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The dysfunctional family dynamics - Essay Example

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The dysfunctional family dynamics

Tom’s authoritarian methodology of controlling his wife and children is akin to a command-and-conquer mentality much like that of a militant. His psychological maladjustment appears to be a direct result of self-esteem depletion that provides the foundation for his deviant and abusive behaviours. Tom’s inefficiency in farming does not provide adequate income or sustenance to the household which exacerbates the problem in their marriage and the rituals that occur in the family dynamic. Carrie maintains an uninvolved parenting style which is borne of her growing depression and anxiety caused by Tom, her miscarriages, and the financial situation that drives the current family dynamics. In relation to family dynamics and roles, in most well-adjusted households, children learn about appropriate behaviours through social role modelling under social learning theory. This states that children will learn from adult role models based on what is punished and what brings punishment (Neubert, Carlson, Kacmar, Roberts & Chonko, 2009). However, in order for this learning to be adopted, the role model must be a credible and attractive person in the eyes of the child (Neubert, et al.). This is compelling support for why each of the children maintain a unique method of coping with the abuse behaviours that they experience or witness vicariously as it is directed at Carrie. Tom does not represent a worthwhile role model and, due to the father’s controlling methodology and distorted values on autonomy, the children have a distant and uninvolved relationship with both parents. Tom’s refusal to allow the children to socialise with neighbours or school peers continue to degrade healthy adjustment, especially in the older children. “Peer acceptance and friendships are distinct constructs and contribute positively to youth development” (Brown & Lohr, 1987, p.48). Under Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and personality development, in order to find higher concepts for healthy adult adjustment, a sense of belonging needs to be established in the family or social environment (Gambrel & Cianci, 2003). Individuals in society need to feel that they have a certain level of control over their circumstances and receive recognition from others in order to build self-confidence (Gambrel & Cianci, 2003). Tom contributes highly to the depletion of self-confidence by removing elements of autonomous living and decision-making from both Carrie and the children. He serves as a catalyst for maladjusted youth behaviours and personality, such as that of Fiona who simply deserted the family in favour of receipt of these more important affiliation and belonging needs. A non-affiliatory environment dictates the level of relationship between family members and is borne of passive and uninvolved parenting style. Tom: Tom appears to have a low locus of control, which under this theory is a person’s belief that external parties have control over their destiny (Treven & Potocan, 2005). A more healthy and adjusted adult tends to have a higher locus of control, believing that through perseverance and internal motivations that their own destiny is controllable and manageable without blaming the external world. Tom exerts these characteristics of having a low locus of control with his animosity against those who hold college degrees (since he did not complete higher education) and with his admonishment of neighbours as being nosey or without value. Tom is using inferior coping mechanisms and defence mechanisms common to those with distorted perceptions of the world that directly impacts the family unit and individual mental health. Violence and Children: Violence ...Show more

Summary

The dysfunctional family dynamics that are present in the household highlighted in the case is largely dictated by Tom and his maladjusted, distorted perception of control and society. …
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The dysfunctional family dynamics essay example
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