CHAPTER 10 HELPING FAMILY MEMBERS WITH MALADAPTIVE COMMUNICATION AND RELATIONSHIP PATTERNS Summary of Content 1. Changing Definitions of Family Families are bound together not only by ties of kinship or by legal rights and responsibilities, but also by self-definition. The traditional nuclear family—two heterosexual parents and two children—is no longer the norm in the United States. The number of families led by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) individuals continues to rise, as does the number of blended and recoupled families and families headed by single parents, par- ticularly women. The number of families with children has declined, as has the number of children in families. 2. Family Function Three primary family functions have been identified, which exist across cultures and historical eras. Families: • Provide resources for survival of members (instrumental functions) • Meet members’ needs for affiliation, intimacy, and support (expressive functions) • Connecting members to the social and physical worlds outside the boundaries of the family
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