Social Development and Family System in Infancy and Childhood

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Presently and in the future, the present situation is likely to affect the functioning of the family. Ward’s loss of his work has placed further pressure on the family and may have a negative effect on their community standing. I assume that Beverly might be suspended from school or expelled, placing further pressure on the family and perhaps impacting her academic success. Walter risked his future as a promising student by opting to drop out of school, but working in a garage again might be an opportunity for him to fulfill his passion for handling vehicles. At the same time, he can also help the family financially with his earnings. June having an affair with the mailman threatens the family’s existence since there is now a possibility of a divorce.
Discussing the Situation Using System Theory Concepts
A number of system theory concepts can be used to understand the current situation of the family. For instance, the concept of hierarchies defines how households are structured into several subsystems that perform specific tasks for the family (Settles & Steinmetz, 2013). Subsystems that practitioners normally focus on are parental, marital, and sibling. When each of the subsystem becomes blurred with other subsystems, difficulties are likely to occur (Settles & Steinmetz, 2013). For instance, June having an affair is likely to affect the parental subsystem leading to certain challenges within the family that might require interventions. For example, in the case of a divorce, there would not be enough leadership in the family to ensure a balanced and healthy household. Similarly, the affair might affect the marital subsystem because of the likelihood that the bond between June and Ward will not be strong enough to make each other better.
The concept of interdependence is also inherent in the discussion of how the situation might affect the family. According to this principle, what happens to one household member, or what one individual does, affects the whole family (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). In this case, Ward losing his job suggests that June, for instance, will have to seek for employment if the family is to be functional. Similarly, Beverly and Walter might not be able to achieve some of their financial goals due to the economic situation. At the same time, Walter’s decision to quit school and work might reduce the impact of the monetary crisis currently experienced in the family.
The concept of equilibrium, as outlined within the theory explains how families struggle to create a balance between the challenges they face and their resources (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). According to systems theory, families always adapt and change in a bid to reach a state of balance or homeostasis (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). In this case, Ward losing his job might affect this balance since there will inadequate financial resources to meet daily needs. At the same time, June’s affair might limit the parental power to make decisions that benefit the family and achieve a sense of homeostasis. Therefore, the dynamics of the family might need to be attuned to reestablish the balance.
According to systems theory, a family system has the ability to sustain its structural characteristics regardless of the challenges that might arise, concept a referred to as Morphostasis (Zastrow & Kirst-Ashman, 2016). For example, one could hope that Ward will get another Job, resolve his marital issues with June and that of their children to ensure consistency within the family. In this case, the impacts will be minimized. In contrast, based on the concept of morphogenesis, the current situation will affect the family but they still have the ability to develop systematically with time and adapt to the changes
Psychodynamic Theory
A psychodynamic theory is an outlook that considers human functioning and behavior a consequence of interactions of unconscious and unconscious forces within a person. The concept was proposed by Sigmund Freud century (Munsaka, 2014). The theory holds to it that personality comprises of the id, which is associated with human instincts and pleasure-seeking habits, the superego, which tries to comply with societal rules and the ego that mediates between the ego and the is based on the demands of reality (Munsaka, 2014). It assumes that there is a reason for every behavior and that habits are powerfully influenced by the unconscious mind (the id and the superego) (Munsaka, 2014).
In addition, behaviors are determined by two instinctive forces, which originate from the id, that is, Eros, which defines the desire for sex drive and life and Thanatos that encompasses the death instincts and aggression. Freud further explains that the unconscious and conscious mind are in a continuous conflict which results in anxiety (Munsaka, 2014). On that note, a person’s personality is created as the drives are altered by diverse conflicts during a child’s psychosexual development. As a child, defense mechanisms are used as a response to the conflict while as adults; behaviors manifest instead (Munsaka, 2014). Overall, psychodynamic theorists hold to it that specific events in childhood determine behavior in adulthood.
Strengths of the Theory
One of the major strengths of the psychodynamic approach lies in the fact that it puts both nature (unconscious and subconscious mind) and nurture (childhood experiences) into consideration when explaining personality (Munsaka, 2014). Also, the theory recognizes the existence of the unconscious mind and its role in determining behavior. Furthermore, the model emphasizes the importance of early childhood experiences in shaping personality (Chan, Berven, & Thomas, 2015). The psychodynamic approach also increased the focus on the case study method in the field of psychology. Furthermore, some studies have revealed that patients who have undergone psychodynamic therapy reported feeling much better (Chan et al., 2015).
Limitations of the Theory
The psychodynamic theory has received many criticisms over the years. For instance, other psychologists assert that it lacks a scientific basis and empirical support (Sue, Sue, Sue, & Sue, 2015). In addition, the theory disregards any other factors, for example, biological components related with the situation or behavior (Chan et al., 2015). Furthermore, the approach ignores processes of mediation such as memory. On the other hand, according to humanistic theorists, the psychodynamic model disregards free will, as it is deterministic. Also, other critics argue that the model is unfalsifiable because the assumptions can neither be tested scientifically nor proven wrong (Sue et al., 2015).
How the Theory Helps Understand Human Behavior
The psychodynamic model is imperative in understanding human behavior as it attempts to explain the underlying factors. The theory is particularly important to me as it gives me a different perspective of approaching and relating to others. I realize that human behavior and personality is shaped by past events and experiences. I recognize the role of the subconscious mind and the absence of free will when interpreting human behavior. Furthermore, I have come to understand that “unhealthy” personalities, for instance, hoarding habits may be a consequence of a person not resolving a conflict he or she experienced in childhood, for instance, a traumatizing event. Overall, the theory has helped me view human behavior from the perspective of the person in question, thereby, understanding the influence of his or her subconscious mind on personality.
Chan, F., Berven, N. L., & Thomas, K. R. (2015). Counseling theories and techniques for rehabilitation health professionals. New York: Springer Publishing Company.
Munsaka, T. (2014). Sigmund Freud’s psychodynamic theory. The origins of aggression. Munich: GRIN Verlag GmbH.
Settles, B. H., & Steinmetz, S. (2013). Concepts and Definitions of Family for the 21st Century. Abingdon: Routledge.
Sue, D., Sue, W., Sue, S., & Sue, M. (2015). Understanding abnormal behavior (11th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.
Zastrow, C., & Kirst-Ashman, K. K. (2016). Understanding human behavior and the social environment. Boston: Cengage Learning.

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