorary relations such as godparents, sponsors, and close family friends.
2. People get strength and stability from their family. As such, many children have several godparents.
3. Concern for the extended family is seen in the patronage provided to family members when they seek employment.
4. It is common for members of the same family to work for the same company.
5. Many collective bargaining agreements state that preferential hiring will be given to family members
Italy family facts
1. Lots of nonverbal communication, body language is used a lot.
2. Passionate during discussion and conflict common as well as loud.
3. Judge the standings (economically, educationally, etc.) of a person within a few short seconds of meeting them.
4. Appearances matter for all aspects (economic, educational, etc.), "good image" is the basis of status.
5. Family is the most valuable and always supports one another, even following events like divorces
China family facts
- High numbers (80%) of couples stay married
- Boys in China spend their whole lives living in the same house. But girls, when they grew up, got married and went to live in their husband's house.
- Chinese people cannot differentiate themselves from their responsibilities to others, even to go as far as they must uphold their duties to their seniors in that because they gave them life, they must serve them for doing so. These roles are embedded in the Chinese self in Gao's view, along with Confucius's teachings.
- The Fifth Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee issued a communiqué on 29 October 2015 to declare the comprehensive implementation of a new family planning policy that allows a couple to have two children.
- The structure of families in the present-day China is different in many ways as compared to their ancient counterparts. Although elders and ancestors still hold immense value, families have their own units and hardly live together with grandparents. However, respect, love and care are still the most important components of Chinese families which hold them together and build the foundation of China's society.
India family facts
- The role of the family is very important, because of this Indians view themselves in groups rather than by status or as an individual. Also, families tend to do business with one another, because trust of a family is valued very highly. The Indian family system is within a collectivistic society- individuals will set aside their personal goals to focus on the good for the whole. Again, emphasizing the importance of family.
- Communication style is indirect and almost always non-confrontational; one must almost read between the lines when communicating conflict.
- Non-verbal cues are very important. When meeting, men and women do not touch initially. Personal space is also valued. Men shake hands with men. Women can shake hands with women; however, it is very rare where a man and woman will shake hands.
- Majority of Indian families practice Hinduism, close to 80.5% (1 billion) of the population. The culture bases many of it key features around the religion and plays a huge role in daily life. Even laws have been enacted to support the religion especially pertaining to marriages. Due to the religion it is hard to find a non married person of age in India, according to the faith "One is incomplete and considered unholy if they do not marry" (Parakasa 14). Because of this many families tend to be tight and there is only 13 out of 1000 marriages end in divorce. The Hindu religion also makes up many of the norms such as no shoes in homes and vegetarianism; which, is also the basis of the controversial caste system in India.
- According to our findings, India has a High Power distance. Meaning that their culture teaches that children to defer to respect and authority. That they will be more likely to obey when given direction.
- India is seen as a more Masculine style culture. Meaning most males are strong and assertive, and females adhere to "traditional gender roles" and success is very important. Therefore in their family styles, it is more common to see the males working and bringing home the money, while females usually help raise the children.
Nicaragua family facts
1. Citizens of Nicaragua are genuinely friendly but they are extremely reserved when it comes to personal information.
2. Infants are raised principally by the mother with the help of extended kin.
3. Body language and nonverbal cues are used dramatically. When speaking, people are not afraid of touching one another.
4. As a result of the Roman Catholic influence, families are frequently large. Households rarely consist of a nuclear family alone; rather, they include multiple generations with aunts, uncles and grandparents as well.
5. When first meeting someone, the only appropriate gesture is shaking hands.
Caribbean family facts
- Parental success is measured by children's ability to sit still and listen and be clean and tidy, and by their helpfulness and cooperation.
- Parents are often extremely protective (possibly over-protective) of girls and restrict their activities outside the home, for fear that they might get romantically involved with the wrong person, or get involved in sex which may result in pregnancy and shame to the family. Boys, on the other hand, are encouraged to become involved in activities outside of the home.
- Family does not mean only the nuclear family, but includes aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and grandparents. Childcare is often provided by extended family when parents work or are away from home, and they sometimes assume as much responsibility for raising the children as the parents.
- In general, Caribbean marriages tend to follow a patriarchal pattern where the men are considered the head of the household, and the wife is expected to submit to her husband. However, changes in the status of women—such as accomplishments in higher education and careers—have meant that women have more authority in the home.
- The father's principal role is economic provider and protector of the family. The mother's principal role is to take care of the children and be the primary nurturer in the family. They are also the primary caretakers of the home
Canada family facts
1. They value indirect communication, which is why Canadians have a stereotype of being overly polite and peace keepers
2. Canadians have a respect for cultural differences
3. Canada values a nonviolent society
4. They are rule-followers
5. Everyone has a right to a voice and to be heard
Behaviors, expectations, or characteristics shared by a group, includes nonverbal and verbal behaviors that are commonly understood by members of the same culture
The culture with which family members identify has a tremendous influence on how they interact in their own culture as well as with those from other cultures
Refers to different types of family composition. Diversity can be described by the biological ties among family members, sex of partners, and number of parents residing in the household
A term used to categorize groups of individuals who share biologically inherited traits such as skin color and facial structure
Refers to those shared characteristics of a cultural heritage, including styles of dress, language, food preferences, and values
How does culture impact family interactions?
Basic elements of language use and how these influence our family relationships
Hofstede's 6 cultural dimensions/orientations
High vs. low context
: Encourage independence and personal goal accomplishment
: Needs of the group come first
: Defer to and respect authority
: Power is negotiable
High vs. Low Context
: Focus on the unspoken word/nonverbal cues
: Expected to openly express oneself
: Focus on achievement, assertiveness, success
: Preference for cooperation, nurturance, modesty
: Adhering to rigid rules and rituals
: More flexible and relaxed with rules; open to change
: Focus on instant gratification, fun, free expression of thoughts
: Establish strict social norms; suppressing needs gratification
Family rituals definition
Repeated patterns of behavior that shape and define a family's identity
Types of family rituals
Expected behaviors that families share during religious or cultural holidays
Ex.: Attending church services together as family on Christmas Eve
Created to meet family's own needs and desires rather than being linked to specific cultural or religious expectations
Ex.: Renting beach house for entire family to enjoy each summer
Behaviors that are not necessarily planned, but typically occur on a repeated, regular basis
Ex.: Families who pray prior to eating dinner
Dimensions of family rituals
How emotionally vested are family members in the ritual?
What are the family's expectations for mandatory participation in the ritual?
What is the duration of the ritual across generations of family members?
How much advance preparation and planning are involved with the ritual?
How frequently does the ritual occur?
What duties and responsibilities are family members assigned?
How regularly are the rituals performed?
What meaning do family members attach to the ritual?
Five family meanings associated with rituals
Adhere to strict expectations for rules and roles for rituals
Family has few if any rituals that are part of the family culture
Rituals focus exclusively on a specific family member or a particular event
Going through the motions and engaging in those rituals that society typically expects of families without attaching meaning or significance
Rituals cannot be performed as expected due to extenuating circumstances
Family stories definition
Sharing details of family life experiences for the enjoyment or education of future generations. Preserves family history or strengthens the family's culture
Three types of family stories
Recount details of how partners came together
Share experiences to assist others in coping with hardships
Tell details about one's birth; provide a foundation for a person's "introduction" to the family
Actual or perceived discrepancies between the demands being placed on a family (or family member) and the resources available to effectively manage those demands
Demands placed on family members
: Anticipated or predictable events
: Result of unpredictable events
: Caused or housed inside the family unit
: Outside the family
: Choose to pursue situations that have stress-producing potential
: Caused by situations beyond their control or volition
Short term/long term stress
: Continues for an extended time
: Stress events continue to accumulate
: Stressors that occur in isolation
ABC-X model of stress
Shows relationship between the stressor (A), resources available (B), the meaning assigned to the stressor (C), and the crisis the family associates with the stressor event (X)
a = the event, what happened? Ex: young child eats popcorn and starts choking
b = what resources do you have? Ex: call family and friends, go to hospital
c = definition family places on event, what do we think of it, how bad is it? Ex: thought kid would be ok
x = crisis, things get worse. Ex: popcorn kernel ends up in kid's lung
Double ABC-X model of stress
Families must assess the stressor event, their perception of the event, and their resources. The combination of this assessment influences the degree of discomfort (crisis) felt by the family. Time compounds these issues
A = added stress. Ex: grandparents come to look after other kid, so there's stress from having grandparents there and having them tell them how to cope with this. Doctors tell parents that the kid was in a coma
B = who's going to help you through this? Ex: friends got together and brought them food and supplies
C = perception of crisis, "worse" than first "c". Ex: they thought it was horrifying, life-changing
X = how you adapt, bonadaptation (successful), maladaptation (not successful, just stop your life)
*****Can cycle back through this. Ex: woman's best friend tells her it's time for her to move on and to not talk to her anymore about this, so woman had to go back through ABCX
Difference between the double ABC-X model and single ABC-X model
Double ABC-X is for long-term, continual stress. As the stress goes on, the double ABC-X model goes into effect
Connection between double ABC-X model and systems theory
Both acknowledge that managing stress is a dynamic and ongoing process.
Stress is not easily resolved, so family must communicate often and call on support of one another to understand and re-assign meanings they associate with stressors
The entire family unit may become involved in managing the stress experienced by one of its members
Over time, women said they became more comfortable discussing infertility treatment options
Women who were able to conceive after treatments felt they were educating other families about their options by openly communicating about their infertility challenges
But some couples reported they became more private and reserved in talking about infertility when it became apparent that their family members were uncomfortable discussing the issue
Most common questions focused on cost of adoption, story about child's life in country the child is from, and the couple's decision to adopt. Parents more often than not avoided responding to these questions
Important part of process involves decision to share adoption story with the child
Three types of explanations offered by adoptive parents to help children understand how they became part of the family:
(open about adoption process, letters from birth mothers shared at early age),
(circumstances that prohibited the biological parents from caring for the child are shared, and
(adoption is explained as a process of "choice")
Roles change and rules evolve as new relationships form
Many challenges revolve around communication: discussing boundaries, diffusing conflict, and negotiating roles and rules
Forms of address:
: identify blended family members in terms of their relationship to others as opposed to in relation to oneself ("This is my dad's wife")
: use of first names ("This is my stepbrother, Alex")
: referring to stepparent in informal terms ("My mom")
Challenging issues between dying person and family members
Denial or difficulty discussing the death/dying process
Feelings of guilt
Dealing with pain/discomfort
General differences between life cycle and life course models
: assumes everyone goes through this, predictable
: different for every person
Life cycle stages
1. Leaving home
2. The couple
3. Families with young children
4. Families with adolescents
5. Launching and moving on
6. Later life
Stage 1: Importance of parent-child communication in future?
at first, and then goal changes to
(call parents for advice/input, parents might call to keep you informed about what's going on in family)
If handled unsuccessfully, then there are communication problems for every single other stage (become dependent on parents)
Stage 2: What kind of person do we select?
Find someone similar to us
Similar interests, economic status, etc.
Pick someone who's as attractive as us
Stage 2: Three developmental challenges/three things that need to be resolved when entering relationship
(family and friends begin to take a back seat)
(am I willing to yield power/control to this other person?)
(autonomy and connection dialectic. How much time do I need by myself as opposed to how much time I need with them)
Stage 2: Phases
Courtship or dating, engagement, premarital period, and get married
Stage 2: Research on gay and lesbian couples
They tend to take on life course versus the pattern but later in life they tend to resort back to the traditional life pattern
Stage 3: Life course perspective - how important here?
If you choose not to have children, you move to life course perspective
Stage 3: First child research - three factors that influence the couple
Stage 3: First child research - naming
Stage 3: First child research - fathers, research, timing
Fathers: Fathers can be as sensitive as moms are. Fathers who have kids later in life tend to be more involved with children and more affectionate with children. Talk about what dad's role is
Stage 3: First child research - traditional marriage
Society doesn't praise unique family raising - families that don't want to be traditional end up being pretty traditional
Stage 3: First child research - extended family
Tend to see increased contact with extended family when you have kids
Stage 3: First child research - importance of first child
The first child is most difficult to adapt to
Stage 3: Preschool children - as stressful as before?
Less pressure because out of "baby stage"
Stage 3: Preschool children - importance of contact with the outside world
Child is having contact with outside world. Their world expands, can be stressful
Stage 3: School-aged children - continued effects of contact with outside world; how does this impact family communication?
Kids really learn a lot more about outside world, get all sorts of interesting questions
Not every family looks like theirs, not every family has same rules
Have to know what your answers are
Stressful to have them bring all this home
Challenge family beliefs
Stage 3: School-aged children - persuasion
Children develop persuasion skills (not very advanced)
Stage 4: Drugs and sex
Kids experiment with drugs, alcohol, sex, porn
Stage 4: Parental guidelines
More likely to accept parental guidelines/boundaries when communication is open and clear, and when they feel like parents respect their values
Stage 4: Exploration as it relates to family themes, boundaries, and beliefs
Big jump in questioning beliefs and values
Stage 4: Lying
Children work on lying skills at this age
Stage 4: Role of open communication
More likely to accept parental guidelines/boundaries when communication is open and clear, and when they feel like parents respect their values
Stage 4: Parents respecting moods
When parents know kid's mood swings and know how to handle it, tends to have better outcome
Stage 5: Adult children who stay
Stage 5: Pre-existing communication difficulties
Stage 5: Changes to husband/wife relationship
A lot of changes between husbands and wives because opportunity for increased intimacy
Stage 5: Empty nest symptoms last for....
Stage 5: Grandparent status
Might become grandparents at this stage
Stage 6: Re-entry problems post-retirement
A lot of men get their identity from work so they can go through period of depression
Stage 6: Widows - role re-evaluation
Studies show for women who are left after husband dies, she needs to figure out new roles. Who's going to do everything husband did?
Stage 6: Meaning of life
Decide what meaning of life is. Did I live a good life? What happens next?
Stage 6: Death discussions
Ok to talk about death with parents here
Unpredictable stress: four stages of family crisis
Regression can happen in these stages
Deny problem is happening
Don't grasp full impact of event
Reflection stage, numbness
Want to go back to the way things were
Anger, blame anyone and everyone
"Beginning of the end" can occur
Question fairness of situation
Any feelings we have are directed outward
Even people who don't believe in god blame god at this point
Often will say things that people don't normally say
"Can't get out of bed" stage
Feelings directed inward, "What did I do wrong? Why didn't I do this?"
Need to talk about what happened
Confusing, disorganized time
Usually there's a decision that they're going to make it
Take charge of lives, make decisions that are forward moving
Begin to focus on others in our lives
Make necessary changes
According to system theory, ____ contribute to ending of marriage
T or F: Divorce and/or separation have their own stages of coping
Divorce can eradicate ______
Dreams, lifetime of events you think will happen when you get married
When you're divorced, you can see _____ end because _____
Social support, friends feel like they need to choose sides
In divorce/separation, children _____
Fear that other parent will leave them too
System recalibrates itself and becomes normal again
Children can be told not to discuss the divorce, but ______
They need to be able to talk to people and get support
T or F: Military separation is a totally different phenomenon
What is hardiness?
The ability to take control and have high commitment and rise to the challenge
Families who are hardy _____
Yield better stress management
_____ and ____ count as illness. Stress is huge because ______. Changes ______
Alcohol and drug abuse, there's so much secrecy and lying, dynamic of family
People with lifelong disabilities...
Just want to be seen as people
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