The Structure and Style of the Family


Family structure is essential, as all situation in the family’s life is conditioned by it. The number of single-parent families in the United States has grown in recent decades and increased more than twice since the 1960s (Behere, Basnet, & Campbell, 2017). The interviewed one, the Collins family, is a full one, with a 36-years-old mother, a 36-years-old father, and three children, having White ethnicity and Western cultural background. Both parents are working, and the family income is above the average in the country. They live in a suburban area, and religion is not essential to their life. Two children are school-age: an 11-years-old girl and a 13-years-old boy, respectively, and the third is a pre-school six-year-old boy. Their physical and mental health is good, except for the anxiety and apathy in both school-age children.

Collins’s family’s parenting style is neglecting: it can be deduced that both parents spend most of their time at work and do not communicate with children frequently. They have from two to four short joint walks in a week, and all other time their attention is mostly away from kids. Such parenting style often leads to the wrong development, as children lack attention and nurturing (Sarwar, 2016). Collins’s Children have a low self-perception, as they are unsure of what they want from their lives. They seem to be waiting for their parents to explain life to them, but they usually have no time for this. In that way, the role-relationship pattern is also in problem: there is a lack of strong and sincere relationships between parents and children. The cognitive area is also connected with problems: two of the children visiting the school often have low grades and have no understanding of why they should study.

Family system theory is the discipline that considers the family as an interconnected system that has various behavioral patterns between its parts. Those parts are parents and children, and their connections are either constructive or destructive (Johnson & Ray, 2016). Such an approach allows elucidating the relationships inside the family and finding a way to solve them. It means initiating positive behavioral patterns, slowly and continuously, which will substitute the destructive behavior with the constructive one. Below is the evaluation of the current state of the Collins family based on answers to questions about functional health patterns; one can see questions in the Appendix.


  1. The Collins family’s nutrition literacy is high.
  2. Kids know about healthy food habits and are happy to follow them.
  3. Collins’s family members do not eat junk food at all.


  1. The sleep quality of family members is good.
  2. Children often feel sleepy due to their apathy.
  3. All family members sleep in the normal range, from 7 to 9 hours per day.


  1. Collins’s family members have no urinary or intestine troubles.
  2. All family members urinate in the range of the norm.
  3. All family members are comfortable with their digestion.


  1. Mr. and Mrs. Collins visit the gym regularly.
  2. Mr. and Mrs. Collins walk together with their kids 2-3 times a week for about an hour or two.
  3. Collins’s family members usually move a little.


  1. Family members often have problems remembering those events that are not connected with work or school.
  2. Collins’s children have low grades at school due to their apathetic approach to the education process.
  3. Collins’s children often have trouble clearly formulating their thoughts and feelings.

Sensory Perception

  1. No family members have any problem with sensory perception.
  2. Two elder children sometimes forget to eat in time due to their apathy.
  3. No family members usually feel any physical discomfort.


  1. All Collins family members are quite confident about their future, but children often feel apathetic about it.
  2. Collins’ children often feel a little self-love as they are unsure about their position in the world due to a lack of attention from parents.
  3. Mr. and Mrs. Collins are deeply busy with work, while their two school-age children often feel apathy.

Role Relationship

  1. The parenting style is neglecting, as parents allow children to behave as they want but pay little attention to them.
  2. Mr. and Mrs. Collins talk with their children only for 10-20 minutes each day, and they walk together several times a week for around an hour.
  3. Children lack trust in their parents as they are often unable to answer their questions about their deep feelings and desires.


  1. Children are free to talk and ask about sex in the Collins family.
  2. Sexual activity between Mr. and Mrs. Collins is low.
  3. Sexual literacy in Collins’s family is high.


  1. Mr. and Mrs. Collins are used to their busy work schedule, while two elder children often feel a lot of stress at school.
  2. Conflicts are rare in the family, as Mr. and Mrs. Collins have very calm and easy characters.
  3. Mr. and Mrs. Collins usually let children make decisions independently, but they educate them extensively.


As one can conclude, the family has problems with three functional health patterns: self-perception, cognitive, and role relationships. They are interconnected: role-relationship issues lead to low self-perception, which, in turn, results in low cognitive performance. The neglecting parenting style, due to the constant busyness of parents, is the main reason for such issues. Along with that, children are well educated in health and nutrition literacy: those health patterns are developed in this family. Implementing positive behavioral patterns to establish sincere relationships between busy parents and neglected children would change the situation for the better.


Behere, A. P., Basnet, P., & Campbell, P. (2017). Effects of family structure on the mental health of children: A preliminary study. Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine, 39(4), 457–463. Web.

Johnson, B. E., & Ray, W. A. (2016). Family systems theory. Encyclopedia of Family Studies, 1–5. Web.

Sarwar, S. (2016). Influence of parenting style on children’s behavior. Journal of Education and Educational Development, 3(2), 222. Web.


  1. Values/Health perception: Do you have a family doctor? How would you evaluate your health literacy? How often are you visit any healthcare facility?
  2. Nutrition: How would you evaluate your nutrition literacy? Do your kids know about healthy food habits? How often do you eat junk food?
  3. Sleep/Rest: How would you evaluate your sleep quality? Are you often sleepy during the day? How many hours a day do you usually sleep?
  4. Elimination: Have you had any urinary or intestine troubles? How often do you urinate? Do you feel comfortable with your digestion?
  5. Activities/Exercise: How do you like sports? Are you often walk together? How often do you move?
  6. Cognitive: How would you evaluate your memory? Do you have any problems at school/work? How would you evaluate your day-to-day cognitive performance?
  7. Sensory perception: Do you have any problems with sensorimotor perception? Do you have any problem with the food schedule? Do
  8. Self-perception: What do you think about your future? How would you evaluate your love for yourself?
  9. Role relationship: What is your parenting style? How often do you talk with your children? How do you trust your children/parents?
  10. Sexuality: How do you educate your children about sex? How would you evaluate your sexual activity? How would you consider your sexual literacy?
  11. Coping: How would you evaluate the stress on your work? Do you often have conflicts in your family? How do you make decisions for yourself and your children?

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PsychologyWriting. (2022) 'The Structure and Style of the Family'. 17 November.


PsychologyWriting. 2022. "The Structure and Style of the Family." November 17, 2022.

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PsychologyWriting. "The Structure and Style of the Family." November 17, 2022.