NRS 429V Week 4 Family Health Assessment Paper Example
The Family Structure
For this case, the family comprises of five nuclear members and two extended family members. The nuclear family structure comprises of mother, father, 2 girls, and one boy. The extended family is made up of grandfather and grandmother. The nuclear family lives in a five-bedroomed house whereas the grandfather and grandmother live in a two-bedroomed house in the same compound as the nuclear family. The participants are all Caucasian with the eldest (grandfather) being 70 years old while the youngest person in this family is aged 12 years.
The family being studied belong to middle-class social status and lives in a neighborhood that is occupied by middle-class people, mostly Caucasians. The father in the nuclear family is a dentist while the mother is an early childhood teacher in a nearby private school. All the three children in the family attend the private school where their mother teaches. Both the grandfather and the grandmother are retired pensioners. Regarding spirituality, the family being studied attends church every Sunday at a nearby protestant church. The grandmother and the mother of the children are members of the church’s choir.
Health Behaviors of the Family
There are many notable health behaviors observed in this family. One of the health behaviors I noted immediately from the family is smoking tobacco. Both the grandfather and the father of the children are heavy smokers. However, no one else in the family uses tobacco apart from the two. Health behaviors are affected by collective actions (Fadlon, & Nielsen, 2019). Secondly, another notable health behavior in the family is obesity and overweight. Out of the seven family members, only two people, the boys and the mother are not overweight. Currently, no member of the family has become obese, however, if things continue as they are, then it is only a matter of time before obesity strikes.
In terms of mental health, all members of the family have stable mental health. There is no history of mental disorders. However, the father who is a dentist has a mild case of anxiety for which he gets medication. The first-born daughter also recently reported to her mother about being overly anxious. The girl is about to sit her final grade exams and is anxious about the results. The mother has scheduled for her to visit a doctor to control the anxiety. At this stage, it is impossible to conclude that the girl has anxiety problems. Apart from these mild cases of anxiety in the father and the first-born daughter, there is no history of mental illness in the family. All the family members especially the adults take physical exercises seriously. The grandmother and the grandfather run a few kilometers every day without fail. The mother and the father do physical exercises in the in-house gym before going to work.
The Functional Health Pattern Strengths Noted
One of the functional health patterns noted from the family is a strict diet of healthy foods. In my observation, I noticed each family member consuming at least 3 different varieties of fruits and vegetables each day. The family meals had high fiber content for example potatoes, pasta, bread, and rice. Additionally, the family consumed a lot of protein foods particularly beans, fish, meat, eggs, and pulses in moderate measure. Being a family where only two members out of seven are overweight, the family has taken to eating whole-food diets and low-carb foods.
Another functional health pattern in the family is regulated smoking and alcohol intake. Only two members of the family, grandfather and father, take alcohol and smoke tobacco. However, the two are not heavy smokers nor drinkers. This moderation in terms of alcohol intake and smoking is good but must be watched. Based on the moderate consumption of alcohol by the grandfather and the father, there is no immediate health risk surrounding these habits. However, care must be taken to reduce further intake of these substances. The daily exercises help to burn out the extra calories from the alcohol consumed.
Areas where Health Problems or Barriers to Health Were Identified.
The most critical barrier to health I noticed in the family being interviewed is the psychological barrier. The men in the family do not take any signs or symptoms seriously, even when they do, they do not seek medical attention as soon as possible because of the perception that it is unmanly to seek medication. The rest of the family indicated that the only reason they do not seek medication is due to fear. Some of them have a phobia for syringes, while others mentioned fear of the outcome as the major reason they do not seek medication sooner.
There were no barriers relating to financial, physical, language, or cultural. The family is in a good position financially and can afford treatment in some of the best healthcare facilities across the country. In terms of language, there are no language barriers that may hinder the family from seeking medication. Similarly, I did not observe any physical nor cultural barriers that would prevent them from seeking medical intervention if or when the need arises.
The Family Systems Theory
The theory of family systems is a human behavior theory that states that the interaction between family members influences each other’s behavior. In this approach, the family is perceived as a whole unit rather than individual people (Madisson et al., 2019). Taken in this context, from the family being interviewed, one can interpret that the behavior of a member has an impact on the behavior of the other family members (Erdem, & Safi, 2017). For example, if the children witness their father and grandfather smoking and drinking, they may pick up this behavior and perceive it as a normal thing.
It is critical to remember that a family is an emotional unit where individual members play specific roles and have to follow the set rules and regulations. Through these roles, clear patterns of behavior develop within the emotional unit. This factor means that depending on the relationship between family members, the behavior patterns can either build the family or lead to a dysfunctional family unit (Pratt, & Skelton, 2018). The family systems theory is important because even in family members that are disconnected, the family center/unit still holds a profound impact strong enough to influence the family’s actions and emotions. Based on this analogy, it means that individual behavior has an impact on the other members of the family (Alokozai et al., 2019). For the family being studied, whatever the route the family center chooses, the others are likely to act the same way. Positive actions by the center of the family lead to positive behavior by the rest of the family members. The reverse is also true.
The composition structure of any family has a profound impact on their behaviors and actions. Even though family members are made up of individuals with different personalities, the interaction between members of a family creates a degree of interdependence which affects the behavior of every family member. Each family member has a role bound within an emotional system where the behavior/actions of an individual member affect those of other members of the family. If the center of the family picks positive health habits, so will the rest of the family and vice versa.
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- Erdem, G., & Safi, A. (2017). Bowen Family Systems Theory from a Cultural Perspective: An Integrative Framework. Koc University, Department of Psychology, Istanbul, Turkey, 1-28.
- Fadlon, I., & Nielsen, T. H. (2019). Family health behaviors. American Economic Review, 109(9), 3162-91.
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