Family Systems & Healthy Development Essay
Family Systems and Healthy Development
Healthy development is generally understood as the progressive physical, emotional, cognitive and social maturation that takes place in a person’s life from conception onwards into adulthood. This process is further influenced by a continuous whirlwind of biological and environmental factors. Of the numerous environmental factors that an individual encounters over the course of the life span, it is clear to see family systems play a significant role and can be extremely impactful on the developmental process.
To gain a better understanding of the impact of family on healthy …show more content…
Though there are notable differences in the childrearing practices around the world there are marked similarities that exist in the context of determining a healthy family unit. It is helpful to consider socioeconomic status, parental contributions and involvement, sibling relationships, family history and cultural norms when trying to determine the overall health of a family system. Factors such as warmth, emotional availability, routine activities such as predictable bed or mealtime activities, religious observances and communication are of considerable importance when evaluating the health of a family system in the Western culture. However in other cultures such as the Caribbean there is less emphasis placed on the feelings of warmth and emotional connections and more on discipline, control and behavior management. Children in the Caribbean are expected to perform adult responsibilities at a much earlier age than their American counterparts. For example in a study conducted on child health in Jamaica “at the age of four or five, children of both sexes begin doing household chores such as sweeping, mopping, floor polishing, and caring for younger children” (Sargent & Harris, 1992). Children are also expected to complete tasks such