• Tools and Resources
  • Customer Services
  • Communication and Culture
  • Communication and Social Change
  • Communication and Technology
  • Communication Theory
  • Critical/Cultural Studies
  • Gender (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies)
  • Health and Risk Communication
  • Intergroup Communication
  • International/Global Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication
  • Journalism Studies
  • Language and Social Interaction
  • Mass Communication
  • Media and Communication Policy
  • Organizational Communication
  • Political Communication
  • Rhetorical Theory
  • Share This Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

Article contents

Family, culture, and communication.

  • V. Santiago Arias V. Santiago Arias College of Media and Communication, Texas Tech University
  •  and  Narissra Maria Punyanunt-Carter Narissra Maria Punyanunt-Carter College of Media and Communication, Texas Tech University
  • https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.504
  • Published online: 22 August 2017

Through the years, the concept of family has been studied by family therapists, psychology scholars, and sociologists with a diverse theoretical framework, such as family communication patterns (FCP) theory, dyadic power theory, conflict, and family systems theory. Among these theories, there are two main commonalities throughout its findings: the interparental relationship is the core interaction in the familial system because the quality of their communication or coparenting significantly affects the enactment of the caregiver role while managing conflicts, which are not the exception in the familial setting. Coparenting is understood in its broader sense to avoid an extensive discussion of all type of families in our society. Second, while including the main goal of parenting, which is the socialization of values, this process intrinsically suggests cultural assimilation as the main cultural approach rather than intergroup theory, because intercultural marriages need to decide which values are considered the best to be socialized. In order to do so, examples from the Thai culture and Hispanic and Latino cultures served to show cultural assimilation as an important mediator of coparenting communication patterns, which subsequently affect other subsystems that influence individuals’ identity and self-esteem development in the long run. Finally, future directions suggest that the need for incorporating a nonhegemonic one-way definition of cultural assimilation allows immigration status to be brought into the discussion of family communication issues in the context of one of the most diverse countries in the world.

  • parental communication
  • dyadic power
  • family communication systems
  • cultural assimilation


Family is the fundamental structure of every society because, among other functions, this social institution provides individuals, from birth until adulthood, membership and sense of belonging, economic support, nurturance, education, and socialization (Canary & Canary, 2013 ). As a consequence, the strut of its social role consists of operating as a system in a manner that would benefit all members of a family while achieving what is considered best, where decisions tend to be coherent, at least according to the norms and roles assumed by family members within the system (Galvin, Bylund, & Brommel, 2004 ). Notwithstanding, the concept of family can be interpreted differently by individual perceptions to an array of cultural backgrounds, and cultures vary in their values, behaviors, and ideas.

The difficulty of conceptualizing this social institution suggests that family is a culture-bound phenomenon (Bales & Parsons, 2014 ). In essence, culture represents how people view themselves as part of a unique social collective and the ensuing communication interactions (Olaniran & Roach, 1994 ); subsequently, culture provides norms for behavior having a tremendous impact on those family members’ roles and power dynamics mirrored in its communication interactions (Johnson, Radesky, & Zuckerman, 2013 ). Thus, culture serves as one of the main macroframeworks for individuals to interpret and enact those prescriptions, such as inheritance; descent rules (e.g., bilateral, as in the United States, or patrilineal); marriage customs, such as ideal monogamy and divorce; and beliefs about sexuality, gender, and patterns of household formation, such as structure of authority and power (Weisner, 2014 ). For these reasons, “every family is both a unique microcosm and a product of a larger cultural context” (Johnson et al., 2013 , p. 632), and the analysis of family communication must include culture in order to elucidate effective communication strategies to solve familial conflicts.

In addition, to analyze familial communication patterns, it is important to address the most influential interaction with regard to power dynamics that determine the overall quality of family functioning. In this sense, within the range of family theories, parenting function is the core relationship in terms of power dynamics. Parenting refers to all efforts and decisions made by parents individually to guide their children’s behavior. This is a pivotal function, but the quality of communication among people who perform parenting is fundamental because their internal communication patterns will either support or undermine each caregiver’s parenting attempts, individually having a substantial influence on all members’ psychological and physical well-being (Schrodt & Shimkowski, 2013 ). Subsequently, parenting goes along with communication because to execute all parenting efforts, there must be a mutual agreement among at least two individuals to conjointly take care of the child’s fostering (Van Egeren & Hawkins, 2004 ). Consequently, coparenting serves as a crucial predictor of the overall family atmosphere and interactions, and it deserves special attention while analyzing family communication issues.

Through the years, family has been studied by family therapists, psychology scholars, and sociologists, but interaction behaviors define the interpersonal relationship, roles, and power within the family as a system (Rogers, 2006 ). Consequently, family scholarship relies on a wide range of theories developed within the communication field and in areas of the social sciences (Galvin, Braithwaite, & Bylund, 2015 ) because analysis of communication patterns in the familial context offers more ecological validity that individuals’ self-report measures. As many types of interactions may happen within a family, there are many relevant venues (i.e., theories) for scholarly analysis on this subject, which will be discussed later in this article in the “ Family: Theoretical Perspectives ” section. To avoid the risk of cultural relativeness while defining family, this article characterizes family as “a long-term group of two or more people related through biological, legal, or equivalent ties and who enact those ties through ongoing interactions providing instrumental and/or emotional support” (Canary & Canary, 2013 , p. 5).

Therefore, the purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the most relevant theories in family communication to identify frustrations and limitations with internal communication. Second, as a case in point, the United States welcomes more than 50 million noncitizens as temporary visitors and admits approximately 1 million immigrants to live as lawful residents yearly (Fullerton, 2014 ), this demographic pattern means that nearly one-third of the population (102 million) comes from different cultural backgrounds, and therefore, the present review will incorporate culture as an important mediator for coparenting, so that future research can be performed to find specific techniques and training practices that are more suitable for cross-cultural contexts.

Family: Theoretical Perspectives

Even though the concept of family can be interpreted individually and differently in different cultures, there are also some commonalities, along with communication processes, specific roles within families, and acceptable habits of interactions with specific family members disregarding cultural differences. This section will provide a brief overview of the conceptualization of family through the family communication patterns (FCP) theory, dyadic power theory, conflict, and family systems theory, with a special focus on the interparental relationship.

Family Communication Patterns Theory

One of the most relevant approaches to address the myriad of communication issues within families is the family communication patterns (FCP) theory. Originally developed by McLeod and Chaffee ( 1973 ), this theory aims to understand families’ tendencies to create stable and predictable communication patterns in terms of both relational cognition and interpersonal behavior (Braithwaite & Baxter, 2005 ). Specifically, this theory focuses on the unique and amalgamated associations derived from interparental communication and its impact on parenting quality to determine FCPs and the remaining interactions (Young & Schrodt, 2016 ).

To illustrate FCP’s focus on parental communication, Schrodt, Witt, and Shimkowski ( 2014 ) conducted a meta-analysis of 74 studies (N = 14,255) to examine the associations between the demand/withdraw family communication patterns of interaction, and the subsequent individual, relational, and communicative outcomes. The cumulative evidence suggests that wife demand/husband withdraw and husband demand/wife withdraw show similar moderate correlations with communicative and psychological well-being outcomes, and even higher when both patterns are taken together (at the relational level). This is important because one of the main tenets of FCP is that familial relationships are drawn on the pursuit of coorientation among members. Coorientation refers to the cognitive process of two or more individuals focusing on and assessing the same object in the same material and social context, which leads to a number of cognitions as the number of people involved, which results in different levels of agreement, accuracy, and congruence (for a review, see Fitzpatrick & Koerner, 2005 ); for example, in dyads that are aware of their shared focus, two different cognitions of the same issue will result.

Hereafter, the way in which these cognitions are socialized through power dynamics determined socially and culturally by roles constitutes specific interdependent communication patterns among family members. For example, Koerner and Fitzpatrick ( 2006 ) provide a taxonomy of family types on the basis of coorientation and its impact on communication pattern in terms of the degree of conformity in those conversational tendencies. To wit, consensual families mostly agree for the sake of the hierarchy within a given family and to explore new points of view; pluralistic families allow members to participate equally in conversations and there is no pressure to control or make children’s decisions; protective families maintain the hierarchy by making decisions for the sake of achieving common family goals; and laissez-faire families, which are low in conversation and conformity orientation, allow family members to not get deeply involved in the family.

The analysis of family communication patterns is quintessential for family communication scholarly work because it influences forming an individual’s self concept in the long run. As a case in point, Young and Schrodt ( 2016 ) surveyed 181 young adults from intact families, where conditional and interaction effects between communication patterns and conformity orientation were observed as the main predictors of future romantic partners. Moreover, this study concluded that FCPs and interparental confirmation are substantial indicators of self-to-partner confirmation, after controlling for reciprocity of confirmation within the romantic relationship. As a consequence, FCP influences children’s and young adults’ perceptions of romantic behavior (e.g., Fowler, Pearson, & Beck, 2010 ); the quality of communication behavior, such as the degree of acceptation of verbal aggression in romantic dyads (e.g., Aloia & Solomon, 2013 ); gender roles; and conflict styles (e.g., Taylor & Segrin, 2010 ), and parental modeling (e.g., Young & Schrodt, 2016 ).

This suggests three important observations. First, family is a very complex interpersonal context, in which communication processes, specific roles within families, and acceptable habits of interactions with specific family members interact as subsystems (see Galvin et al., 2004 ; Schrodt & Shimkowski, 2013 ). Second, among those subsystems, the core interaction is the individuals who hold parenting roles (i.e., intact and post divorced families); the couple (disregarding particular sexual orientations), and, parenting roles have a reciprocal relationship over time (Le, McDaniel, Leavitt, & Feinberg, 2016 ). Communication between parenting partners is crucial for the development of their entire family; for example, Schrodt and Shimkowski ( 2013 ) conducted a survey with 493 young adult children from intact (N = 364) and divorced families (N = 129) about perceptions of interparental conflict that involves triangulation (the impression of being in the “middle” and feeling forced to display loyalty to one of the parents). Results suggest that supportive coparental communication positively predicts relational satisfaction with mothers and fathers, as well as mental health; on the other hand, antagonist and hostile coparental communication predicted negative marital satisfaction.

Consequently, “partners’ communication with one another will have a positive effect on their overall view of their marriage, . . . and directly result[ing in] their views of marital satisfaction” (Knapp & Daly, 2002 , p. 643). Le et al. ( 2016 ) conducted a longitudinal study to evaluate the reciprocal relationship between marital interaction and coparenting from the perspective of both parents in terms of support or undermining across the transition to parenthood from a dyadic perspective; 164 cohabiting heterosexual couples expecting their first child were analyzed from pregnancy until 36 months after birth. Both parents’ interdependence was examined in terms of three variables: gender difference analysis, stability over time in marriage and coparenting, and reciprocal associations between relationship quality and coparenting support or undermining. The findings suggest a long-term reciprocal association between relationship quality and coparenting support or undermining in heterosexual families; the quality of marriage relationship during prenatal stage is highly influential in coparenting after birth for both men and women; but, coparenting is connected to romantic relationship quality only for women.

Moreover, the positive association between coparenting and the parents’ relationship relates to the spillover hypothesis, which posits that the positive or negative factors in the parental subsystem are significantly associated with higher or lower marital satisfaction in the spousal subsystem, respectively. Ergo, overall parenting performance is substantially affected by the quality of marital communication patterns.

Dyadic Power

In addition, after analyzing the impact of marital interaction quality in families on marital satisfaction and future parental modeling, it is worth noting that marital satisfaction and coparenting are importantly mediated by power dynamics within the couple (Halstead, De Santis, & Williams, 2016 ), and even mediates marital commitment (e.g., Lennon, Stewart, & Ledermann, 2013 ). If the quality of interpersonal relationship between those individuals who hold parenting roles determines coparenting quality as well, then the reason for this association lies on the fact that virtually all intimate relationships are substantially characterized by power dynamics; when partners perceive more rewards than costs in the relationship, they will be more satisfied and significantly more committed to the relationship (Lennon et al., 2013 ). As a result, the inclusion of power dynamics in the analysis of family issues becomes quintessential.

For the theory of dyadic power, power in its basic sense includes dominance, control, and influence over others, as well as a means to meet survival needs. When power is integrated into dyadic intimate relationships, it generates asymmetries in terms of interdependence between partners due to the quality of alternatives provided by individual characteristics such as socioeconomic status and cultural characteristics such as gender roles. This virtually gives more power to men than women. Power refers to “the feeling derived from the ability to dominate, or control, the behavior, affect, and cognitions of another person[;] in consequence, this concept within the interparental relationship is enacted when one partner who controls resources and limiting the behavioral options of the other partner” (Lennon et al., 2013 , p. 97). Ergo, this theory examines power in terms of interdependence between members of the relationship: the partner who is more dependent on the other has less power in the relationship, which, of course, directly impact parenting decisions.

As a case in point, Worley and Samp ( 2016 ) examined the balance of decision-making power in the relationship, complaint avoidance, and complaint-related appraisals in 175 heterosexual couples. Findings suggest that decision-making power has a curvilinear association, in which individuals engaged in the least complaint avoidance when they were relatively equal to their partners in terms of power. In other words, perceptions of one another’s power potentially encourage communication efficacy in the interparental couple.

The analysis of power in intimate relationships, and, to be specific, between parents is crucial because it not only relates to marital satisfaction and commitment, but it also it affects parents’ dyadic coping for children. In fact, Zemp, Bodenmann, Backes, Sutter-Stickel, and Revenson ( 2016 ) investigated parents’ dyadic coping as a predictor of children’s internalizing symptoms, externalizing symptoms, and prosocial behavior in three independent studies. When there is a positive relationship among all three factors, the results indicated that the strongest correlation was the first one. Again, the quality of the marital and parental relationships has the strongest influence on children’s coping skills and future well-being.

From the overview of the two previous theories on family, it is worth addressing two important aspects. First, parenting requires an intensive great deal of hands-on physical care, attention to safety (Mooney-Doyle, Deatrick, & Horowitz, 2014 ), and interpretation of cues, and this is why parenting, from conception to when children enter adulthood, is a tremendous social, cultural, and legally prescribed role directed toward caregiving and endlessly attending to individuals’ social, physical, psychological, emotional, and cognitive development (Johnson et al., 2013 ). And while parents are making decisions about what they consider is best for all family members, power dynamics play a crucial role in marital satisfaction, commitment, parental modeling, and overall interparental communication efficacy in the case of postdivorce families. Therefore, the likelihood of conflict is latent within familial interactions while making decisions; indeed, situations in which family members agree on norms as a consensus is rare (Ritchie & Fitzpatrick, 1990 ).

In addition to the interparental and marital power dynamics that delineates family communication patterns, the familial interaction is distinctive from other types of social relationships in the unequaled role of emotions and communication of affection while family members interact and make decisions for the sake of all members. For example, Ritchie and Fitzpatrick ( 1990 ) provided evidence that fathers tended to perceive that all other family members agree with his decisions or ideas. Even when mothers confronted and disagreed with the fathers about the fathers’ decisions or ideas, the men were more likely to believe that their children agreed with him. When the children were interviewed without their parents, however, the majority of children agreed with the mothers rather than the fathers (Ritchie & Fitzpatrick, 1990 ). Subsequently, conflict is highly present in families; however, in general, the presence of conflict is not problematic per se. Rather, it is the ability to manage and recover from it and that could be problematic (Floyd, 2014 ).

One of the reasons for the role of emotions in interpersonal conflicts is explained by the Emotion-in-Relationships Model (ERM). This model states that feelings of bliss, satisfaction, and relaxation often go unnoticed due to the nature of the emotions, whereas “hot” emotions, such as anger and contempt, come to the forefront when directed at a member of an interpersonal relationship (Fletcher & Clark, 2002 ). This type of psychophysical response usually happens perhaps due to the different biophysical reactive response of the body compared to its reaction to positive ones (Floyd, 2014 ). There are two dimensions that define conflict. Conflict leads to the elicitation of emotions, but sometimes the opposite occurs: emotions lead to conflict. The misunderstanding or misinterpretation of emotions among members of a family can be a source of conflict, as well as a number of other issues, including personality differences, past history, substance abuse, mental or physical health problems, monetary issues, children, intimate partner violence, domestic rape, or maybe just general frustration due to recent events (Sabourin, Infante, & Rudd, 1990 ). In order to have a common understanding of this concept for the familial context in particular, conflict refers to as “any incompatibility that can be expressed by people related through biological, legal, or equivalent ties” (Canary & Canary, 2013 , p. 6). Thus, the concept of conflict goes hand in hand with coparenting.

There is a myriad of everyday family activities in which parents need to decide the best way to do them: sometimes they are minor, such as eating, watching TV, or sleeping schedules; others are more complicated, such as schooling. Certainly, while socializing and making these decisions, parents may agree or not, and these everyday situations may lead to conflict. Whether or not parents live together, it has been shown that “the extent to which children experience their parents as partners or opponents in parenting is related to children’s adjustment and well-being” (Gable & Sharp, 2016 , p. 1), because the ontology of parenting is materialized through socialization of values about every aspect and duty among all family members, especially children, to perpetuate a given society.

As the findings provided in this article show, the study of family communication issues is pivotal because the way in which those issues are solved within families will be copied by children as their values. Values are abstract ideas that delineate behavior toward the evaluation of people and events and vary in terms of importance across individuals, but also among cultures. In other words, their future parenting (i.e., parenting modeling) of children will replicate those same strategies for conflict solving for good or bad, depending on whether parents were supportive between each other. Thus, socialization defines the size and scope of coparenting.

The familial socialization of values encompasses the distinction between parents’ personal execution of those social appraisals and the values that parents want their children to adopt, and both are different things; nonetheless, familial socialization does not take place in only one direction, from parents to children. Benish-Weisman, Levy, and Knafo ( 2013 ) investigated the differentiation process—or, in other words, the distinction between parents’ own personal values and their socialization values and the contribution of children’s values to their parents’ socialization values. In this study, in which 603 Israeli adolescents and their parents participated, the findings suggest that parents differentiate between their personal values and their socialization values, and adolescents’ values have a specific contribution to their parents’ socialization values. As a result, socialization is not a unidirectional process affected by parents alone, it is an outcome of the reciprocal interaction between parents and their adolescent children, and the given importance of a given value is mediated by parents and their culture individually (Johnson et al., 2013 ). However, taking power dynamics into account does not mean that adolescents share the same level of decision-making power in the family; thus, socialization take place in both directions, but mostly from parents to children. Finally, it is worth noticing that the socialization of values in coparenting falls under the cultural umbrella. The next section pays a special attention to the role of culture in family communication.

The Role of Culture in Parenting Socialization of Values

There are many individual perceived realities and behaviors in the familial setting that may lead to conflict among members, but all of them achieve a common interpretation through culture; indeed, “all family conflict processes by broad cultural factors” (Canary & Canary, 2013 , p. 46). Subsequently, the goal of this section is to provide an overview of the perceived realities and behaviors that exist in family relationships with different cultural backgrounds. How should one approach the array of cultural values influencing parental communication patterns?

An interesting way of immersing on the role of culture in family communication patterns and its further socialization of values is explored by Schwartz ( 1992 ). The author developed a value system composed of 10 values operationalized as motivational goals for modern society: (a) self-direction (independence of thought and action); (b) stimulation (excitement, challenge, and novelty); (c) hedonism (pleasure or sensuous gratification); (d) achievement (personal success according to social standards); (e) power (social status, dominance over people and resources); (f) conformity (restraint of actions that may harm others or violate social expectations); (g) tradition (respect and commitment to cultural or religious customs and ideas); (h) benevolence (preserving and enhancing the welfare of people to whom one is close); (i) universalism (understanding, tolerance, and concern for the welfare of all people and nature); and (j) security (safety and stability of society, relationships, and self).

Later, Schwartz and Rubel ( 2005 ) applied this value structure, finding it to be commonly shared among over 65 countries. Nevertheless, these values are enacted in different ways by societies and genders about the extent to which men attribute more relevance to values of power, stimulation, hedonism, achievement, and self-direction, and the opposite was found for benevolence and universalism and less consistently for security. Also, it was found that all sex differences were culturally moderated, suggesting that cultural background needs to be considered in the analysis of coparental communication when socializing those values.

Even though Schwartz’s work was more focused on individuals and societies, it is a powerful model for the analysis of the role of culture on family communication and parenting scholarships. Indeed, Schwartz et al. ( 2013 ) conducted a longitudinal study with a sample of 266 Hispanic adolescents (14 years old) and their parents that looked at measures of acculturation, family functioning, and adolescent conduct problems, substance use, and sexual behavior at five time points. Results suggest that higher levels of acculturation in adolescents were linked to poorer family functioning; however, overall assimilation negatively predicted adolescent cigarette smoking, sexual activity, and unprotected sex. The authors emphasize the role of culture, and acculturation patterns in particular, in understanding the mediating role of family functioning and culture.

Ergo, it is crucial to address the ways in which culture affects family functioning. On top of this idea, Johnson et al. ( 2013 ) observed that Western cultures such as in the United States and European countries are oriented toward autonomy, favoring individual achievement, self-reliance, and self-assertiveness. Thus, coparenting in more autonomous countries will socialize to children the idea that achievement in life is an outcome of independence, resulting in coparenting communication behaviors that favor verbal praise and feedback over physical contact. As opposed to autonomy-oriented cultures, other societies, such as Asian, African, and Latin American countries, emphasize interdependence over autonomy; thus, parenting in these cultures promotes collective achievement, sharing, and collaboration as the core values.

These cultural orientations can be observed in parents’ definitions of school readiness and educational success; for Western parents, examples include skills such as counting, recognizing letters, or independently completing tasks such as coloring pictures, whereas for more interdependent cultures, the development of obedience, respect for authority, and appropriate social skills are the skills that parents are expecting their children to develop to evaluate school readiness. As a matter of fact, Callaghan et al. ( 2011 ) conducted a series of eight studies to evaluate the impact of culture on the social-cognitive skills of one- to three-year-old children in three diverse cultural settings such as Canada, Peru, and India. The results showed that children’s acquisition of specific cognitive skills is moderated by specific learning experiences in a specific context: while Canadian children were understanding the performance of both pretense and pictorial symbols skillfully between 2.5 and 3.0 years of age, on average, Peruvian and Indian children mastered those skills more than a year later. Notwithstanding, this finding does not suggest any kind of cultural superiority; language barriers and limitations derived from translation itself may influence meanings, affecting the results (Sotomayor-Peterson, De Baca, Figueredo, & Smith-Castro, 2013 ). Therefore, in line with the findings of Schutz ( 1970 ), Geertz ( 1973 ), Grusec ( 2002 ), Sotomayor-Peterson et al. ( 2013 ), and Johnson et al. ( 2013 ), cultural values provide important leverage for understanding family functioning in terms of parental decision-making and conflict, which also has a substantial impact on children’s cognitive development.

Subsequently, cultural sensitivity to the analysis of the familial system in this country needs to be specially included because cultural differences are part of the array of familial conflicts that may arise, and children experience real consequences from the quality of these interactions. Therefore, parenting, which is already arduous in itself, and overall family functioning significantly become troublesome when parents with different cultural backgrounds aim to socialize values and perform parenting tasks. The following section provides an account of these cross-cultural families.

Intercultural Families: Adding Cultural Differences to Interparental Communication

For a country such as the United States, with 102 million people from many different cultural backgrounds, the presence of cross-cultural families is on the rise, as is the likelihood of intermarriage between immigrants and natives. With this cultural diversity, the two most prominent groups are Hispanics and Asians, particular cases of which will be discussed next. Besides the fact that parenting itself is a very complex and difficult task, certainly the biggest conflict consists of making decisions about the best way to raise children in terms of their values with regard to which ethnic identity better enacts the values that parents believe their children should embrace. As a result, interracial couples might confront many conflicts and challenges due to cultural differences affecting marital satisfaction and coparenting.

Assimilation , the degree to which a person from a different cultural background has adapted to the culture of the hostage society, is an important phenomenon in intermarriage. Assimilationists observe that children from families in which one of the parents is from the majority group and the other one from the minority do not automatically follow the parent from the majority group (Cohen, 1988 ). Indeed, they follow their mothers more, whichever group she belongs to, because of mothers are more prevalent among people with higher socioeconomic status (Gordon, 1964 ; Portes, 1984 ; Schwartz et al., 2013 ).

In an interracial marriage, the structural and interpersonal barriers inhibiting the interaction between two parents will be reduced significantly if parents develop a noncompeting way to communicate and solve conflicts, which means that both of them might give up part of their culture or ethnic identity to reach consensus. Otherwise, the ethnic identity of children who come from interracial marriages will become more and more obscure (Saenz, Hwang, Aguirre, & Anderson, 1995 ). Surely, parents’ noncompeting cultural communication patterns are fundamental for children’s development of ethnic identity. Biracial children develop feelings of being outsiders, and then parenting becomes crucial to developing their strong self-esteem (Ward, 2006 ). Indeed, Gordon ( 1964 ) found that children from cross-racial or cross-ethnic marriages are at risk of developing psychological problems. In another example, Jognson and Nagoshi ( 1986 ) studied children who come from mixed marriages in Hawaii and found that the problems of cultural identification, conflicting demands in the family, and of being marginal in either culture still exist (Mann & Waldron, 1977 ). It is hard for those mixed-racial children to completely develop the ethnic identity of either the majority group or the minority group.

The question of how children could maintain their minority ethnic identity is essential to the development of ethnic identity as a whole. For children from interracial marriage, the challenge to maintain their minority ethnic identity will be greater than for the majority ethnic identity (Waters, 1990 ; Schwartz et al., 2013 ) because the minority-group spouse is more likely to have greater ethnic consciousness than the majority-group spouse (Ellman, 1987 ). Usually, the majority group is more influential than the minority group on a child’s ethnic identity, but if the minority parent’s ethnicity does not significantly decline, the child’s ethnic identity could still reflect some characteristics of the minority parent. If parents want their children to maintain the minority group’s identity, letting the children learn the language of the minority group might be a good way to achieve this. By learning the language, children form a better understanding of that culture and perhaps are more likely to accept the ethnic identity that the language represents (Xin & Sandel, 2015 ).

In addition to language socialization as a way to contribute to children’s identity in biracial families, Jane and Bochner ( 2009 ) indicated that family rituals and stories could be important in performing and transforming identity. Families create and re-create their identities through various kinds of narrative, in which family stories and rituals are significant. Festivals and rituals are different from culture to culture, and each culture has its own. Therefore, exposing children to the language, rituals, and festivals of another culture also could be helpful to form their ethnic identity, in order to counter problems of self-esteem derived from the feeling of being an outsider.

To conclude this section, the parenting dilemma in intercultural marriages consists of deciding which culture they want their children to be exposed to and what kind of heritage they want to pass to children. The following section will provide two examples of intercultural marriages in the context of American society without implying that there are no other insightful cultures that deserve analysis, but the focus on Asian-American and Hispanics families reflects the available literature (Canary & Canary, 2013 ) and its demographic representativeness in this particular context. In addition, in order to acknowledge that minorities within this larger cultural background deserve more attention due to overemphasis on larger cultures in scholarship, such as Chinese or Japanese cultures, the Thai family will provide insights into understanding the role of culture in parenting and its impact on the remaining familial interaction, putting all theories already discussed in context. Moreover, the Hispanic family will also be taken in account because of its internal pan-ethnicity variety.

An Example of Intercultural Parenting: The Thai Family

The Thai family, also known as Krob Krua, may consist of parents, children, paternal and maternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, grandchildren, in-laws, and any others who share the same home. Thai marriages usually are traditional, in which the male is the authority figure and breadwinner and the wife is in charge of domestic items and the homemaker. It has been noted that Thai mothers tend to be the major caregivers and caretakers in the family rather than fathers (Tulananda, Young, & Roopnarine, 1994 ). On the other hand, it has been shown that Thai mothers also tend to spoil their children with such things as food and comfort; Tulananda et al. ( 1994 ) studied the differences between American and Thai fathers’ involvement with their preschool children and found that American fathers reported being significantly more involved with their children than Thai fathers. Specifically, the fathers differed in the amount of socialization and childcare; Thai fathers reported that they obtained more external support from other family members than American fathers; also, Thai fathers were more likely to obtain support for assisting with daughters than sons.

Furthermore, with regard to the family context, Tulananda and Roopnarine ( 2001 ) noted that over the years, some attention has been focused on the cultural differences among parent-child behaviors and interactions; hereafter, the authors believed that it is important to look at cultural parent-child interactions because that can help others understand children’s capacity to socialize and deal with life’s challenges. As a matter of fact, the authors also noted that Thai families tend to raise their children in accordance with Buddhist beliefs. It is customary for young Thai married couples to live with either the wife’s parents (uxorilocal) or the husband’s parents (virilocal) before living on their own (Tulananda & Roopnarine, 2001 ). The process of developing ethnicity could be complicated. Many factors might influence the process, such as which parent is from the minority culture and the cultural community, as explained in the previous section of this article.

This suggests that there is a difference in the way that Thai and American fathers communicate with their daughters. As a case in point, Punyanunt-Carter ( 2016 ) examined the relationship maintenance behaviors within father-daughter relationships in Thailand and the United States. Participants included 134 American father-daughter dyads and 154 Thai father-daughter dyads. The findings suggest that when quality of communication was included in this relationship, both types of families benefit from this family communication pattern, resulting in better conflict management and advice relationship maintenance behaviors. However, differences were found: American fathers are more likely than American daughters to employ relationship maintenance behaviors; in addition, American fathers are more likely than Thai fathers to use relationship maintenance strategies.

As a consequence, knowing the process of ethnic identity development could provide parents with different ways to form children’s ethnic identity. More specifically, McCann, Ota, Giles, and Caraker ( 2003 ), and Canary and Canary ( 2013 ) noted that Southeast Asian cultures have been overlooked in communication studies research; these countries differ in their religious, political, and philosophical thoughts, with a variety of collectivistic views and religious ideals (e.g., Buddhism, Taoism, Islam), whereas the United States is mainly Christian and consists of individualistic values.

The Case of Hispanic/Latino Families in the United States

There is a need for including Hispanic/Latino families in the United States because of the demographic representativeness and trends of the ethnicity: in 2016 , Hispanics represent nearly 17% of the total U.S. population, becoming the largest minority group. There are more than 53 million Hispanics and Latinos in the United States; in addition, over 93% of young Hispanics and Latinos under the age of 18 hold U.S. citizenship, and more than 73,000 of these people turn 18 every month (Barreto & Segura, 2014 ). Furthermore, the current Hispanic and Latino population is spread evenly between foreign-born and U.S.-born individuals, but the foreign-born population is now growing faster than the number of Hispanic children born in the country (Arias & Hellmueller, 2016 ). This demographic trend is projected to reach one-third of the U.S. total population by 2060 ; therefore, with the growth of other minority populations in the country, the phenomenon of multiracial marriage and biracial children is increasing as well.

Therefore, family communication scholarship has an increasing necessity to include cultural particularities in the analysis of the familial system; in addition to the cultural aspects already explained in this article, this section addresses the influence of familism in Hispanic and Latino familial interactions, as well as how immigration status moderates the internal interactions, reflected in levels of acculturation, that affect these families negatively.

With the higher marriage and birth rates among Hispanics and Latinos living in the United States compared to non-Latino Whites and African American populations, the Hispanic familial system is perhaps the most stereotyped as being familistic (Glick & Van Hook, 2008 ). This family trait consists of the fact that Hispanics place a very high value on marriage and childbearing, on the basis of a profound commitment to give support to members of the extended family as well. This can be evinced in the prevalence of extended-kind shared households in Hispanic and Latino families, and Hispanic children are more likely to live in extended-family households than non-Latino Whites or blacks (Glick & Van Hook, 2008 ). Living in extended-family households, most likely with grandparents, may have positive influences on Hispanic and Latino children, such as greater attention and interaction with loving through consistent caregiving; grandparents may help by engaging with children in academic-oriented activities, which then affects positively cognitive educational outcomes.

However, familism is not the panacea for all familial issues for several reasons. First, living in an extended-family household requires living arrangements that consider adults’ needs more than children’s. Second, the configuration of Hispanic and Latino households is moderated by any immigration issues with all members of the extended family, and this may cause problems for children (Menjívar, 2000 ). The immigration status of each individual member may produce a constant state of flux, whereas circumstances change to adjust to economic opportunities, which in turn are limited by immigration laws, and it gets even worse when one of the parents isn’t even present in the children’s home, but rather live in their home country (Van Hook & Glick, 2006 ). Although Hispanic and Latino children are more likely to live with married parents and extended relatives, familism is highly affected by the immigration status of each member.

On the other hand, there has been research to address the paramount role of communication disregarding the mediating factor of cultural diversity. For example, Sotomayor-Peterson et al. ( 2013 ) performed a cross-cultural comparison of the association between coparenting or shared parental effort and family climate among families from Mexico, the United States, and Costa Rica. The overall findings suggest what was explained earlier in this article: more shared parenting predicts better marital interaction and family climate overall.

In addition, parenting quality has been found to have a positive relationship with children’s developmental outcomes. In fact, Sotomayor-Peterson, Figueredo, Christensen, and Taylor ( 2012 ) conducted a study with 61 low-income Mexican American couples, with at least one child between three and four years of age, recruited from a home-based Head Start program. The main goal of this study was to observe the extent that shared parenting incorporates cultural values and income predicts family climate. The findings suggest that the role of cultural values such as familism, in which family solidarity and avoidance of confrontation are paramount, delineate shared parenting by Mexican American couples.

Cultural adaptation also has a substantial impact on marital satisfaction and children’s cognitive stimulation. Indeed, Sotomayor-Peterson, Wilhelm, and Card ( 2011 ) investigated the relationship between marital relationship quality and subsequent cognitive stimulation practices toward their infants in terms of the actor and partner effects of White and Hispanic parents. The results indicate an interesting relationship between the level of acculturation and marital relationship quality and a positive cognitive stimulation of infants; specifically, marital happiness is associated with increased cognitive stimulation by White and high-acculturated Hispanic fathers. Nevertheless, a major limitation of Hispanic acculturation literature has been seen, reflecting a reliance on cross-sectional studies where acculturation was scholarly operationalized more as an individual difference variable than as a longitudinal adaptation over time (Schwartz et al., 2013 ).

Culture and Family Communication: the “so what?” Question

This article has presented an entangled overview of family communication patterns, dyadic power, family systems, and conflict theories to establish that coparenting quality plays a paramount role. The main commonality among those theories pays special attention to interparental interaction quality, regardless of the type of family (i.e., intact, postdivorce, same-sex, etc.) and cultural background. After reviewing these theories, it was observed that the interparental relationship is the core interaction in the familial context because it affects children from their earlier cognitive development to subsequent parental modeling in terms of gender roles. Thus, in keeping with Canary and Canary ( 2013 ), no matter what approach may be taken to the analysis of family communication issues, the hypothesis that a positive emotional climate within the family is fostered only when couples practice a sufficient level of shared parenting and quality of communication is supported.

Nevertheless, this argument does not suggest that the role of culture in the familial interactions should be undersold. While including the main goal of parenting, which is the socialization of values, in the second section of this article, the text also provides specific values of different countries that are enacted and socialized differently across cultural contexts to address the role of acculturation in the familial atmosphere, the quality of interactions, and individual outcomes. As a case in point, Johnson et al. ( 2013 ) provided an interesting way of seeing how cultures differ in their ways of enacting parenting, clarifying that the role of culture in parenting is not a superficial or relativistic element.

In addition, by acknowledging the perhaps excessive attention to larger Asian cultural backgrounds (such as Chinese or Japanese cultures) by other scholars (i.e., Canary & Canary, 2013 ), an insightful analysis of the Thai American family within the father-daughter relationship was provided to exemplify, through the work of Punyanunt-Carter ( 2016 ), how specific family communication patterns, such as maintenance relationship communication behaviors, affect the quality of familial relationships. Moreover, a second, special focus was put on Hispanic families because of the demographic trends of the United States, and it was found that familism constitutes a distinctive aspect of these families.

In other words, the third section of this article provided these two examples of intercultural families to observe specific ways that culture mediates the familial system. Because one of the main goals of the present article was to demonstrate the mediating role of culture as an important consideration for family communication issues in the United States, the assimilationist approach was taken into account; thus, the two intercultural family examples discussed here correspond to an assimilationist nature rather than using an intergroup approach.

This decision was made without intending to diminish the value of other cultures or ethnic groups in the country, but an extensive revision of all types of intercultural families is beyond the scope of this article. Second, the assimilationist approach forces one to consider cultures that are in the process of adapting to a new hosting culture, and the Thai and Hispanic families in the United States comply with this theoretical requisite. For example, Whites recognize African Americans as being as American as Whites (i.e., Dovidio, Gluszek, John, Ditlmann, & Lagunes, 2010 ), whereas they associate Hispanics and Latinos with illegal immigration in the United States (Stewart et al., 2011 ), which has been enhanced by the U.S. media repeatedly since 1994 (Valentino et al., 2013 ), and it is still happening (Dixon, 2015 ). In this scenario, “ask yourself what would happen to your own personality if you heard it said over and over again that you were lazy, a simple child of nature, expected to steal, and had inferior blood? . . . One’s reputation, whether false or true, cannot be hammered, hammered, hammered, into one’s head without doing something to one’s character” (Allport, 1979 , p. 142, cited in Arias & Hellmueller, 2016 ).

As a consequence, on this cultural canvas, it should not be surprising that Lichter, Carmalt, and Qian ( 2011 ) found that second-generation Hispanics are increasingly likely to marry foreign-born Hispanics and less likely to marry third-generation or later coethnics or Whites. In addition, this study suggests that third-generation Hispanics and later were more likely than in the past to marry non-Hispanic Whites; thus, the authors concluded that there has been a new retreat from intermarriage among the largest immigrant groups in the United States—Hispanics and Asians—in the last 20 years.

If we subscribe to the idea that cultural assimilation goes in only one direction—from the hegemonic culture to the minority culture—then the results of Lichter, Carmalt, and Qian ( 2011 ) should not be of scholarly concern; however, if we believe that cultural assimilation happens in both directions and intercultural families can benefit both the host and immigrant cultures (for a review, see Schwartz et al., 2013 ), then this is important to address in a country that just elected a president, Donald Trump, who featured statements racially lambasting and segregating minorities, denigrating women, and criticizing immigration as some of the main tenets of his campaign. Therefore, we hope that it is clear why special attention was given to the Thai and Hispanic families in this article, considering the impact of culture on the familial system, marital satisfaction, parental communication, and children’s well-being. Even though individuals with Hispanic ancentry were in the United States even before it became a nation, Hispanic and Latino families are still trying to convince Americans of their right to be accepted in American culture and society.

With regard to the “So what?” question, assimilation is important to consider while analyzing the role of culture in family communication patterns, power dynamics, conflict, or the functioning of the overall family system in the context of the United States. This is because this country is among the most popular in the world in terms of immigration requests, and its demographics show that one out of three citizens comes from an ethnic background other than the hegemonic White culture. In sum, cultural awareness has become pivotal in the analysis of family communication issues in the United States. Furthermore, the present overview of family, communication, and culture ends up supporting the idea of positive associations being derived from the pivotal role of marriage relationship quality, such that coparenting and communication practices vary substantially within intercultural marriages moderated by gender roles.

Culture is a pivotal moderator of these associations, but this analysis needs to be tethered to societal structural level, in which cultural differences, family members’ immigration status, media content, and level of acculturation must be included in family research. This is because in intercultural marriages, in addition to the tremendous parenting role, they have to deal with cultural assimilation and discrimination, and this becomes important if we care about children’s cognitive development and the overall well-being of those who are not considered White. As this article shows, the quality of familial interactions has direct consequences on children’s developmental outcomes (for a review, see Callaghan et al., 2011 ).

Therefore, the structure and functioning of family has an important impact on public health at both physiological and psychological levels (Gage, Everett, & Bullock, 2006 ). At the physiological level, the familial interaction instigates expression and reception of strong feelings affecting tremendously on individuals’ physical health because it activates neuroendocrine responses that aid stress regulation, acting as a stress buffer and accelerating physiological recovery from elevated stress (Floyd & Afifi, 2012 ; Floyd, 2014 ). Robles, Shaffer, Malarkey, and Kiecolt-Glaser ( 2006 ) found that a combination of supportive communication, humor, and problem-solving behavior in husbands predicts their wives’ cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)—both physiological factors are considered as stress markers (see 2006 ). On the other hand, the psychology of individuals, the quality of family relationships has major repercussions on cognitive development, as reflected in educational attainment (Sohr-Preston et al., 2013 ), and highly mediated by cultural assimilation (Schwartz et al., 2013 ), which affects individuals through parenting modeling and socialization of values (Mooney-Doyle, Deatrick, & Horowitz, 2014 ).

Further Reading

  • Allport, G. W. (1979). The nature of prejudice . Basic books.
  • Arias, S. , & Hellmueller, L. (2016). Hispanics-and-Latinos and the US Media: New Issues for Future Research. Communication Research Trends , 35 (2), 4.
  • Barreto, M. , & Segura, G. (2014). Latino America: How AmericaÕs Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation . Public Affairs.
  • Benish‐Weisman, M. , Levy, S. , & Knafo, A. (2013). Parents differentiate between their personal values and their socialization values: the role of adolescents’ values. Journal of Research on Adolescence , 23 (4), 614–620.
  • Child, J. T. , & Westermann, D. A. (2013). Let’s be Facebook friends: Exploring parental Facebook friend requests from a communication privacy management (CPM) perspective. Journal of Family Communication , 13 (1), 46–59.
  • Canary, H. , & Canary, D. J. (2013). Family conflict (Key themes in family communication). Polity.
  • Dixon, C. (2015). Rural development in the third world . Routledge.
  • Dovidio, J. F. , Gluszek, A. , John, M. S. , Ditlmann, R. , & Lagunes, P. (2010). Understanding bias toward Latinos: Discrimination, dimensions of difference, and experience of exclusion. Journal of Social Issues , 66 (1), 59–78.
  • Fitzpatrick, M. A. , & Koerner, A. F. (2005). Family communication schemata: Effects on children’s resiliency. The evolution of key mass communication concepts: Honoring Jack M. McLeod , 115–139.
  • Fullerton, A. S. (2014). Work, Family Policies and Transitions to Adulthood in Europe. Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews , 43 (4), 543–545.
  • Galvin, K. M. , Bylund, C. L. , & Brommel, B. J. (2004). Family communication: Cohesion and change . Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
  • Lichter, D. T. , Carmalt, J. H. , & Qian, Z. (2011, June). Immigration and intermarriage among Hispanics: Crossing racial and generational boundaries. In Sociological Forum (Vol. 26, No. 2, pp. 241–264). Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
  • Koerner, A. F. , & Fitzpatrick, M. A. (2006). Family conflict communication. The Sage handbook of conflict communication: Integrating theory, research, and practice , 159–183.
  • McLeod, J. M. , & Chaffee, S. H. (1973). Interpersonal approaches to communication research. American behavioral scientist , 16 (4), 469–499.
  • Sabourin, T. C. , Infante, D. A. , & Rudd, J. (1993). Verbal Aggression in Marriages A Comparison of Violent, Distressed but Nonviolent, and Nondistressed Couples. Human Communication Research , 20 (2), 245–267.
  • Schwartz, S. H. (1992). Universals in the content and structure of values: Theoretical advances and empirical tests in 20 countries. Advances in experimental social psychology , 25 , 1–65.
  • Schrodt, P. , Witt, P. L. , & Shimkowski, J. R. (2014). A meta-analytical review of the demand/withdraw pattern of interaction and its associations with individual, relational, and communicative outcomes. Communication Monographs , 81 (1), 28–58.
  • Stewart, C. O. , Pitts, M. J. , & Osborne, H. (2011). Mediated intergroup conflict: The discursive construction of “illegal immigrants” in a regional US newspaper. Journal of language and social psychology , 30 (1), 8–27.
  • Taylor, M. , & Segrin, C. (2010). Perceptions of Parental Gender Roles and Conflict Styles and Their Association With Young Adults' Relational and Psychological Well-Being. Communication Research Reports , 27 (3), 230–242.
  • Tracy, K. , Ilie, C. , & Sandel, T. (Eds.). (2015). International encyclopedia of language and social interaction . Vol. 1. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Tulananda, O. , Young, D. M. , & Roopnarine, J. L. (1994). Thai and American fathers’ involvement with preschool‐age children. Early Child Development and Care , 97 (1), 123–133.
  • Turkle, S. (2012). Alone together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other . New York: Basic Books.
  • Twenge, J. M. (2014). Generation Me—revised and updated: Why today’s young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled—and more miserable than ever before . New York: Simon and Schuster.
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2014). Yearbook of immigration statistics: 2013 . Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Immigration Statistics.
  • Valentino, N. A. , Brader, T. , & Jardina, A. E. (2013). Immigration opposition among US Whites: General ethnocentrism or media priming of attitudes about Latinos? Political Psychology , 34 (2), 149–166.
  • Worley, T. R. , & Samp, J. (2016). Complaint avoidance and complaint-related appraisals in close relationships: A dyadic power theory perspective. Communication Research , 43 (3), 391–413.
  • Xie, Y. , & Goyette, K. (1997). The racial identification of biracial children with one Asian parent: Evidence from the 1990 census. Social Forces , 76 (2), 547–570.
  • Weigel, D. J. , & Ballard-Reisch, D. S. (1999). All marriages are not maintained equally: Marital type, marital quality, and the use of the maintenance behaviors. Personal Relationships , 6 , 291–303.
  • Weigel, D. J. , & Ballard-Reisch, D. S. (1999). How couples maintain marriages: A closer look at self and spouse influences upon the use of maintenance behaviors in marriages. Family Relations , 48 , 263–269.
  • Aloia, L. S. , & Solomon, D. H. (2013). Perceptions of verbal aggression in romantic relationships: The role of family history and motivational systems. Western Journal of Communication , 77 (4), 411–423.
  • Arias, V. S. , & Hellmueller, L. C. (2016). Hispanics-and-Latinos and the U.S. media: New issues for future research. Communication Research Trends , 35 (2), 2–21.
  • Bales, R. F. , & Parsons, T. (2014). Family: Socialization and interaction process . Oxford: Routledge.
  • Beach, S. R. , Barton, A. W. , Lei, M. K. , Brody, G. H. , Kogan, S. M. , Hurt, T. R. , . . ., Stanley, S. M. (2014). The effect of communication change on long‐term reductions in child exposure to conflict: Impact of the Promoting Strong African American Families (ProSAAF) program. Family Process , 53 (4), 580–595.
  • Benish-Weisman, M. , Levy, S. , & Knafo, A. (2013). Parents differentiate between their personal values and their socialization values: The role of adolescents’ values. Journal of Research on Adolescence , 23 (4), 614–620.
  • Braithwaite, D. O. , & Baxter, L. A. (Eds.). (2005). Engaging theories in family communication: Multiple perspectives . New York: SAGE.
  • Buerkel-Rothfuss, N. L. , Fink, D. S. , & Buerkel, R. A. (1995). Communication in father-child dyad. In T. S. Socha , & G. H. Stamp (Eds.), Parents, children, and communication: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 63–86). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Caldera, Y. M. , Fitzpatrick, J. , & Wampler, K. S. (2002). Coparenting in intact Mexican American families: Mothers’ and fathers’ perceptions. Latino children and families in the United States: Current research and future directions , 107–131.
  • Callaghan, T. , Moll, H. , Rakoczy, H. , Warneken, F. , Liszkowski, U. , Behne, T. , & Tomasello, M. (2011). Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development (Vol. 76, no. 2, pp. 1–20). Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
  • Canam, C. (1993). Common adaptive tasks facing parents of children with chronic conditions. Journal of Advanced Nursing , 18 , 46–53.
  • Canary, H. , & Canary, D. (2013). Family conflict: Managing the unexpected . John Wiley & Sons.
  • Canary, D. J. , & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs , 59 , 243–267.
  • Canary, D. J. , & Zelley, E. D. (2000). Current research programs on relational maintenance behaviors. Communication Yearbook , 23 , 305–340.
  • Chew, K. S. Y. , Eggebeen, D. , & Uhlenberg, P. R. (1989). American children in multiracial households. Sociological Perspectives , 32 (1), 65–85.
  • Cohen, S. M. (1983). American modernity and Jewish identity . New York: Tavistock Publications.
  • Cohen, S. M. (1988). American assimilation or Jewish revival? Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
  • Dainton, M. , Stafford, L. , & Canary, D. J. (1994). Maintenance strategies and physical affection as predictors of love, liking, and satisfaction in marriage. Communication Reports , 7 , 88–97.
  • Darus, H. J. (1994). Adult daughters’ willingness to communicate as a function of fathers’ argumentativeness and verbal aggressiveness . Unpublished master’s thesis, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH.
  • Devenish, L. Y. (1999). Conflict within adult daughter-father relationships (PhD diss.), Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1999. Digital Dissertation Abstracts International , AAT 9944434.
  • Dindia, K. , & Baxter, L. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships , 4 , 143–158.
  • Duffy, L. (1978). The interracial individuals: Self-concept, parental interaction, and ethnic identity. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI.
  • Ellman, Y. (1987). Intermarriage in the United States: A comparative study of Jews and other ethnic and religious groups. Jewish Social Studies , 49 , 1–26.
  • Feenery, J. A. , & Noller, P. (2013). Perspectives on studying family communication: Multiple methods and multiple sources.
  • Fitzpatrick, M. A. (1988). Between husbands and wives . Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.
  • Fitzpatrick, M. A. , & Badzinski, D. M. (1984). All in the family: Interpersonal communication in kin relationships. In M. L. Knapp & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (pp. 687–736). Beverly Hills, CA: SAGE.
  • Fletcher, J. O. , & Clark, M. S. (2002). Blackwell handbook of social psychology: Interpersonal processes . Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Company.
  • Floyd, K. (2014). Humans are people, too: Nurturing an appreciation for nature in communication research. Review of Communication Research , 2 , 1–29.
  • Floyd, K. , & Afifi, T. D. (2012). Biological and physiological perspectives on interpersonal communication (pp.87–127). In M. Knapp & G. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication . New York: SAGE.
  • Floyd, K. , & Morman, M. T. (2000). Affection received from fathers as a predictor of men’s affection with their own sons: Test of modeling and compensation hypotheses. Communication Monographs , 67 , 347–361.
  • Fowler, M. , Pearson, J. C. , & Beck, S. J. (2010). The influences of family communication patterns on adult children’s perceptions of romantic behaviors. Journal of Communication, Speech & Theatre Association of North Dakota , 23 , 1–11.
  • Friedrich, W. N. (1979). Predictors of the coping behavior of mothers of handicapped children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology , 47 , 1140–1141.
  • Fus, X. , & Heaton, T. B. (2000). Status exchange in intermarriage among Hawaiians, Japanese, Filipinos, and Caucasians in Hawaii: 1983–1994. Journal of Comparative Family Studies , 31 (1), 45–61.
  • Gable, S. , & Sharp, E. (2016). Parenting: Success requires a team effort . MOSapce.com. Retrieved from https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10355/51644/gh6129-2016.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y .
  • Gage, J. D. , Everett, K. D. , & Bullock, L. (2006). Integrative review of parenting in nursing research. Journal of Nursing Scholarship , 38 (1), 56–62.
  • Galvin, K. M. , Braithwaite, D. O. , & Bylund, C. L. (2015). Family communication: Cohesion and change . New York: Routledge.
  • Geertz, C. (1973). The interpretation of cultures: Selected essays . Vol. 5019. New York: Basic Books.
  • Glick, J. E. , & Van Hook, J. (2008). Through children’s eyes: Families and households of Latino children in the United States. (pp. 72–86). In H. Rodríguez , R. Sáenz , & C. Menjívar (Eds.), Latinas/os in the United States: Changing the Face of América . Boston: Springer US.
  • Goldwasser, S. W. (1993). Relationships, mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters: A key to development to competence . Paper presented at the meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association, Atlanta, GA (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED361618).
  • Gordon, A. I. (1964). Intermarriage . Boston: Beacon Press.
  • Gordon, M. M. 1978. Human nature, class, and ethnicity . New York: Oxford University Press.
  • Gottman, J. M. , & Carrere, S. (1994). Why can’t men and women get along? Developmental roots and marital inequalities. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 203–254). New York: Academic Press.
  • Grusec, J. E. (2002). Parental socialization and children’s acquisition of values. Handbook of Parenting , 5 , 143–167.
  • Gudykunst, W. (1987). Cross-cultural comparisons. In C. Berger & S. Chaffee (Eds.), Handbook of communication science (pp. 847–889). Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
  • Halstead, V. , De Santis, J. , & Williams, J. (2016). Relationship power in the context of heterosexual intimate relationships: A conceptual development. Advances in Nursing Science , 39 (2), E31–E43.
  • Hammer, C. S. , Tomblin, J. B. , Zhang, X. , & Weiss, A. L. (2001). Relationship between parenting behaviours and specific language impairment in children. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders , 36 (2), 185–205.
  • Hargittai, E. (2004). Internet access and use in context . Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Harniss, M. K. , Epstein, M. H , Bursuck, W. D. , Nelson, J. , & Jayanthi, M. (2001). Resolving homework-related communication problems: Recommendations of parents of children with and without disabilities. Reading & Writing Quarterly , 17 , 205–225.
  • Jane, J. , & Bochner, A. P. (2009). Imaging families through stories and rituals. In A. L. Vangelisti (Ed.), Handbook of family communication (pp. 513–538). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Jognson, R. C. , & Nagoshi, C. T. (1986). The adjustment of offspring of within-group and interracial/intercultural marriages: A comparison of personality factor scores. Journal of Marriage and Family , 48 (2), 279–284.
  • Johnson, D. J. (1992). Developmental pathways: Toward an ecological theoretical formulation of race identity in black-white biracial children. In M. P. P. Root (Ed.), Racially mixed people in America (pp. 37–49). Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
  • Johnson, L. , Radesky, J. , & Zuckerman, B. (2013). Cross-cultural parenting: Reflections on autonomy and interdependence. Pediatrics , 131 (4), 631–633.
  • Kinloch, P. , & Metge, J. (2014). Talking past each other: problems of cross cultural communication . Wellington, New Zealand: Victoria University Press.
  • Kitano, H. , Yeung, W. T. , Chai, L. , & Hatanaka, H. (1984). Asian-American interracial marriage. Journal of Marriage and the Family , 46 , 179–190.
  • Kivisto, P. (2001). Illuminating social life: Classical and contemporary theory revisited . 2d. ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press.
  • Knapp, M. L. , & Daly, J. A. (Eds). (2002). Handbook of interpersonal communication . 3d ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Knuston, T. J. , Komolsevin, R. , Chatiketu, P. , & Smith, V. R. (2002). A comparison of Thai and U.S. American willingness to communicate. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research , 31 , 3–12.
  • Koerner, A. F. , & Fitzpatrick, M. A. (2012). Communication in intact families. In A. L. Vangelisti (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of family communication (pp. 129–144). New York: Routledge.
  • Komin, S. (1991). Psychology of the Thai people: Values and behavioral patterns . Bangkok, Thailand: National Institute of Developmental Administration.
  • Kwok, S. Y. , Cheng, L. , Chow, B. W. , & Ling, C. C. (2015). The spillover effect of parenting on marital satisfaction among Chinese mothers. Journal of Child and Family Studies , 24 (3), 772–783.
  • Lamb, M. E. (1987). Introduction: The emergent American father. In M. E. Lamb (Ed.), The father’s role: Cross-cultural perspectives (pp. 3–25). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Le, Y. , McDaniel, B. T. , Leavitt, C. E. , & Feinberg, M. E. (2016). Longitudinal associations between relationship quality and coparenting across the transition to parenthood: A dyadic perspective Journal of Family Psychology , 30 (8), 918.
  • Lennon, C. A. , Stewart, A. L. , & Ledermann, T. (2013). The role of power in intimate relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships , 30 (1), 95–114.
  • Leonard, L. S. (1982). The wounded woman: Healing the father-daughter relationship . Athens, OH: Shallow Press.
  • Leonardi, P. M. (2003). Problematizing “new media”: Culturally based perceptions of cellphones, computers, and the Internet among United States Latinos. Critical Studies in Media Communication , 20 (2), 160–179.
  • Lichter, D. T. , Qian, Z. , & Tumin, D. (2015). Whom do immigrants marry? Emerging patterns of intermarriage and integration in the United States. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 662 (1), 57–78.
  • Lindlof, T. R. , & Taylor, B. C. (1995). Qualitative communication research method . New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Lindlof, T. R. , & Taylor, B. C. (2011). Qualitative communication research methods . 3d ed. New York: SAGE.
  • Mann, E. , & Waldron, J. A. (1977). Intercultural marriage and childbearing. In W. S. Tseng , J. F. McDermott, Jr. , & T. W. Maretzki (Eds.), Adjustment in interracial marriage (pp. 88–92). Honolulu, HI: University Press of Hawaii.
  • Martin, M. M. , & Anderson, C. M. (1995). The father–young adult child relationship: Interpersonal motives, self-disclosure, and satisfaction. Communication Quarterly , 43 , 119–130.
  • McCann, R. M. , Ota, H. , Giles, H. , & Caraker, R. (2003). Accommodation and nonaccommodation across the lifespan: Perspectives from Thailand, Japan, and the United States of America. Communication Reports , 16 , 69–92.
  • Menjívar, C. (2000). Fragmented ties: Salvadoran immigrant networks in America . Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  • Miller, R. L. (1992). The human ecology of multiracial identity. In M. P. P. Root (Ed.), Racially mixed people in America (pp. 24–36). Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
  • Mooney-Doyle, K. , Deatrick, J. A. , & Horowitz, J. A. (2014). Tasks and communication as an avenue to enhance parenting of children birth–5 years: An integrative review. Journal of Pediatric Nursing , 30 (1), 184–207.
  • Morman, M. T. , & Floyd, K. (1999). Affectionate communication between fathers and young adult sons: Individual- and relational-level correlates. Communication Studies , 50 , 294–309.
  • Nelsen, H. M. (1990). The religious identification of children of interfaith marriages. Review of Religious Research , 122–134.
  • Ngai, M. M. (2014). Impossible subjects: Illegal aliens and the making of modern America . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Noller, P. , & Callan, V. (1991). The adolescent in the family . New York: Routledge.
  • Olaniran, B. A. , & Roach, K. D. (1994). Communication apprehension in Nigerian culture. Communication Quarterly , 42 , 379–389.
  • Ortman, J. M. , Velkoff, V. A. , & Hogan, H. (2014). An aging nation: The older population in the United States . Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau, 1–28.
  • Pearce, W. B. (2005). Communication management model. In W. B. Gudykunst (Ed.), Theorizing about intercultural communication (pp. 35–55). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Portes, A. (1984). The rise of ethnicity: Determinants of ethnic perceptions among Cuban exiles in Miami. American Sociological Review , 49 , 383–397.
  • Punyanunt-Carter, N. M. (2008). Father-daughter relationships: Examining family communication patterns and interpersonal communication satisfaction. Communication Research Reports , 25 (1), 23–33.
  • Punyanunt-Carter, N. M. (2016). An examination of communication motives and relationship maintenance behaviors in Thai and US father-daughter relationships. Asian Communication Research , 13 (1), 157–179.
  • Ritchie, D. L. , & Fitzpatrick, M. A. (1990). Family communication patterns: Measuring intrapersonal perceptions of interpersonal relationships. Communication Research , 17 (4), 523–544.
  • Robles, T. F. , Shaffer, V. A. , Malarkey, W. B. , & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2006). Positive behaviors during marital conflict: Influences on stress hormones. Journal of social and Personal Relationships , 23 (2), 305–325.
  • Rogers, L. E. (2006). Relational communication theory: an interactional family theory. In D. O. Braithwaite & L. A. Baxter (Eds.), Engaging theories in family communication: Multiple perspectives (pp. 115–129). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
  • Roongrengsuke, S. , & Chansuthus, D. (1998). Conflict management in Thailand. In K. Leung , & D. Tjosvold (Eds.), Conflict management in the Asia Pacific (pp. 167–222). Singapore: John Wiley.
  • Rosenthal, D. A. (1987). Ethnic identity development in adolescents. In J. S. Phinney & M. J. Rotheram (Eds.), Children’s ethnic socialization: Pluralism and development (pp. 156–179). Newbury Park, CA: SAGE.
  • Rubin, R. B. , Fernandez-Collado, C. , & Hernandez-Sampieri, R. (1992). A cross-cultural examination of interpersonal communication motives in Mexico and the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations , 16 , 145–157.
  • Rubin, R. B. , Perse, E. M. , & Barbato, C. A. (1988). Conceptualization and measurement of interpersonal communication motives. Human Communication Research , 14 , 602–628.
  • Sabourin, T. C. , Infante, D. A. , & Rudd, J. (1990). Verbal aggression in marriages: A comparison of violent, distressed but nonviolent, and nondistressed couples. Health Communication Research , 20 (2), 245–267.
  • Saenz, R. , Hwang, S , Aguirre, B. E. , & Anderson, R. N. (1995). Persistence and change in Asian identity among children of intermarried couples. Sociological Perspectives , 38 (2), 175–194.
  • Scherer, K. R. (Eds.). (2003). Vocal communication of emotion: A review of research paradigms. Speech Communication , 40 (1–2), 227–256.
  • Schrodt, P. , & Shimkowski, J. R. (2013). Feeling caught as a mediator of co-parental communication and young adult children’s mental health and relational satisfaction with parents. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships , 30 (8), 977–999.
  • Schutz, A. (1970). Alfred Schutz on phenomenology and social relations . Vol. 360. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Schutz, W. (1966). The interpersonal underworld . Palo Alto, CA: Science and Behavior Books.
  • Schwartz, S. H. , & Rubel, T. (2005). Sex differences in value priorities: Cross-cultural and multimethod studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 89 (6), 1010–1028.
  • Schwartz, S. J. , Des Rosiers, S. , Huang, S. , Zamboanga, B. L. , Unger, J. B. , Knight, G. P. , . . ., Szapocznik, J. (2013). Developmental trajectories of acculturation in Hispanic adolescents: Associations with family functioning and adolescent risk behavior. Child development , 84 (4), 1355–1372.
  • Shea, B. C. , & Pearson, J. C. (1986). The effects of relationship type, partner intent, and gender on the selection of relationship maintenance strategies. Communication Monographs , 53 , 352–364.
  • Shulman, S. , & Seiffge-Krenke, I. (1997). Fathers and adolescents: Developmental and clinical perspectives . New York: Routledge.
  • Siegal, M. (1987). Are sons and daughters treated more differently by fathers than by mothers? Developmental Review , 7 , 183–209.
  • Simon, E. P. , & Baxter, L. A. (1993). Attachment-style differences in relationship maintenance strategies. Western Journal of Communication , 57 , 416–420.
  • Sloper, P. (2001). Models of service support for parents of disabled children: What do we know? What do we need to know? Child: Care, Health, & Development , 25 (2), 85–99.
  • Snyder, N. S. , Lopez, C. M. , & Padilla, A. M. (1982). Ethnic identity and cultural awareness among the offspring of Mexican interethnic marriages. Journal of Early Adolescence , 2 (3), 277–282.
  • Socha, T. J. , & Stamp, G. H. (1995). Introduction. In T. J. Socha & G. H. Stamp (Eds.). Parents, children, and communication: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. ix–xvi). Mawwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Sohr-Preston, S. L. , Scaramella, L. V. , Martin, M. J. , Neppl, T. L. , Ontai, L. , & Conger, R. (2013). Parental SES, communication and children’s vocabulary development: A 3-generation test of the family investment model . Child Development , 84 (3), 1046–1062.
  • Sotomayor-Peterson, M. , De Baca, T. C. , Figueredo, A. J. , & Smith-Castro, V. (2013). Shared parenting, parental effort, and life history strategy: A cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology , 44 (4), 620–639.
  • Sotomayor-Peterson, M. , Figueredo, A. J. , Christensen, D. H. , & Taylor, A. R. (2012). Couples’ cultural values, shared parenting, and family emotional climate within Mexican American families. Family Process , 51 (2), 218–233.
  • Sotomayor-Peterson, M. , Wilhelm, M. S. , & Card, N. A. (2011). Marital relationship quality and couples’ cognitive stimulation practices toward their infants: Actor and partner effects of White and Hispanic parents. Early Child Development and Care , 181 (1), 103–122.
  • Spickard, P. R. (1989). Mixed blood: Intermarriage and ethnic identity in twentieth-century America . Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • Sprague, R. J. (1999). The relationship of gender and topic intimacy to decisions to seek advice from parents. Communication Research Reports , 16 , 276–285.
  • Stafford, L. , & Canary, D. L. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships , 8 , 217–242.
  • Stafford, L. , & Dainton, M. (1995). Parent-child communication within the family system. In T. Socha & G. H. Stamp (Eds), Parents, children, and communication: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 3–22). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  • Stafford, L. , Dainton, M. , & Haas, S. (2000). Measuring routine and strategic relational maintenance: Scale revision, sex versus gender roles, and the prediction of relational characteristic. Communication Monographs , 67 , 306–323.
  • Stamp, G. H. , & Shue, C. K. (2013). Twenty years of family research published in communication journals: A review of the perspectives, theories, concepts, and contexts. In A. L. Vangelisti (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of family communication (2d ed., pp. 11–28). New York: Routledge.
  • Stephan, C. W. , & Stephan, W. G. (1989). After intermarriage: Ethnic identity among mixed-heritage Japanese-Americans and Hispanics. Journal of Marriage and the Family , 51 , 507–519.
  • Stevens, L. , Watson, K. , & Dodd, K. (2000). Supporting parents of children with communication difficulties: A model. International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, Session , 2 (6), 70–74.
  • Sullivan, P. (1998). “What are you?” Multiracial families in America. Our Children , 23 (5), 34–35.
  • Tapanya, S. (2011). Attributions and attitudes of mothers and fathers in Thailand. Parenting , 11 , 190–198.
  • Thomas, D. R. (2003). A general inductive approach for qualitative data analysis . School of Population Health, University of Auckland.
  • Trute, B. , (1990). Child and parent predictors of family adjustment in households containing young developmentally disabled children. Family Relations , 39 (3), 292–297.
  • Tulananda, O. , & Roopnarine, J. L. (2001). Mothers’ and fathers’ interactions with preschoolers in the home in northern Thailand: relationships to teachers’ assessments of children’s social skills. Journal of Family Psychology , 15 (4), 676.
  • Tulananda, O. , Young, D. M. , & Roopnarine, J. L. (1994). Thai and American fathers’ involvment with preschool-age children. Early Child Development and Care , 97 , 123–133.
  • Van Egeren, L. A. , & Hawkins, D. P. (2004). Coming to terms with coparenting: Implications of definition and measurement. Journal of Adult Development , 11 (3), 165–178.
  • Van Hook, J. , & Glick, J. E. (2006). Mexican migration to the United States and extended family living arrangements. In Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America , Los Angeles, CA.
  • Ward, C. (2006). Acculturation, identity, and adaptation in dual heritage adolescents. International Journal of Intercultural Relations , 30 , 243–259.
  • Waters, M. C. (1990). Ethnic options: Choosing identities in America . Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Weisner, T. S. (2014). Culture, context, and child well-being. In Handbook of child well-being (pp. 87–103). Boston: Springer.
  • Xin, G. , & Sandel, T. L. (2015). The acculturation and identity of new immigrant youth in Macao. China Media Research , 11 (1), 112–125.
  • Young, J. , & Schrodt, P. (2016). Family communication patterns, parental modeling, and confirmation in romantic relationships. Communication Quarterly , 64 (4), 454–475.
  • Zemp, M. , Bodenmann, G. , Backes, S. , Sutter-Stickel, D. , & Revenson, T. A. (2016). The importance of parents’ dyadic coping for children. Family Relations , 65 (2), 275–286.

Related Articles

  • Military Families and Communication
  • Family Communication
  • Interpersonal Communication Across the Life Span
  • Parent-Child Interaction
  • Acculturation and Intergroup Communication
  • Family Relationships and Interactions: An Intergroup Approach
  • Critical Approaches to Motherhood
  • News, Children, and Young People

Printed from Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Communication. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 26 March 2024

  • Cookie Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Legal Notice
  • Accessibility
  • [|]

Character limit 500 /500

  • Essay Topic Generator
  • Summary Generator
  • Thesis Maker Academic
  • Sentence Rephraser
  • Read My Paper
  • Hypothesis Generator
  • Cover Page Generator
  • Text Compactor
  • Essay Scrambler
  • Essay Plagiarism Checker
  • Hook Generator
  • AI Writing Checker
  • Notes Maker
  • Overnight Essay Writing
  • Topic Ideas
  • Writing Tips
  • Essay Writing (by Genre)
  • Essay Writing (by Topic)

Essay about Family Values & Traditions: Prompts + Examples

A family values essay covers such topics as family traditions, customs, family history, and values.

A family values essay (or a family traditions essay) is a type of written assignment. It covers such topics as family traditions, customs, family history, and values. It is usually assigned to those who study sociology, culture, anthropology, and creative writing.

In this article, you will find:

  • 150 family values essay topics
  • Outline structure
  • Thesis statement examples
  • “Family values” essay sample
  • “Family traditions” essay sample
  • “What does family mean to you?” essay sample.

Learn how to write your college essay about family with our guide.

  • 👪 What Is a Family Values Essay about?
  • 💡 Topic Ideas
  • 📑 Outlining Your Essay️
  • 🏠️ Family Values: Essay Example
  • 🎃 Family Traditions: Essay Example
  • 😍 What Does Family Mean to You: Essay Example

👪 Family Values Essay: What Is It about?

What are family values.

Family values are usually associated with a traditional family. In western culture, it is called “ a nuclear family .”

A nuclear family represents a family with a husband, wife, and children living together.

The nuclear family became common in the 1960s – 1970s . That happened because of the post-war economic boom and the health service upgrade. That allowed elder relatives to live separately from their children.

These days, the nuclear family is no longer the most common type of family . There are various forms of families:

  • Single-parent families
  • Non-married parents
  • Blended families
  • Couples with no children
  • Foster parents, etc.

How did the nuclear family become so wide-spread?

The nuclear family culture was mostly spread in western cultures. According to many historians, it was because of the Christian beliefs .

However, many people believe that Christianity was not the only reason. The industrial revolution also played a significant role.

Nowadays, the understanding of the term varies from person to person. It depends on their religious , personal, or cultural beliefs.

Family Values List

Cultural background plays a significant role in every family’s values. However, each family has its own customs and traditions as well.

The picture contains a list of 6 most common family values.

Some common types of family values include:

  • Some moral values are:
  • Having a sense of justice
  • Being honest
  • Being respectful to others
  • Being patient
  • Being responsible
  • Having courage
  • Some social values are:
  • Participating in teamwork
  • Being generous
  • Volunteering
  • Being respectful
  • Featuring dignity
  • Demonstrating humanity
  • Some work values include:
  • Saving salary
  • Prioritizing education
  • Doing your best at work
  • Maintaining respectful relationships with coworkers/ classmates
  • Some religious values are:
  • Being caring
  • Willing to learn
  • Treating others with respect
  • Being modest
  • Some recreational values are:
  • Family game nights
  • Family vacations
  • Family meals
  • Some political values are:
  • Being patriotic
  • Being tolerant
  • Following the law
  • Being open-minded

💡 150 Family Values Essay Topics

If you find it challenging to choose a family values topic for your essay, here is the list of 150 topics.

  • Social family values and their impact on children.
  • Divorce: Psychological Effects on Children .
  • Do family values define your personality?
  • Toys, games, and gender socialization.
  • The correlation between teamwork and your upbringing.
  • Family Structure and Its Effects on Children .
  • What does honesty have to do with social values?
  • Solution Focused Therapy in Marriage and Family .
  • The importance of being respectful to others.
  • Parent-Child Relationships and Parental Authority .
  • Political family values and their impact on children.
  • Postpartum Depression Effect on Children Development .
  • The importance of patriotism.
  • Social factors and family issues.
  • Is being open-minded crucial in modern society ?
  • Modern Society: American Family Values .
  • What role does tolerance play in modern society?
  • Does hard work identify your success?
  • Family involvement impact on student achievement.
  • Religious family values and their impact on children.
  • Native American Women Raising Children off the Reservation .
  • What does spiritual learning correlate with family values?
  • Modest relations and their importance.
  • The role of parental involvement.
  • What is violence , and why is it damaging?
  • Myths of the Gifted Children .
  • Work family values and their impact on children.
  • When Should Children Start School?
  • Does salary saving help your family?
  • Family as a System and Systems Theory .
  • Why should education be a priority?
  • Child-free families and their values.
  • Family violence effects on family members.
  • Why is doing your best work important for your family?
  • School-Family-Community Partnership Policies .
  • Moral values and their impact on children.
  • Does being trustworthy affect your family values?
  • Gender Inequality in the Study of the Family .
  • Can you add your value to the world?
  • Your responsibility and your family.
  • Family in the US culture and society.
  • Recreational family values and their impact.
  • Balancing a Career and Family Life for Women .
  • Family vacations and their effects on relationships.
  • Family meal and its impact on family traditions.
  • Children Play: Ingredient Needed in Children’s Learning .
  • Family prayer in religious families.
  • Family changes in American and African cultures.
  • Hugs impact on family ties.
  • Are bedtime stories important for children?
  • How Video Games Affect Children .
  • Do family game nights affect family bonding?
  • Divorce Remarriage and Children Questions .
  • What is the difference between tradition and heritage culture ?
  • How Autistic Children Develop and Learn?
  • The true meaning of family values.
  • Egypt families in changed and traditional forms.
  • Does culture affect family values?
  • Are family values a part of heritage?
  • The Development of Secure and Insecure Attachments in Children .
  • Does supporting family traditions impact character traits?
  • Parents’ Accountability for Children’s Actions .
  • Does your country’s history affect your family’s values?
  • Do family traditions help with solving your family problems?
  • Impact of Domestic Violence on Children in the Classroom .
  • Does having business with your family affect your bonding?
  • Family as a social institution.
  • Different weekly family connections ideas and their impact.
  • Different monthly family connections ideas and their impact.
  • The importance of your family’s daily rituals.
  • Group and Family Therapies: Similarities and Differences .
  • Holiday family gatherings as an instrument of family bonding.
  • Should a family have separate family budgets ?
  • Parental non-engagement in education.
  • Globalization and its impact on family values.
  • The difference between small town and big city family values.
  • Divorce and how it affects the children.
  • Child’s play observation and parent interview.
  • Family fights and their impact on the family atmosphere.
  • Why are personal boundaries important?
  • Single-parent family values.
  • Gender Differences in Caring About Children .
  • Does being an only child affect one’s empathy ?
  • Grandparents’ involvement in children upbringing.
  • Use of Social Networks by Underage Children .
  • Same-sex marriage and its contribution to family values.
  • Does surrogacy correspond to family values?
  • Are women better parents than men?
  • Does the age gap between children affect their relationship?
  • Does having pets affect family bonding?
  • Parenting Gifted Children Successfully Score .
  • Having a hobby together and its impact.
  • Discuss living separately from your family.
  • Shopping together with your family and its impact on your family values.
  • Movie nights as a family tradition.
  • Parents’ perception of their children’s disability.
  • Does being in the same class affect children’s relationships ?
  • Does sharing a room with your siblings affect your relationship?
  • Raising Awareness on the Importance of Preschool Education Among Parents .
  • Pros and cons of having a nanny.
  • Do gadgets affect your children’s social values?
  • The Role of Parents in Underage Alcohol Use and Abuse .
  • Pros and cons of homeschooling .
  • Limiting children’s Internet usage time and their personal boundaries.
  • Is having an heirloom important?
  • Divorce influence on children’s mental health.
  • Is daycare beneficial?
  • Should your parents-in-law be involved in your family?
  • Children’s Foster Care and Associated Problems .
  • Pets’ death and its impact on children’s social values.
  • Clinical Map of Family Therapy .
  • Passing of a relative and its impact on the family.
  • How Do Parents See the Influence of Social Media Advertisements on Their Children ?
  • Relationship within a family with an adopted child.
  • Discuss naming your child after grandparents.
  • The Effects of Post-Divorce Relationships on Children.
  • Discuss the issue of spoiling children.
  • Discuss nuclear family values.
  • Parental Involvement in Second Language Learning .
  • Children’s toys and their impact on children’s values.
  • Discuss the children’s rivalry phenomenon.
  • Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act History .
  • Relationship between parents and its impact on children.
  • Lockdown and its impact on family values.
  • Financial status and children’s social values.
  • Do parents’ addictions affect children?
  • Corporal punishment and its effects on children.
  • Discuss step-parents’ relationship with children.
  • Severe diseases in the family and their impact.
  • Developing Family Relationship Skills to Prevent Substance Abuse Among Youth Population .
  • Arranged marriages and their family values.
  • Discuss the age gap in marriages.
  • The Effects of Parental Involvement on Student Achievement .
  • International families and their values.
  • Early marriages and their family values.
  • Parental Divorce Impact on Children’s Academic Success .
  • Discuss parenting and family structure after divorce .
  • Mental Illness in Children and Its Effects on Parents .
  • Discuss family roles and duties.
  • Healthy habits and their importance in the family.
  • Growing-up Family Experience and the Interpretive Style in Childhood Social Anxiety .
  • Discuss different family practices.
  • Dealing With Parents: Schools Problem .
  • Ancestors worship as a family value.
  • The importance of family speech.
  • Does the Sexual Orientation of Parents Matter?
  • Mutual respect as a core of a traditional family.
  • Experiential Family Psychotherapy .
  • Should the law protect the family values?
  • Family as a basic unit of society.

Couldn’t find the perfect topic for your paper? Use our essay topic generator !

📑 Family Values Essay Outline

The family values essay consists of an introduction, body, and conclusion. You can write your essay in five paragraphs:

  • One introductory paragraph
  • Three body paragraphs
  • One conclusion paragraph.

Family values or family history essay are usually no more than 1000 words long.

What do you write in each of them?

Learn more on the topic from our article that describes outline-making rules .

Thesis Statement about Family Values

The thesis statement is the main idea of your essay. It should be the last sentence of the introduction paragraph .

Why is a thesis statement essential?

It gives the reader an idea of what your essay is about.

The thesis statement should not just state your opinion but rather be argumentative. For the five-paragraph family values essay, you can express one point in your thesis statement.

Let’s take a look at good and bad thesis statement about family values templates.

Need a well-formulated thesis statement? You are welcome to use our thesis-making tool !

🏠️ Family Values Essay: Example & Writing Prompts

So, what do you write in your family values essay?

Start with choosing your topic. For this type of essay, it can be the following:

  • Your reflection about your family’s values
  • The most common family values in your country
  • Your opinion on family values.

Let’s say you want to write about your family values. What do you include in your essay?

First, introduce family values definition and write your thesis statement.

Then, in the body part, write about your family’s values and their impact on you (one for each paragraph).

Finally, sum up your essay.

Family Values Essay Sample: 250 Words

🎃 family traditions essay: example & writing prompts.

Family traditions essay covers such topics as the following:

  • Family traditions in the USA (in England, in Spain, in Pakistan, etc.)
  • Traditions in my family
  • The importance of family traditions for children.
  • My favorite family traditions

After you decide on your essay topic, make an outline.

For the introduction part, make sure to introduce the traditions that you are going to write about. You can also mention the definition of traditions.

In the body part, introduce one tradition for each paragraph. Make sure to elaborate on why they are essential for you and your family.

Finally, sum up your essay in the conclusion part.

Family Traditions Essay Sample: 250 Words

😍 what does family mean to you essay: example & writing prompts.

The family definition essay covers your opinion on family and its importance for you.

Some of the questions that can help you define your topic:

  • How has your family shaped your character?
  • How can you describe your upbringing?

In the introduction part, you can briefly cover the importance of family in modern society. Then make sure to state your thesis.

As for the body parts, you can highlight three main ideas of your essay (one for each paragraph).

Finally, sum up your essay in the conclusion part. Remember that you can restate your thesis statement here.

What Does Family Mean to You Essay Sample: 250 Words

Now you have learned how to write your family values essay. What values have you got from your family? Let us know in the comments below!

❓ Family Values FAQ

Family values are the principles, traditions, and beliefs that are upheld in a family. They depend on family’s cultural, religious, and geographical background. They might be moral values, social values, work values, political values, recreational values, religious values, etc. These values are usually passed on to younger generations and may vary from family to family.

Why are family values important?

Family values are important because they have a strong impact on children’s upbringing. These values might influence children’s behavior, personality, attitude, and character traits. These can affect how the children are going to build their own families in the future.

What are Christian family values?

Some Christian family values are the following: 1. Sense of justice 2. Being thankful 3. Having wisdom 4. Being compassion 5. Willing to learn 6. Treating others with respect 7. Modesty

What are traditional family values?

Each family has its own values. However, they do have a lot of resemblances. Some traditional family values are the following: 1. Having responsibilities to your family 2. Being respectful to your family members 3. Not hurting your family members 4. Compromising

thesis statement importance of family

Essay about Family: What It Is and How to Nail It

thesis statement importance of family

Humans naturally seek belonging within families, finding comfort in knowing someone always cares. Yet, families can also stir up insecurities and mental health struggles.

Family dynamics continue to intrigue researchers across different fields. Every year, new studies explore how these relationships shape our minds and emotions.

In this article, our dissertation service will guide you through writing a family essay. You can also dive into our list of topics for inspiration and explore some standout examples to spark your creativity.

What is Family Essay

A family essay takes a close look at the bonds and experiences within families. It's a common academic assignment, especially in subjects like sociology, psychology, and literature.

What is Family Essay

So, what's involved exactly? Simply put, it's an exploration of what family signifies to you. You might reflect on cherished family memories or contemplate the portrayal of families in various media.

What sets a family essay apart is its personal touch. It allows you to express your own thoughts and experiences. Moreover, it's versatile – you can analyze family dynamics, reminisce about family customs, or explore other facets of familial life.

If you're feeling uncertain about how to write an essay about family, don't worry; you can explore different perspectives and select topics that resonate with various aspects of family life.

Tips For Writing An Essay On Family Topics

A family essay typically follows a free-form style, unless specified otherwise, and adheres to the classic 5-paragraph structure. As you jot down your thoughts, aim to infuse your essay with inspiration and the essence of creative writing, unless your family essay topics lean towards complexity or science.

Tips For Writing An Essay On Family Topics

Here are some easy-to-follow tips from our essay service experts:

  • Focus on a Specific Aspect: Instead of a broad overview, delve into a specific angle that piques your interest, such as exploring how birth order influences sibling dynamics or examining the evolving role of grandparents in modern families.
  • Share Personal Anecdotes: Start your family essay introduction with a personal touch by sharing stories from your own experiences. Whether it's about a favorite tradition, a special trip, or a tough time, these stories make your writing more interesting.
  • Use Real-life Examples: Illustrate your points with concrete examples or anecdotes. Draw from sources like movies, books, historical events, or personal interviews to bring your ideas to life.
  • Explore Cultural Diversity: Consider the diverse array of family structures across different cultures. Compare traditional values, extended family systems, or the unique hurdles faced by multicultural families.
  • Take a Stance: Engage with contentious topics such as homeschooling, reproductive technologies, or governmental policies impacting families. Ensure your arguments are supported by solid evidence.
  • Delve into Psychology: Explore the psychological underpinnings of family dynamics, touching on concepts like attachment theory, childhood trauma, or patterns of dysfunction within families.
  • Emphasize Positivity: Share uplifting stories of families overcoming adversity or discuss strategies for nurturing strong, supportive family bonds.
  • Offer Practical Solutions: Wrap up your essay by proposing actionable solutions to common family challenges, such as fostering better communication, achieving work-life balance, or advocating for family-friendly policies.

Family Essay Topics

When it comes to writing, essay topics about family are often considered easier because we're intimately familiar with our own families. The more you understand about your family dynamics, traditions, and experiences, the clearer your ideas become.

If you're feeling uninspired or unsure of where to start, don't worry! Below, we have compiled a list of good family essay topics to help get your creative juices flowing. Whether you're assigned this type of essay or simply want to explore the topic, these suggestions from our history essay writer are tailored to spark your imagination and prompt meaningful reflection on different aspects of family life.

So, take a moment to peruse the list. Choose the essay topics about family that resonate most with you. Then, dive in and start exploring your family's stories, traditions, and connections through your writing.

  • Supporting Family Through Tough Times
  • Staying Connected with Relatives
  • Empathy and Compassion in Family Life
  • Strengthening Bonds Through Family Gatherings
  • Quality Time with Family: How Vital Is It?
  • Navigating Family Relationships Across Generations
  • Learning Kindness and Generosity in a Large Family
  • Communication in Healthy Family Dynamics
  • Forgiveness in Family Conflict Resolution
  • Building Trust Among Extended Family
  • Defining Family in Today's World
  • Understanding Nuclear Family: Various Views and Cultural Differences
  • Understanding Family Dynamics: Relationships Within the Family Unit
  • What Defines a Family Member?
  • Modernizing the Nuclear Family Concept
  • Exploring Shared Beliefs Among Family Members
  • Evolution of the Concept of Family Love Over Time
  • Examining Family Expectations
  • Modern Standards and the Idea of an Ideal Family
  • Life Experiences and Perceptions of Family Life
  • Genetics and Extended Family Connections
  • Utilizing Family Trees for Ancestral Links
  • The Role of Younger Siblings in Family Dynamics
  • Tracing Family History Through Oral Tradition and Genealogy
  • Tracing Family Values Through Your Family Tree
  • Exploring Your Elder Sister's Legacy in the Family Tree
  • Connecting Daily Habits to Family History
  • Documenting and Preserving Your Family's Legacy
  • Navigating Online Records and DNA Testing for Family History
  • Tradition as a Tool for Family Resilience
  • Involving Family in Daily Life to Maintain Traditions
  • Creating New Traditions for a Small Family
  • The Role of Traditions in Family Happiness
  • Family Recipes and Bonding at House Parties
  • Quality Time: The Secret Tradition for Family Happiness
  • The Joy of Cousins Visiting for Christmas
  • Including Family in Birthday Celebrations
  • Balancing Traditions and Unconditional Love
  • Building Family Bonds Through Traditions

Looking for Speedy Assistance With Your College Essays?

Reach out to our skilled writers, and they'll provide you with a top-notch paper that's sure to earn an A+ grade in record time!

Family Essay Example

For a better grasp of the essay on family, our team of skilled writers has crafted a great example. It looks into the subject matter, allowing you to explore and understand the intricacies involved in creating compelling family essays. So, check out our meticulously crafted sample to discover how to craft essays that are not only well-written but also thought-provoking and impactful.

Final Outlook

In wrapping up, let's remember: a family essay gives students a chance to showcase their academic skills and creativity by sharing personal stories. However, it's important to stick to academic standards when writing about these topics. We hope our list of topics sparked your creativity and got you on your way to a reflective journey. And if you hit a rough patch, you can just ask us to ' do my essay for me ' for top-notch results!

Having Trouble with Your Essay on the Family?

Our expert writers are committed to providing you with the best service possible in no time!

FAQs on Writing an Essay about Family

Family essays seem like something school children could be assigned at elementary schools, but family is no less important than climate change for our society today, and therefore it is one of the most central research themes.

Below you will find a list of frequently asked questions on family-related topics. Before you conduct research, scroll through them and find out how to write an essay about your family.

How to Write an Essay About Your Family History?

How to write an essay about a family member, how to write an essay about family and roots, how to write an essay about the importance of family, related articles.

How to Write a Business Essay: A Comprehensive Guide

The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thesis Statements

What this handout is about.

This handout describes what a thesis statement is, how thesis statements work in your writing, and how you can craft or refine one for your draft.


Writing in college often takes the form of persuasion—convincing others that you have an interesting, logical point of view on the subject you are studying. Persuasion is a skill you practice regularly in your daily life. You persuade your roommate to clean up, your parents to let you borrow the car, your friend to vote for your favorite candidate or policy. In college, course assignments often ask you to make a persuasive case in writing. You are asked to convince your reader of your point of view. This form of persuasion, often called academic argument, follows a predictable pattern in writing. After a brief introduction of your topic, you state your point of view on the topic directly and often in one sentence. This sentence is the thesis statement, and it serves as a summary of the argument you’ll make in the rest of your paper.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement:

  • tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion.
  • is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper.
  • directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself. The subject, or topic, of an essay might be World War II or Moby Dick; a thesis must then offer a way to understand the war or the novel.
  • makes a claim that others might dispute.
  • is usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader. The rest of the paper, the body of the essay, gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your interpretation.

If your assignment asks you to take a position or develop a claim about a subject, you may need to convey that position or claim in a thesis statement near the beginning of your draft. The assignment may not explicitly state that you need a thesis statement because your instructor may assume you will include one. When in doubt, ask your instructor if the assignment requires a thesis statement. When an assignment asks you to analyze, to interpret, to compare and contrast, to demonstrate cause and effect, or to take a stand on an issue, it is likely that you are being asked to develop a thesis and to support it persuasively. (Check out our handout on understanding assignments for more information.)

How do I create a thesis?

A thesis is the result of a lengthy thinking process. Formulating a thesis is not the first thing you do after reading an essay assignment. Before you develop an argument on any topic, you have to collect and organize evidence, look for possible relationships between known facts (such as surprising contrasts or similarities), and think about the significance of these relationships. Once you do this thinking, you will probably have a “working thesis” that presents a basic or main idea and an argument that you think you can support with evidence. Both the argument and your thesis are likely to need adjustment along the way.

Writers use all kinds of techniques to stimulate their thinking and to help them clarify relationships or comprehend the broader significance of a topic and arrive at a thesis statement. For more ideas on how to get started, see our handout on brainstorming .

How do I know if my thesis is strong?

If there’s time, run it by your instructor or make an appointment at the Writing Center to get some feedback. Even if you do not have time to get advice elsewhere, you can do some thesis evaluation of your own. When reviewing your first draft and its working thesis, ask yourself the following :

  • Do I answer the question? Re-reading the question prompt after constructing a working thesis can help you fix an argument that misses the focus of the question. If the prompt isn’t phrased as a question, try to rephrase it. For example, “Discuss the effect of X on Y” can be rephrased as “What is the effect of X on Y?”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? If your thesis simply states facts that no one would, or even could, disagree with, it’s possible that you are simply providing a summary, rather than making an argument.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? Thesis statements that are too vague often do not have a strong argument. If your thesis contains words like “good” or “successful,” see if you could be more specific: why is something “good”; what specifically makes something “successful”?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? If a reader’s first response is likely to  be “So what?” then you need to clarify, to forge a relationship, or to connect to a larger issue.
  • Does my essay support my thesis specifically and without wandering? If your thesis and the body of your essay do not seem to go together, one of them has to change. It’s okay to change your working thesis to reflect things you have figured out in the course of writing your paper. Remember, always reassess and revise your writing as necessary.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? If a reader’s first response is “how?” or “why?” your thesis may be too open-ended and lack guidance for the reader. See what you can add to give the reader a better take on your position right from the beginning.

Suppose you are taking a course on contemporary communication, and the instructor hands out the following essay assignment: “Discuss the impact of social media on public awareness.” Looking back at your notes, you might start with this working thesis:

Social media impacts public awareness in both positive and negative ways.

You can use the questions above to help you revise this general statement into a stronger thesis.

  • Do I answer the question? You can analyze this if you rephrase “discuss the impact” as “what is the impact?” This way, you can see that you’ve answered the question only very generally with the vague “positive and negative ways.”
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not likely. Only people who maintain that social media has a solely positive or solely negative impact could disagree.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? No. What are the positive effects? What are the negative effects?
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? No. Why are they positive? How are they positive? What are their causes? Why are they negative? How are they negative? What are their causes?
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? No. Why should anyone care about the positive and/or negative impact of social media?

After thinking about your answers to these questions, you decide to focus on the one impact you feel strongly about and have strong evidence for:

Because not every voice on social media is reliable, people have become much more critical consumers of information, and thus, more informed voters.

This version is a much stronger thesis! It answers the question, takes a specific position that others can challenge, and it gives a sense of why it matters.

Let’s try another. Suppose your literature professor hands out the following assignment in a class on the American novel: Write an analysis of some aspect of Mark Twain’s novel Huckleberry Finn. “This will be easy,” you think. “I loved Huckleberry Finn!” You grab a pad of paper and write:

Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is a great American novel.

You begin to analyze your thesis:

  • Do I answer the question? No. The prompt asks you to analyze some aspect of the novel. Your working thesis is a statement of general appreciation for the entire novel.

Think about aspects of the novel that are important to its structure or meaning—for example, the role of storytelling, the contrasting scenes between the shore and the river, or the relationships between adults and children. Now you write:

In Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain develops a contrast between life on the river and life on the shore.
  • Do I answer the question? Yes!
  • Have I taken a position that others might challenge or oppose? Not really. This contrast is well-known and accepted.
  • Is my thesis statement specific enough? It’s getting there–you have highlighted an important aspect of the novel for investigation. However, it’s still not clear what your analysis will reveal.
  • Does my thesis pass the “how and why?” test? Not yet. Compare scenes from the book and see what you discover. Free write, make lists, jot down Huck’s actions and reactions and anything else that seems interesting.
  • Does my thesis pass the “So what?” test? What’s the point of this contrast? What does it signify?”

After examining the evidence and considering your own insights, you write:

Through its contrasting river and shore scenes, Twain’s Huckleberry Finn suggests that to find the true expression of American democratic ideals, one must leave “civilized” society and go back to nature.

This final thesis statement presents an interpretation of a literary work based on an analysis of its content. Of course, for the essay itself to be successful, you must now present evidence from the novel that will convince the reader of your interpretation.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Anson, Chris M., and Robert A. Schwegler. 2010. The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers , 6th ed. New York: Longman.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Ramage, John D., John C. Bean, and June Johnson. 2018. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing , 8th ed. New York: Pearson.

Ruszkiewicz, John J., Christy Friend, Daniel Seward, and Maxine Hairston. 2010. The Scott, Foresman Handbook for Writers , 9th ed. Boston: Pearson Education.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Make a Gift

📕 Studying HQ

30+ great argumentative essay topics about family with essay prompts, bob cardens.

  • July 31, 2022
  • Essay Topics and Ideas , Samples

To help you get started with argumentative essay writing, we’ve compiled a list of some potential argumentative Essay Topics About Family. Whether you’re looking for something lighthearted or something a little more serious, we’re sure you’ll find something on this list on Topics About Family with essay prompts

Argumentative Essay Topics About Family with prompts

  • My Attitudes Towards Marriage And Family

Essay prompt:  Marriage, also recognized as a wedlock or matrimony to others, is regarded as the bottom-most unit in the social setting community is viewed differently by people.

  • Impact of Family-Centered Care on an Autistic Patient

Essay prompt:  According to the Institute of Medicine, patient-centered care is health care that respects and responds to individual patient values, needs, and preferences. On the other hand, family-centered care involves a partnership between a family and a care provider in making health care decisions.

  • Family and Friends in Life

Essay prompt:  Everyone comes from a family, which no one chooses at birth. However, individuals are privileged to select people they want to be their friends. Family members and friends are important in life since they enable them to overcome various challenges and find happiness through healthy interactions and social.

As you continue,  thestudycorp.com  has the top and most qualified writers to help with any of your assignments. All you need to do is  place an order  with us

  • Family Structures. What is a definition of family?

Essay prompt:  Traditional notions of families have greatly evolved in recent years. What used to be a father, mother and children relationship has changed to accommodate polygamy, adoptive children, and extended family members as one.

  • What Does Family Mean To You Essay

Essay prompt:  According to me, family means a lot. A family has different meanings such as by definition, friendship, and convenience. Regarding definition, family involves the people that I am related to by blood. What does family mean to you?

You can also check out  150+ Top-Notch Argumentative Essay Topic Ideas

  • Process philosophy and family and marriage

Essay prompt:  In discussing one of these topics, the goal is to relate how a particular political perspective derives from process philosophy (such as socialism). In making the connection, incorporate clear references from the required reading.

  • Family System Theory

Essay prompt:  Family system theory primarily emphasis on behavioral exchange at any given instance of interaction with family members. The theory supports that the sequence of the interrelationship between members of the family inspires, maintains and prolongs the problem and non-problematic manners.

  • Different Family Structures, Nontraditional Family Structures, and Family Systems Theory

Essay prompt:  Today’s generation seems to have a more complex perspective of the world, but much clearer than before. Having these in mind, people do seem to slowly accept and readapt to these great changes that improve their perception of society today.

Further read on  50+ Top And Best Argumentative Essay Topics

  • Ethnography. A Comparison Between Zulu Culture And American Culture.

Essay prompt:  In this analysis you may include a discussion of topics such as: economic/labor role, parenthood, child-rearing, marriage/divorce practices, reproductive issues, sexuality, family/kinship structure, household composition, or other topics that may be relevant in the book you read.

  • Causes and Effects of Unemployment on the family

Essay prompt:  One of the most increasing issue in the families has become Unemployment, with Shelter, food and clothing topics being largely highlighted, Unemployment has now become a topic of discussion in the family. It is not only the bread winners that feel the loss of lively hood but also the young professionals …

  • Family Resource Management Education Term Paper Essay

Essay prompt:  I decided to work on Family Resource Management. This is a very interesting and sensitive area that I think needs to be emphasized much more than the other FLE areas. This is because the basis of any life existence starts from the family set up.

  • Marriage and Roles of Women in the Family Portrayed in Mrs. Mallard’s and Mrs. Pontellier

Essay prompt:  The concept of family has been viewed and analyzed from different perspectives across diverse societies all over the world. Most scholars define a family as an entity to different people, in different localities at different periods.

  • The Family Of Man In The Society

Essay prompt:  The modern individual in the society is more aware than before as knowledge has increased and activism has been accepted as one of the ways to solve and express an individual’s opinions and problems.

Find out more on  Argumentative Essay Topics About Social Media [Updated]

  • Importance of Family Health and The Strategies for Health Promotion

Essay prompt:  Family is a crucial institution in the healthcare sector. The concept of family health is significant in devising a treatment plan for patients and offering healthcare prescriptions. Is family health important? Consider the various strategies for health promotion . How does a nurse determine which strategy to use on family health promotion?

  • Significance of Family values (argumentative Essay Topics About Family)

Essay prompt:  In the past, the family was considered a social unit consisting of one or more parents with their children. Today, the definition of family has changed to encompass various family structures.

  • Opinion Writing About Can A Blended Family Be Successful?

Essay prompt:  A blended family can be successful when the parents and the children are able to identify the blind spots and tackle the challenges that may bring disharmony on family unity.

  • Basic Techniques of Family Therapy Psychology Essay

Essay prompt:  Family therapy can be carried out in various ways. Moreover, alternatives to every aspect of the process exist. However, some guidelines are shared by all the approaches. They serve as the core framework for clinical practice. Family therapy occurs in stages.

Here are  130 + Best Research Topic About Nursing – Types & How To Choose A Nursing Research Topic

  • Difference between Pacific and European Families in Family Structure and Authority

Essay prompt:  Difference between Pacific and European Families in Family Structure and Authority Literature and Language Essay.

  • The Greatest Of The Franciscan Values (argumentative Essay Topics About Family)

Essay prompt:  1) Live lovingly. 2) Care for creation. 3) Proclaim joy and hope. 4) Be living instruments of peace to all our brothers and sisters in God’s family.

  • Addiction as a product of Social Dislocation and Family Stress.

Essay prompt:  Societal addiction to drug and substance use has, and still is, a menace to our human society, prompting extreme measures to be put in place to not only curb, but also try to eradicate the problem.

Here are additional 60+ Top And Best Argumentative Essay Topics For Different Contexts

  • Marriage and Family Counselling

Essay prompt:  Family systems have become more complex over time. Some of the systems that did not exist in the past include gay families, childless families, and single-parent families, among others.

  • Family Relations and Child-Rearing Practices: How They Changed Postmigration

Essay prompt:  Migrating to another country or place with a completely different culture affects the whole lives of the family. However, while the most obvious difficulties that they face are those concerning with how they deal with other people, it also affects how each member deal with each other such as how they rear.

  • The Form and Function of Family

Essay prompt:  The definition of family is a fundamental aspect of diverse medical disciplines. Since this definition shifts from one nation to another and within the countries due to the current times’ shifting realities, experts have suggested redefining this concept to integrate the diverse modern-day family. What is a definition of family that encompasses the different Family structures prevalent today?

  • Cognitive-behavioral Family Therapy and Multi-dimensional Family Therapy

Essay prompt:  Populations at risk are considered the populations exposed to the risk of occurrence of a particular event in life. These populations need to be treated differently from other populations to reduce their risk of falling victim to the described event. (argumentative Essay Topics About Family)

  • Importance of Functional Theory in Understanding Families

Essay prompt:  One of the critical topics I studied is the institution of the family. Family is an essential social unit making up the overall society. Family is examinable under various sociological views on contemporary families, including functional, conflict, and social interactionist approaches.

  • Family: How Has It Been Portrayed Through The Arts And In Real Life?
  • Essay prompt:  Reflect on what the word family means and think about how it has been portrayed through the arts and in real life. A family is one of the greatest assets that life gifts each one of us with. It is all we are left with when everything else is gone.
  • What Family characteristics may contribute to potential or actual dysfunctional health patterns

Here’s a sample outline you can use for your Argumentative Essay Topics About Family

30+ great argumentative essay topics about family with essay prompts 1

Start by filling this short order form order.studyinghq.com

And then follow the progressive flow. 

Having an issue, chat with us here

Cathy, CS. 

New Concept ? Let a subject expert write your paper for You​

Bob Cardens

Related Posts

  • Term-Long Project Nursing Paper Example
  • Case Study on Moral Status
  • Applying the Concepts of Epidemiology and Nursing Research on Measles Nursing Paper Essay
  • A Comprehensive Guide to Writing a Nursing Research Paper
  • 50 Potential Research Summary Topics
  • Free Essays
  • Citation Generator
  • Topic Generator
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Conclusion Maker
  • Research Title Generator
  • Thesis Statement Generator
  • Summarizing Tool
  • How to Guides
  • Essay Topics and Ideas
  • Manage Orders
  • Business StudyingHq
  • Writing Service 
  • Discounts / Offers 

Study Hub: 

  • Studying Blog
  • Topic Ideas 
  • Business Studying 
  • Nursing Studying 
  • Literature and English Studying

Writing Tools  

  • Terms and Conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Confidentiality Policy
  • Cookies Policy
  • Refund and Revision Policy

Our samples and other types of content are meant for research and reference purposes only. We are strongly against plagiarism and academic dishonesty. 

Contact Us:

📧 [email protected]

📞 +15512677917

2012-2024 © studyinghq.com. All rights reserved

Developing a Thesis Statement

Many papers you write require developing a thesis statement. In this section you’ll learn what a thesis statement is and how to write one.

Keep in mind that not all papers require thesis statements . If in doubt, please consult your instructor for assistance.

What is a thesis statement?

A thesis statement . . .

  • Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic.
  • Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper.
  • Is focused and specific enough to be “proven” within the boundaries of your paper.
  • Is generally located near the end of the introduction ; sometimes, in a long paper, the thesis will be expressed in several sentences or in an entire paragraph.
  • Identifies the relationships between the pieces of evidence that you are using to support your argument.

Not all papers require thesis statements! Ask your instructor if you’re in doubt whether you need one.

Identify a topic

Your topic is the subject about which you will write. Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic; or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper.

Consider what your assignment asks you to do

Inform yourself about your topic, focus on one aspect of your topic, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts, generate a topic from an assignment.

Below are some possible topics based on sample assignments.

Sample assignment 1

Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II.

Identified topic

Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis

This topic avoids generalities such as “Spain” and “World War II,” addressing instead on Franco’s role (a specific aspect of “Spain”) and the diplomatic relations between the Allies and Axis (a specific aspect of World War II).

Sample assignment 2

Analyze one of Homer’s epic similes in the Iliad.

The relationship between the portrayal of warfare and the epic simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64.

This topic focuses on a single simile and relates it to a single aspect of the Iliad ( warfare being a major theme in that work).

Developing a Thesis Statement–Additional information

Your assignment may suggest several ways of looking at a topic, or it may name a fairly general concept that you will explore or analyze in your paper. You’ll want to read your assignment carefully, looking for key terms that you can use to focus your topic.

Sample assignment: Analyze Spain’s neutrality in World War II Key terms: analyze, Spain’s neutrality, World War II

After you’ve identified the key words in your topic, the next step is to read about them in several sources, or generate as much information as possible through an analysis of your topic. Obviously, the more material or knowledge you have, the more possibilities will be available for a strong argument. For the sample assignment above, you’ll want to look at books and articles on World War II in general, and Spain’s neutrality in particular.

As you consider your options, you must decide to focus on one aspect of your topic. This means that you cannot include everything you’ve learned about your topic, nor should you go off in several directions. If you end up covering too many different aspects of a topic, your paper will sprawl and be unconvincing in its argument, and it most likely will not fulfull the assignment requirements.

For the sample assignment above, both Spain’s neutrality and World War II are topics far too broad to explore in a paper. You may instead decide to focus on Franco’s role in the diplomatic relationships between the Allies and the Axis , which narrows down what aspects of Spain’s neutrality and World War II you want to discuss, as well as establishes a specific link between those two aspects.

Before you go too far, however, ask yourself whether your topic is worthy of your efforts. Try to avoid topics that already have too much written about them (i.e., “eating disorders and body image among adolescent women”) or that simply are not important (i.e. “why I like ice cream”). These topics may lead to a thesis that is either dry fact or a weird claim that cannot be supported. A good thesis falls somewhere between the two extremes. To arrive at this point, ask yourself what is new, interesting, contestable, or controversial about your topic.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times . Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Derive a main point from topic

Once you have a topic, you will have to decide what the main point of your paper will be. This point, the “controlling idea,” becomes the core of your argument (thesis statement) and it is the unifying idea to which you will relate all your sub-theses. You can then turn this “controlling idea” into a purpose statement about what you intend to do in your paper.

Look for patterns in your evidence

Compose a purpose statement.

Consult the examples below for suggestions on how to look for patterns in your evidence and construct a purpose statement.

  • Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis
  • Franco turned to the Allies when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from the Axis

Possible conclusion:

Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: Franco’s desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power.

Purpose statement

This paper will analyze Franco’s diplomacy during World War II to see how it contributed to Spain’s neutrality.
  • The simile compares Simoisius to a tree, which is a peaceful, natural image.
  • The tree in the simile is chopped down to make wheels for a chariot, which is an object used in warfare.

At first, the simile seems to take the reader away from the world of warfare, but we end up back in that world by the end.

This paper will analyze the way the simile about Simoisius at 4.547-64 moves in and out of the world of warfare.

Derive purpose statement from topic

To find out what your “controlling idea” is, you have to examine and evaluate your evidence . As you consider your evidence, you may notice patterns emerging, data repeated in more than one source, or facts that favor one view more than another. These patterns or data may then lead you to some conclusions about your topic and suggest that you can successfully argue for one idea better than another.

For instance, you might find out that Franco first tried to negotiate with the Axis, but when he couldn’t get some concessions that he wanted from them, he turned to the Allies. As you read more about Franco’s decisions, you may conclude that Spain’s neutrality in WWII occurred for an entirely personal reason: his desire to preserve his own (and Spain’s) power. Based on this conclusion, you can then write a trial thesis statement to help you decide what material belongs in your paper.

Sometimes you won’t be able to find a focus or identify your “spin” or specific argument immediately. Like some writers, you might begin with a purpose statement just to get yourself going. A purpose statement is one or more sentences that announce your topic and indicate the structure of the paper but do not state the conclusions you have drawn . Thus, you might begin with something like this:

  • This paper will look at modern language to see if it reflects male dominance or female oppression.
  • I plan to analyze anger and derision in offensive language to see if they represent a challenge of society’s authority.

At some point, you can turn a purpose statement into a thesis statement. As you think and write about your topic, you can restrict, clarify, and refine your argument, crafting your thesis statement to reflect your thinking.

As you work on your thesis, remember to keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Sometimes your thesis needs to evolve as you develop new insights, find new evidence, or take a different approach to your topic.

Compose a draft thesis statement

If you are writing a paper that will have an argumentative thesis and are having trouble getting started, the techniques in the table below may help you develop a temporary or “working” thesis statement.

Begin with a purpose statement that you will later turn into a thesis statement.

Assignment: Discuss the history of the Reform Party and explain its influence on the 1990 presidential and Congressional election.

Purpose Statement: This paper briefly sketches the history of the grassroots, conservative, Perot-led Reform Party and analyzes how it influenced the economic and social ideologies of the two mainstream parties.


If your assignment asks a specific question(s), turn the question(s) into an assertion and give reasons why it is true or reasons for your opinion.

Assignment : What do Aylmer and Rappaccini have to be proud of? Why aren’t they satisfied with these things? How does pride, as demonstrated in “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” lead to unexpected problems?

Beginning thesis statement: Alymer and Rappaccinni are proud of their great knowledge; however, they are also very greedy and are driven to use their knowledge to alter some aspect of nature as a test of their ability. Evil results when they try to “play God.”

Write a sentence that summarizes the main idea of the essay you plan to write.

Main idea: The reason some toys succeed in the market is that they appeal to the consumers’ sense of the ridiculous and their basic desire to laugh at themselves.

Make a list of the ideas that you want to include; consider the ideas and try to group them.

  • nature = peaceful
  • war matériel = violent (competes with 1?)
  • need for time and space to mourn the dead
  • war is inescapable (competes with 3?)

Use a formula to arrive at a working thesis statement (you will revise this later).

  • although most readers of _______ have argued that _______, closer examination shows that _______.
  • _______ uses _______ and _____ to prove that ________.
  • phenomenon x is a result of the combination of __________, __________, and _________.

What to keep in mind as you draft an initial thesis statement

Beginning statements obtained through the methods illustrated above can serve as a framework for planning or drafting your paper, but remember they’re not yet the specific, argumentative thesis you want for the final version of your paper. In fact, in its first stages, a thesis statement usually is ill-formed or rough and serves only as a planning tool.

As you write, you may discover evidence that does not fit your temporary or “working” thesis. Or you may reach deeper insights about your topic as you do more research, and you will find that your thesis statement has to be more complicated to match the evidence that you want to use.

You must be willing to reject or omit some evidence in order to keep your paper cohesive and your reader focused. Or you may have to revise your thesis to match the evidence and insights that you want to discuss. Read your draft carefully, noting the conclusions you have drawn and the major ideas which support or prove those conclusions. These will be the elements of your final thesis statement.

Sometimes you will not be able to identify these elements in your early drafts, but as you consider how your argument is developing and how your evidence supports your main idea, ask yourself, “ What is the main point that I want to prove/discuss? ” and “ How will I convince the reader that this is true? ” When you can answer these questions, then you can begin to refine the thesis statement.

Refine and polish the thesis statement

To get to your final thesis, you’ll need to refine your draft thesis so that it’s specific and arguable.

  • Ask if your draft thesis addresses the assignment
  • Question each part of your draft thesis
  • Clarify vague phrases and assertions
  • Investigate alternatives to your draft thesis

Consult the example below for suggestions on how to refine your draft thesis statement.

Sample Assignment

Choose an activity and define it as a symbol of American culture. Your essay should cause the reader to think critically about the society which produces and enjoys that activity.

  • Ask The phenomenon of drive-in facilities is an interesting symbol of american culture, and these facilities demonstrate significant characteristics of our society.This statement does not fulfill the assignment because it does not require the reader to think critically about society.
Drive-ins are an interesting symbol of American culture because they represent Americans’ significant creativity and business ingenuity.
Among the types of drive-in facilities familiar during the twentieth century, drive-in movie theaters best represent American creativity, not merely because they were the forerunner of later drive-ins and drive-throughs, but because of their impact on our culture: they changed our relationship to the automobile, changed the way people experienced movies, and changed movie-going into a family activity.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast-food establishments, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize America’s economic ingenuity, they also have affected our personal standards.
While drive-in facilities such as those at fast- food restaurants, banks, pharmacies, and dry cleaners symbolize (1) Americans’ business ingenuity, they also have contributed (2) to an increasing homogenization of our culture, (3) a willingness to depersonalize relationships with others, and (4) a tendency to sacrifice quality for convenience.

This statement is now specific and fulfills all parts of the assignment. This version, like any good thesis, is not self-evident; its points, 1-4, will have to be proven with evidence in the body of the paper. The numbers in this statement indicate the order in which the points will be presented. Depending on the length of the paper, there could be one paragraph for each numbered item or there could be blocks of paragraph for even pages for each one.

Complete the final thesis statement

The bottom line.

As you move through the process of crafting a thesis, you’ll need to remember four things:

  • Context matters! Think about your course materials and lectures. Try to relate your thesis to the ideas your instructor is discussing.
  • As you go through the process described in this section, always keep your assignment in mind . You will be more successful when your thesis (and paper) responds to the assignment than if it argues a semi-related idea.
  • Your thesis statement should be precise, focused, and contestable ; it should predict the sub-theses or blocks of information that you will use to prove your argument.
  • Make sure that you keep the rest of your paper in mind at all times. Change your thesis as your paper evolves, because you do not want your thesis to promise more than your paper actually delivers.

In the beginning, the thesis statement was a tool to help you sharpen your focus, limit material and establish the paper’s purpose. When your paper is finished, however, the thesis statement becomes a tool for your reader. It tells the reader what you have learned about your topic and what evidence led you to your conclusion. It keeps the reader on track–well able to understand and appreciate your argument.

thesis statement importance of family

Writing Process and Structure

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Getting Started with Your Paper

Interpreting Writing Assignments from Your Courses

Generating Ideas for

Creating an Argument

Thesis vs. Purpose Statements

Architecture of Arguments

Working with Sources

Quoting and Paraphrasing Sources

Using Literary Quotations

Citing Sources in Your Paper

Drafting Your Paper

Generating Ideas for Your Paper



Developing Strategic Transitions


Revising Your Paper

Peer Reviews

Reverse Outlines

Revising an Argumentative Paper

Revision Strategies for Longer Projects

Finishing Your Paper

Twelve Common Errors: An Editing Checklist

How to Proofread your Paper

Writing Collaboratively

Collaborative and Group Writing

  • Writing services
  • Proofreading
  • Math/Science
  • Copywriting
  • Dissertation services
  • Admission services
  • Our Writers

Writing a Great Expository Essay About Family

Family expository essay

Table of contents:

Introduction, body paragraphs.

Writing an expository essay about family is a great topic to choose, as there are so many different ways you can approach this particular subject. For an expository essay, there are five different kinds of essays you can write: problem/solution, cause/effect, how-to, descriptive, and comparison.

Start by figuring out what you want your thesis, or statement of purpose to be. In other words, what is the point you want to make, or what would you like to teach people about? Write this at the top of a new piece of paper for now. Then go on to make a brief outline of your points below.

Here’s some samples of thesis statements that might inspire you.

Thesis idea 1: Family has always been an important part of society, but is the importance of family overrated?

Thesis idea 2: When children and parents fall out, there are a few techniques which can be used for reconciliation, thus improving family functioning, if both parties want it.

Thesis idea 3: My father has been the best dad ever and here’s why!

Thesis idea 4: The style of parenting used by parents has an indelible effect on children’s mental health as they grow up.

Thesis idea 5: The history of the phrase “family values” is long and complex, having been co-opted by a number of different organisations for their own benefit over the years.

Once you’ve settled on your thesis, then start writing your introduction. Begin with a hook, which is something that will grab your audience’s attention like a startling statistic, an amusing anecdote, or an interesting fact. Also use this paragraph to define your audience. Are you writing for other students your own age, your parents, teachers, or the world at large?

The last part of your introduction is the thesis statement itself. Word it clearly and succinctly so it’s not confusing or ambiguous. Once you’ve done this, you can then move on to the essay body.

If you’ve made an outline, writing your body will be relatively straightforward. Each point you want to make is a new paragraph, and every paragraph should contain the evidence you are using to back up your points. If, for example, you are writing about how your dad is the best dad, every paragraph should contain reasons why he’s the best dad, presumably in this case backed up by the evidence of your personal anecdotes.

As you work your way through the body of your essay and head toward your conclusion, remember that when you write an expository essay, you are supposed to maintain a neutral stance and rely on logic and reason for your evidence, leaving subjective opinion out of it. So, if you are trying to prove that your dad is the best dad, you will do this by explaining why he deserves that title, not just by saying that “he’s the best dad because I love him,” or something similar.

Your conclusion should consist of a brief summary of all your points, followed by a restatement of your thesis, showing what has been learned in your essay. Finally, finish by framing the question you’ve asked in a larger context, or ask a related question you didn’t answer in this essay.

And there you go! You are now well prepared to write a great expository essay!

  • Essay samples
  • Infographics
  • Essay writing
  • Crafting a Powerful Essay on Political Polarization
  • Oral Health Overview Essay: Preventing Tooth Decay in Australia
  • How to Write a Good Expository Essay About Macbeth
  • How to Write An Expository Essay About Love
  • How to Write a Great Expository Essay About Life

Price per page

Total price:

Limitless Amendments


Plagiarism Report

Get all these features for A$93.12 FREE

If you don't know exactly what type of paper you need or can't find the necessary one on the website - don't worry! Contact us and we'll help you out!

  • Terms of Use
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Cookie Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Write My Essay
  • Custom Essay
  • Essay Writer
  • Do My Essay
  • Type My Essay
  • Pay For Essay
  • Cheap Essay
  • Write My Paper
  • Write My Assignment
  • Assignment Writer
  • Buy Assignment
  • Assignment Help
  • Do My Assignment
  • Nursing Essay Writing Service
  • Management Essay
  • Business Essay
  • Law Essay Writing Service
  • Education Essay Service
  • Marketing Essay
  • Accounting Essay
  • Sociology Essay

Before continuing to use our service please make sure you got acquainted with our Cookie Policy and accepted it by clicking OK

Importance of Family Communication Essay


  • Survival Story of my family

Reference List

Family communication necessitates the expression of one’s feelings about someone else or something through both verbal and non-verbal communication among family members. Effective family communication is central in the creation of healthy families and strengthens the bonds of love among family members.

Communication within family members helps in early detection of family differences among members and offers an immediate solution to any conflict, which might occur. Healthy communication in the family creates an enabling environment in which members not only pass information about their wants, needs, feelings, or admirations, but also listen to what others have to say.

Effective family communication therefore, cannot be complete without effective listening internalization of the spoken words then giving of response (Gottman, 1994, p.46). Listening is as critical as talking in a healthy communication. Good family relationships including marriages count on good family communication where people express their love and friendship through the exchange of their feelings to each other.

Furthermore, the only efficient way of passing family information from the elder generation to the younger generation is effective communication between the source of the information and the recipient of the information.

Openness in family communication and honesty propagates trust among family members and therefore, creates an atmosphere whereby individuals can express their thoughts without fear of contradiction and intimidation.

According to Graham, “In order for effective communication to take place within families, individual family members must be open and honest with on another” (1996, p. 24). Trust creates strong relationships among family members.

Family Communication: Essay on My Family’s Survival:

  • As narrated by my mother

The story about our family survival stretches way back before I was born, as my mother puts it to me. Through the family linage, this was the only time in history that our family went through a survival stage. Opposition and rejection was what our family went through for not less than five consecutive years.

As my mother puts it, the issue started shortly after our first-born completed her high school education with an excellent performance therefore calling for proceeding to higher education. To the disbelief of my mother, her daughter had performed better than what the entire family expected.

She says, “…out of all the poverty and recurrent sent offs from school for fees, she managed to perform better than any other student in the area.” Mum confirms that at that moment when the family was undergoing tough financial constrains, our father worked as a casual laborer in a farm for the whites with meager payment, which could hardly satisfy the ever-increasing family demands.

Even though the awesome academic performance of my sister brought joy to the family, it was short lived. The struggle to get the huge colleges fees set in. According to mum, everything possible had to be done to raise the amount required for the college fees including borrowing from friends and well-wishers.

With or without money, our family stood for education for its members and the only hope that mother had, was her persistence help she had extended to the surrounding community. “Despite my poverty and lack, I have been supporting others in the society and community around so I believed they would show their appreciation by supporting my daughter too” mother posits.

On the other hand, dad had to continue working hard even though very little came out of his sweat. Things did not happen as anticipated; as mum continues, it emerges that none of those she helped came to her rescue when she needed them; instead, what she got, as a reward was a turn down of her request for support from the surrounding community.

Therefore, to get the required money, my family organized a fundraising function. To my surprise as my mother puts it, very few people showed up during the planned date and therefore, little was collected out of the planned fundraising. With very little hopes of getting enough money for the college fees, my mother and the entire family remained optimistic that their daughter would still get good education and achieve her dreams in life.

The neighbors who claimed to be sincere family friends, they turned out to be “family enemies”. According to my mother, “…none of all these neighbors showed up for the fundraiser and those who did were reluctant to offer any financial support.”

In the state of confusion on what to do next, my mother approached a local non-governmental organization working in our area and presented her request for fees sponsorship for her daughter.

The NGO accepted the request and offered full sponsorship towards my sister’s education. She did a bachelors degree in telecommunication and finally got employment with the national telecommunication corporation where she works even to date.

  • Story as narrated by uncle

My uncle narrates the story about our family survival to me from our well-vanished living room where he compares the current state of our family and what it was fifteen years ago. He says, “… I remember very well some years back when everybody in the family struggled to collect money for college fees and none of the community around us showed up to help us.”

My uncle felt disappointed by people who pretend to be with you when in problem but in real sense, they do not care what happens especially when things are badly off.

According to my uncle, the community in totality rejected our family’s proposal for financial aid. Even during the fundraiser, very few people showed up for the occasion and the few who showed up had little to offer. This was a big disappointment warranting one to lose hope in life.

With everyone turning away from you, you feel thwarted and this was the state of my uncle. He says, “At the center of the frustrations and disappointments, a good Samaritan the form of a sponsor showed up and cleared the frustrations and disappointments by paying the full college fees for your sister.”

The family survived a tough financial crisis then with little hard-earned resources, but still out of that little, we are able to support others even those who never helped us at a time when we needed them, as my uncle observes.

  • Analysis of the story

During the financial survival period of our family, we had both enemies and good people. First, the whites who continued giving our father employment even though little was paid, but at least the basic needs were met; second, the sponsors from the local NGO who accepted to pay for my sisters college fees.

With the burden of college fees payment lifted from the shoulders of the family, every member of the family felt relieved and the future of my sister looked brighter.

On the other hand, there were ‘enemies’ including our own neighbors who willingly decided not to support in raising the college fees when requested to.

They turned down the invitations to the fundraiser and thought that, without them my sister would not attain higher education. Their rejection and opposition was open to all and despite of my family participating in community activities, our request for financial support received a turn down.

  • How the story helps us cope in the world

This story instilled in me the understanding that other forces of nature predetermine the fate of everyone in the world other than what people around us can offer. This understanding helps me to cope well with all the situations coming on my way with a strong belief that, all will be well.

The fate of my sisters’ education as seen was predetermined and no other forces could have objected that. Trusting in people could also be dangerous especially in the event when they turn down on you when you seriously need them as was the case in our family.

  • How the family maintained dignity and respect

During the entire period of financial survival, my family maintained dignity in the sense that, after the society turned down our request for financial support in the form of a fundraiser, no one from our family questioned them.

Instead, people were busy looking for other means of soliciting for the funds to achieve the intended goal of my sisters’ education. Not only was there dignity maintenance by our family, but also our respect in the all survival time. After my sisters’ education and subsequent employment, the family dignity and respect increased many folds.

  • Moral lesson of the story

Putting trust and hope on people surrounding us may lead to disappointment in the event people fail to turn up for our help when we desperately need their help; nevertheless, that should not destroy our ambitions and the inherent spirit within us to achieve our goals in life.

Maintaining a positive attitude in all situations and not giving up can bear good fruits after the hard situation if only we uphold the values of endurance and persistence.

Every member of our family endured the hard economic time and today, things have completely changed; happiness and satisfaction underscores our lives. Persistence in looking for any possible source of money landed my mother to the sponsors who willingly offered to help us all through.

If the family had lost hope due to disappointment, then the vicious cycle of poverty in our family could have continued.

Good communication among family members helps in creating good and healthy families while on the other hand, poor communication in families defines family breakages and violence. Good communication helps in revealing hidden secrets of the family to the young generation shedding some light on why things are the way they are.

From the stories narrated to me, it is clear that, not all has been well as I thought. At some, point our family went through financial crisis difficult to come out of.

From the stories, my ways of perceiving others who pretend to be real friends has sharpened and no longer do I trust everyone, because people can desperately let you down. The unity exhibited by all the family members during the survival period, strengthened love, respect, and togetherness in the family and as it is today, our family relationships continue to be strong.

Gottman, J. (1994). Why marriage succeed or fail . New York: Simon and Schuster.

Graham, E. (1996). Too much to do, too little time. Wall street journal , 1 (4), 24.

  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2022, June 19). Importance of Family Communication Essay. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-communication/

"Importance of Family Communication Essay." IvyPanda , 19 June 2022, ivypanda.com/essays/family-communication/.

IvyPanda . (2022) 'Importance of Family Communication Essay'. 19 June.

IvyPanda . 2022. "Importance of Family Communication Essay." June 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-communication/.

1. IvyPanda . "Importance of Family Communication Essay." June 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-communication/.


IvyPanda . "Importance of Family Communication Essay." June 19, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/family-communication/.

  • Persuasive Techniques: Fund-Raiser Case Study
  • School Fundraiser Event: Conventional Foodservice
  • Spirit of Faith Church Catering Services: Fundraising Project
  • Communication Issues at the Imagine You Nonprofit
  • Fundraising and Marketing in Nonprofit Organizations
  • The Importance of Leadership Training
  • Blue Apron Company: Struggling for Investors
  • The Crack Epidemic of the 1980s
  • "Uncle Tom’s Cabin" and Slavery
  • Criminology: The Case of Uncle Bob
  • Robbinsdale Hospital Marketing Communication
  • Healthcare Marketing: The Effective Company’s Performance and Competition Within the Industry
  • Concept and Treatment of the Alzheimer Disorder
  • Two Communication Rules in My Family
  • Good Parent-Children Relationship
  • Have your assignments done by seasoned writers. 24/7
  • Contact us:
  • +1 (213) 221-0069
  • [email protected]

Write an Essay about Family: From Introduction to Conclusion

Write an Essay about Family: From Introduction to Conclusion

Essay about the Family

Essay about the Family

Students have to write essays for a variety of goals. Often, students fail when asked to write about simple topics such as a friend, a hobby, or even their family.

It is due to a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of essay writing. Furthermore, few people anticipate that they may have to write such essays.

thesis statement importance of family

However, college is not all about research and analysis. Occasionally, students have to write easy essays to evaluate their mastery of the fundamentals. When it comes to style and arrangement, a family essay shares the same characteristics as other essays.

Why is Family a Good Topic for An Essay

a family

Writing a family essay should be straightforward, but you must be well-prepared with the necessary material. Know what to put in your body.

Decide how much personal information about your family you are willing to share.

However, a family essay is both a personal and a narrative essay and can also be challenging. 

On a personal level, you talk about your family, and on a narrative level, you briefly narrate your family to your audience.

When writing a family essay, it is important to determine what facts to include and what information to leave out. It keeps you from boring your audience by going into further detail. You should avoid revealing a lot of information about your family.

Think about your place in the family when writing a family essay. Are you the oldest, youngest, or somewhere in between? What this means to you and how it affects your family.

You have fun while explaining the family traditions that make you unique. Each family has a tradition that they enjoy observing and enhances their closeness.

Touch on the responsibilities or functions of each member of the family. You primarily discuss the kind of obligations that each family member has based on their age. Finally, explain how the responsibilities are handled and who is in charge of ensuring their fulfillment.

You can bring up family issues such as incompatible marriages and other disagreements that arise in any family.

Explain how your family handles such situations and how you restore communication within the family in a few words. This is a challenging topic to broach, but it is critical to your essay’s success. Do you have any family members of a different ethnicity or some who are not your blood relatives? Do you communicate with your relatives?

Explain your extended family’s relationship with you and what brings you together the most.

Consider your family bonding time. When do you spend time as a family bonding?

Describe how you and your family work together to make special occasions memorable. You can highlight family when writing about people who inspire you.

How to Write an Essay About Family

1. explain your topic about family.

writing about a family

Provide a brief background, context, or a narrative about your topic.

Describe where your subject is right now. Compare and contrast the past with the present. You can also tell a bad story or one that is based on gossip.

Retell the tale or the definition or explanation you provided with an uplifting end.

2. Craft your thesis about the family

 Begin your paper with a compelling hook, such as a thought-provoking quotation. It serves to attract the audience’s attention and pique interest in your essay.

You should also come up with a thesis statement that is appropriate for your target audience. The thesis statement serves as a fast summary of your essay’s contents.

The introduction allows you to provide the reader with a formal presentation of your work. The section should stand out to grab the attention of your readers. Alternately, you may give a brief, straightforward explanation of the problem you have will discuss throughout your family essay.

This section also summarizes the approach you use to study the issue.

Moreover, it lays out the structure and organization of the body of the paper and the prospective outcomes. You never have a second chance to make a good first impression, so a well-written introduction is critical.

Your readers form their first perceptions of your logic and writing style in the first few paragraphs of your work.

This section helps in determining whether your conclusions and findings are accurate. A sloppy, chaotic, or mistake-filled introduction will give a poor first impression.

A concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will get the audience to respect your analytical talents, writing style, and research approach. Close with a paragraph that summarizes the paper’s structure.

3. Write your arguments about family

 Expand the major themes into individual paragraphs to form the body of your essay. The thesis statement establishes the foundation of your argument. Begin each body paragraph with a topic sentence that includes a clear and concise explanation as well as details about your family.

This will allow your audience to learn more about you and your family.

Use transition sentences to let your readers know when you are introducing a new point in your argument. Cover each facet of your argument in a different paragraph or section, if your essay is lengthy. You should also logically discuss them, making connections where possible. Support your case by referencing previous studies.

Depending on your topic, you may use existing studies or experimental data, such as a questionnaire for evidence to support each claim. Without proof, all you have is an unsupported allegation.

4. Recognize counter-arguments

 Consider the other side of the argument. It enables you to anticipate objections to your perspective, which bolsters your case. Your objective is to persuade the reader to accept the recommendations or claims made in your essay.

Knowing what you are suggesting and how your arguments support it will make it easier to express yourself appropriately.

Make a strong conclusion based on what you have learned so far. It is crucial to conclude your essay by explaining how the evidence you have presented backs up your claim. Also, illustrate how each point adds to the broader argument.

Everything in your paper must support your main point, from the literature review to the conclusion.

family members

5. Cite and reference

 Many academically approved citations forms exist, including MLA, APA, Chicago, and others.

You can choose from the popular styles or ask your institution which one they prefer. There is no need to quote information that is commonly known.

Facts and common knowledge have no copyright protection; thus, you can use them freely. Each citation in the text should correspond to the bibliography or reference list at the end of your essay.

What Do You Think About Family

What is your side.

Family should signify a unity of acceptance, joy, love, unconditional sacrifices, and support. It rests on a continuum of resilience and humility from previous, current, and future generations.

what is the other people’s side

Family means something different to each of us, yet it is one of the core values. It starts with respect for and appreciation for others, regardless of their age, where they are, where they came from, how capable, who they love, their experiences, how healthy they are, etc.

Community, sisterhood, and brotherhood are all aspects of family.

9 Examples of Essay Topics About Family

  • The American Family: Decrease in Family Size and Its Historical Factors
  • The Impact of Divorce and Separation on Family Relationships
  • Building Family and Community Relationships
  • Family`s Factors Shaping Children`s Behavior
  • Healthy Marriage and Family Relationships
  • Family History Role in Primary Health Care
  • Family Happiness Definition and Aspects
  • Changing Gender Roles in Families
  • Divorce and Single-Parent Families

Josh Jasen

When not handling complex essays and academic writing tasks, Josh is busy advising students on how to pass assignments. In spare time, he loves playing football or walking with his dog around the park.

Related posts

Chegg Plagiarism Checker

Chegg Plagiarism Checker

Chegg Plagiarism: Review of Chegg Plagiarism Checker and its Service

Titles for Essay about Yourself

Titles for Essay about Yourself

Good Titles for Essays about yourself: 31 Personal Essay Topics

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay

How to Write a Diagnostic Essay: Meaning and Topics Example

Essay on Importance of Family for Students and Children

500 words essay on importance of family.

In today’s world when everything is losing its meaning, we need to realize the importance of family more than ever. While the world is becoming more modern and advanced, the meaning of family and what stands for remains the same.

A family is a group of people who are related by blood or heritage. These people are linked not only by blood but also by compassion, love, and support. A person’s character and personality are shaped by his or her family. There are various forms of families in today’s society. It is further subdivided into a tight and extended family (nuclear family, single parent, step-family, grandparent, cousins, etc.)

Family – A synonym for trust, comfort, love, care, happiness and belonging. Family is the relationship that we share from the moment we are born into this world. People that take care of us and help us grow are what we call family, and they become lifelines for us to live. Family members have an important role in deciding an individual’s success or failure in life since they provide a support system and source of encouragement.

Essay on Importance of Family

It does not matter what kind of family one belongs to. It is all equal as long as there are caring and acceptance. You may be from a joint family, same-sex partner family, nuclear family, it is all the same. The relationships we have with our members make our family strong. We all have unique relations with each family member. In addition to other things, a family is the strongest unit in one’s life.

Things That Strengthens The Family

A family is made strong through a number of factors. The most important one is of course love. You instantly think of unconditional love when you think of family. It is the first source of love you receive in your life It teaches you the meaning of love which you carry on forever in your heart.

Secondly, we see that loyalty strengthens a family. When you have a family, you are devoted to them. You stick by them through the hard times and celebrate in their happy times. A family always supports and backs each other. They stand up for each other in front of a third party trying to harm them proving their loyalty.

Most importantly, the things one learns from their family brings them closer. For instance, we learn how to deal with the world through our family first. They are our first school and this teaching strengthens the bond. It gives us reason to stand by each other as we share the same values.

No matter what the situation arises, your family will never leave you alone. They will always stand alongside you to overcome the hardships in life. If anyone is dealing with any kind of trouble, even a small talk about it to the family will make ones’ mind lighter and will give them a sense of hope, an inner sense of strength to fight those problems.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

Importance of Family

One cannot emphasize enough on the importance of family. They play a great role in our lives and make us better human beings. The one lucky enough to have a family often do not realize the value of a family.

However, those who do not have families know their worth. A family is our source of strength. It teaches us what relationships mean. They help us create meaningful relationships in the outside world. The love we inherit from our families, we pass on to our independent relationships.

Moreover, families teach us better communication . When we spend time with our families and love each other and communicate openly, we create a better future for ourselves. When we stay connected with our families, we learn to connect better with the world.

Similarly, families teach us patience. It gets tough sometimes to be patient with our family members. Yet we remain so out of love and respect. Thus, it teaches us patience to deal better with the world. Families boost our confidence and make us feel loved. They are the pillars of our strength who never fall instead keep us strong so we become better people.

We learn the values of love, respect, faith, hope, caring, cultures, ethics, traditions, and everything else that concerns us through our families. Being raised in a loving household provides a solid foundation for anyone.

People develop a value system inside their family structure in addition to life lessons. They learn what their family considers to be proper and wrong, as well as what the community considers to be significant.

Families are the epicentres of tradition. Many families keep on traditions by sharing stories from the past over the years. This allows you to reconnect with family relatives who are no longer alive. A child raised in this type of household feels as if they are a part of something bigger than themselves. They’ll be proud to be a part of a community that has had ups and downs. Communities thrive when families are strong. This, in turn, contributes to a robust society.

Q.1 What strengthens a family?

A.1 A family’s strength is made up of many factors. It is made of love that teaches us to love others unconditionally. Loyalty strengthens a family which makes the members be loyal to other people as well. Most importantly, acceptance and understanding strengthen a family.

Q.2 Why is family important?

A.2 Families are very important components of society and people’s lives. They teach us a lot about life and relationships. They love us and treat us valuably. They boost our self-confidence and make us feel valued. In addition, they teach us patience to deal with others in a graceful and accepting manner.

Customize your course in 30 seconds

Which class are you in.


  • Travelling Essay
  • Picnic Essay
  • Our Country Essay
  • My Parents Essay
  • Essay on Favourite Personality
  • Essay on Memorable Day of My Life
  • Essay on Knowledge is Power
  • Essay on Gurpurab
  • Essay on My Favourite Season
  • Essay on Types of Sports

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download the App

Google Play

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The .gov means it’s official. Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you’re on a federal government site.

The site is secure. The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

  • Publications
  • Account settings

Preview improvements coming to the PMC website in October 2024. Learn More or Try it out now .

  • Advanced Search
  • Journal List
  • Innov Aging

Logo of innovage

Family Relationships and Well-Being

Patricia a thomas.

1 Department of Sociology and Center on Aging and the Life Course, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

2 Department of Sociology, Michigan State University, East Lansing

Debra Umberson

3 Department of Sociology and Population Research Center, University of Texas at Austin

Family relationships are enduring and consequential for well-being across the life course. We discuss several types of family relationships—marital, intergenerational, and sibling ties—that have an important influence on well-being. We highlight the quality of family relationships as well as diversity of family relationships in explaining their impact on well-being across the adult life course. We discuss directions for future research, such as better understanding the complexities of these relationships with greater attention to diverse family structures, unexpected benefits of relationship strain, and unique intersections of social statuses.

Translational Significance

It is important for future research and health promotion policies to take into account complexities in family relationships, paying attention to family context, diversity of family structures, relationship quality, and intersections of social statuses in an aging society to provide resources to families to reduce caregiving burdens and benefit health and well-being.

For better and for worse, family relationships play a central role in shaping an individual’s well-being across the life course ( Merz, Consedine, Schulze, & Schuengel, 2009 ). An aging population and concomitant age-related disease underlies an emergent need to better understand factors that contribute to health and well-being among the increasing numbers of older adults in the United States. Family relationships may become even more important to well-being as individuals age, needs for caregiving increase, and social ties in other domains such as the workplace become less central in their lives ( Milkie, Bierman, & Schieman, 2008 ). In this review, we consider key family relationships in adulthood—marital, parent–child, grandparent, and sibling relationships—and their impact on well-being across the adult life course.

We begin with an overview of theoretical explanations that point to the primary pathways and mechanisms through which family relationships influence well-being, and then we describe how each type of family relationship is associated with well-being, and how these patterns unfold over the adult life course. In this article, we use a broad definition of well-being, including multiple dimensions such as general happiness, life satisfaction, and good mental and physical health, to reflect the breadth of this concept’s use in the literature. We explore important directions for future research, emphasizing the need for research that takes into account the complexity of relationships, diverse family structures, and intersections of structural locations.

Pathways Linking Family Relationships to Well-Being

A life course perspective draws attention to the importance of linked lives, or interdependence within relationships, across the life course ( Elder, Johnson, & Crosnoe, 2003 ). Family members are linked in important ways through each stage of life, and these relationships are an important source of social connection and social influence for individuals throughout their lives ( Umberson, Crosnoe, & Reczek, 2010 ). Substantial evidence consistently shows that social relationships can profoundly influence well-being across the life course ( Umberson & Montez, 2010 ). Family connections can provide a greater sense of meaning and purpose as well as social and tangible resources that benefit well-being ( Hartwell & Benson, 2007 ; Kawachi & Berkman, 2001 ).

The quality of family relationships, including social support (e.g., providing love, advice, and care) and strain (e.g., arguments, being critical, making too many demands), can influence well-being through psychosocial, behavioral, and physiological pathways. Stressors and social support are core components of stress process theory ( Pearlin, 1999 ), which argues that stress can undermine mental health while social support may serve as a protective resource. Prior studies clearly show that stress undermines health and well-being ( Thoits, 2010 ), and strains in relationships with family members are an especially salient type of stress. Social support may provide a resource for coping that dulls the detrimental impact of stressors on well-being ( Thoits, 2010 ), and support may also promote well-being through increased self-esteem, which involves more positive views of oneself ( Fukukawa et al., 2000 ). Those receiving support from their family members may feel a greater sense of self-worth, and this enhanced self-esteem may be a psychological resource, encouraging optimism, positive affect, and better mental health ( Symister & Friend, 2003 ). Family members may also regulate each other’s behaviors (i.e., social control) and provide information and encouragement to behave in healthier ways and to more effectively utilize health care services ( Cohen, 2004 ; Reczek, Thomeer, Lodge, Umberson, & Underhill, 2014 ), but stress in relationships may also lead to health-compromising behaviors as coping mechanisms to deal with stress ( Ng & Jeffery, 2003 ). The stress of relationship strain can result in physiological processes that impair immune function, affect the cardiovascular system, and increase risk for depression ( Graham, Christian, & Kiecolt-Glaser, 2006 ; Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001 ), whereas positive relationships are associated with lower allostatic load (i.e., “wear and tear” on the body accumulating from stress) ( Seeman, Singer, Ryff, Love, & Levy-Storms, 2002 ). Clearly, the quality of family relationships can have considerable consequences for well-being.

Marital Relationships

A life course perspective has posited marital relationships as one of the most important relationships that define life context and in turn affect individuals’ well-being throughout adulthood ( Umberson & Montez, 2010 ). Being married, especially happily married, is associated with better mental and physical health ( Carr & Springer, 2010 ; Umberson, Williams, & Thomeer, 2013 ), and the strength of the marital effect on health is comparable to that of other traditional risk factors such as smoking and obesity ( Sbarra, 2009 ). Although some studies emphasize the possibility of selection effects, suggesting that individuals in better health are more likely to be married ( Lipowicz, 2014 ), most researchers emphasize two theoretical models to explain why marital relationships shape well-being: the marital resource model and the stress model ( Waite & Gallager, 2000 ; Williams & Umberson, 2004 ). The marital resource model suggests that marriage promotes well-being through increased access to economic, social, and health-promoting resources ( Rendall, Weden, Favreault, & Waldron, 2011 ; Umberson et al., 2013 ). The stress model suggests that negative aspects of marital relationships such as marital strain and marital dissolutions create stress and undermine well-being ( Williams & Umberson, 2004 ), whereas positive aspects of marital relationships may prompt social support, enhance self-esteem, and promote healthier behaviors in general and in coping with stress ( Reczek, Thomeer, et al., 2014 ; Symister & Friend, 2003 ; Waite & Gallager, 2000 ). Marital relationships also tend to become more salient with advancing age, as other social relationships such as those with family members, friends, and neighbors are often lost due to geographic relocation and death in the later part of the life course ( Liu & Waite, 2014 ).

Married people, on average, enjoy better mental health, physical health, and longer life expectancy than divorced/separated, widowed, and never-married people ( Hughes & Waite, 2009 ; Simon, 2002 ), although the health gap between the married and never married has decreased in the past few decades ( Liu & Umberson, 2008 ). Moreover, marital links to well-being depend on the quality of the relationship; those in distressed marriages are more likely to report depressive symptoms and poorer health than those in happy marriages ( Donoho, Crimmins, & Seeman, 2013 ; Liu & Waite, 2014 ; Umberson, Williams, Powers, Liu, & Needham, 2006 ), whereas a happy marriage may buffer the effects of stress via greater access to emotional support ( Williams, 2003 ). A number of studies suggest that the negative aspects of close relationships have a stronger impact on well-being than the positive aspects of relationships (e.g., Rook, 2014 ), and past research shows that the impact of marital strain on health increases with advancing age ( Liu & Waite, 2014 ; Umberson et al., 2006 ).

Prior studies suggest that marital transitions, either into or out of marriage, shape life context and affect well-being ( Williams & Umberson, 2004 ). National longitudinal studies provide evidence that past experiences of divorce and widowhood are associated with increased risk of heart disease in later life especially among women, irrespective of current marital status ( Zhang & Hayward, 2006 ), and longer duration of divorce or widowhood is associated with a greater number of chronic conditions and mobility limitations ( Hughes & Waite, 2009 ; Lorenz, Wickrama, Conger, & Elder, 2006 ) but only short-term declines in mental health ( Lee & Demaris, 2007 ). On the other hand, entry into marriages, especially first marriages, improves psychological well-being and decreases depression ( Frech & Williams, 2007 ; Musick & Bumpass, 2012 ), although the benefits of remarriage may not be as large as those that accompany a first marriage ( Hughes & Waite, 2009 ). Taken together, these studies show the importance of understanding the lifelong cumulative impact of marital status and marital transitions.

Gender Differences

Gender is a central focus of research on marital relationships and well-being and an important determinant of life course experiences ( Bernard, 1972 ; Liu & Waite, 2014 ; Zhang & Hayward, 2006 ). A long-observed pattern is that men receive more physical health benefits from marriage than women, and women are more psychologically and physiologically vulnerable to marital stress than men ( Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001 ; Revenson et al., 2016 ; Simon, 2002 ; Williams, 2004 ). Women tend to receive more financial benefits from their typically higher-earning male spouse than do men, but men generally receive more health promotion benefits such as emotional support and regulation of health behaviors from marriage than do women ( Liu & Umberson, 2008 ; Liu & Waite, 2014 ). This is because within a traditional marriage, women tend to take more responsibility for maintaining social connections to family and friends, and are more likely to provide emotional support to their husband, whereas men are more likely to receive emotional support and enjoy the benefit of expanded social networks—all factors that may promote husbands’ health and well-being ( Revenson et al., 2016 ).

However, there is mixed evidence regarding whether men’s or women’s well-being is more affected by marriage. On the one hand, a number of studies have documented that marital status differences in both mental and physical health are greater for men than women ( Liu & Umberson, 2008 ; Sbarra, 2009 ). For example, Williams and Umberson (2004) found that men’s health improves more than women’s from entering marriage. On the other hand, a number of studies reveal stronger effects of marital strain on women’s health than men’s including more depressive symptoms, increases in cardiovascular health risk, and changes in hormones ( Kiecolt-Glaser & Newton, 2001 ; Liu & Waite, 2014 ; Liu, Waite, & Shen, 2016 ). Yet, other studies found no gender differences in marriage and health links (e.g., Umberson et al., 2006 ). The mixed evidence regarding gender differences in the impact of marital relationships on well-being may be attributed to different study samples (e.g., with different age groups) and variations in measurements and methodologies. More research based on representative longitudinal samples is clearly warranted to contribute to this line of investigation.

Race-Ethnicity and SES Heterogeneity

Family scholars argue that marriage has different meanings and dynamics across socioeconomic status (SES) and racial-ethnic groups due to varying social, economic, historical, and cultural contexts. Therefore, marriage may be associated with well-being in different ways across these groups. For example, women who are black or lower SES may be less likely than their white, higher SES counterparts to increase their financial capital from relationship unions because eligible men in their social networks are more socioeconomically challenged ( Edin & Kefalas, 2005 ). Some studies also find that marital quality is lower among low SES and black couples than white couples with higher SES ( Broman, 2005 ). This may occur because the former groups face more stress in their daily lives throughout the life course and these higher levels of stress undermine marital quality ( Umberson, Williams, Thomas, Liu, & Thomeer, 2014 ). Other studies, however, suggest stronger effects of marriage on the well-being of black adults than white adults. For example, black older adults seem to benefit more from marriage than older whites in terms of chronic conditions and disability ( Pienta, Hayward, & Jenkins, 2000 ).

Directions for Future Research

The rapid aging of the U.S. population along with significant changes in marriage and families indicate that a growing number of older adults enter late life with both complex marital histories and great heterogeneity in their relationships. While most research to date focuses on different-sex marriages, a growing body of research has started to examine whether the marital advantage in health and well-being is extended to same-sex couples, which represents a growing segment of relationship types among older couples ( Denney, Gorman, & Barrera, 2013 ; Goldsen et al., 2017 ; Liu, Reczek, & Brown, 2013 ; Reczek, Liu, & Spiker, 2014 ). Evidence shows that same-sex cohabiting couples report worse health than different-sex married couples ( Denney et al., 2013 ; Liu et al., 2013 ), but same-sex married couples are often not significantly different from or are even better off than different-sex married couples in other outcomes such as alcohol use ( Reczek, Liu, et al., 2014 ) and care from their partner during periods of illness ( Umberson, Thomeer, Reczek, & Donnelly, 2016 ). These results suggest that marriage may promote the well-being of same-sex couples, perhaps even more so than for different-sex couples ( Umberson et al., 2016 ). Including same-sex couples in future work on marriage and well-being will garner unique insights into gender differences in marital dynamics that have long been taken for granted based on studies of different-sex couples ( Umberson, Thomeer, Kroeger, Lodge, & Xu, 2015 ). Moreover, future work on same-sex and different-sex couples should take into account the intersection of other statuses such as race-ethnicity and SES to better understand the impact of marital relationships on well-being.

Another avenue for future research involves investigating complexities of marital strain effects on well-being. Some recent studies among older adults suggest that relationship strain may actually benefit certain dimensions of well-being. These studies suggest that strain with a spouse may be protective for certain health outcomes including cognitive decline ( Xu, Thomas, & Umberson, 2016 ) and diabetes control ( Liu et al., 2016 ), while support may not be, especially for men ( Carr, Cornman, & Freedman, 2016 ). Explanations for these unexpected findings among older adults are not fully understood. Family and health scholars suggest that spouses may prod their significant others to engage in more health-promoting behaviors ( Umberson, Crosnoe, et al., 2010 ). These attempts may be a source of friction, creating strain in the relationship; however, this dynamic may still contribute to better health outcomes for older adults. Future research should explore the processes by which strain may have a positive influence on health and well-being, perhaps differently by gender.

Intergenerational Relationships

Children and parents tend to remain closely connected to each other across the life course, and it is well-established that the quality of intergenerational relationships is central to the well-being of both generations ( Merz, Schuengel, & Schulze, 2009 ; Polenick, DePasquale, Eggebeen, Zarit, & Fingerman, 2016 ). Recent research also points to the importance of relationships with grandchildren for aging adults ( Mahne & Huxhold, 2015 ). We focus here on the well-being of parents, adult children, and grandparents. Parents, grandparents, and children often provide care for each other at different points in the life course, which can contribute to social support, stress, and social control mechanisms that influence the health and well-being of each in important ways over the life course ( Nomaguchi & Milkie, 2003 ; Pinquart & Soerensen, 2007 ; Reczek, Thomeer, et al., 2014 ).

Family scholarship highlights the complexities of parent–child relationships, finding that parenthood generates both rewards and stressors, with important implications for well-being ( Nomaguchi & Milkie, 2003 ; Umberson, Pudrovska, & Reczek, 2010 ). Parenthood increases time constraints, producing stress and diminishing well-being, especially when children are younger ( Nomaguchi, Milkie, & Bianchi, 2005 ), but parenthood can also increase social integration, leading to greater emotional support and a sense of belonging and meaning ( Berkman, Glass, Brissette, & Seeman, 2000 ), with positive consequences for well-being. Studies show that adult children play a pivotal role in the social networks of their parents across the life course ( Umberson, Pudrovska, et al., 2010 ), and the effects of parenthood on health and well-being become increasingly important at older ages as adult children provide one of the major sources of care for aging adults ( Seltzer & Bianchi, 2013 ). Norms of filial obligation of adult children to care for parents may be a form of social capital to be accessed by parents when their needs arise ( Silverstein, Gans, & Yang, 2006 ).

Although the general pattern is that receiving support from adult children is beneficial for parents’ well-being ( Merz, Schulze, & Schuengel, 2010 ), there is also evidence showing that receiving social support from adult children is related to lower well-being among older adults, suggesting that challenges to an identity of independence and usefulness may offset some of the benefits of receiving support ( Merz et al., 2010 ; Thomas, 2010 ). Contrary to popular thought, older parents are also very likely to provide instrumental/financial support to their adult children, typically contributing more than they receive ( Grundy, 2005 ), and providing emotional support to their adult children is related to higher well-being for older adults ( Thomas, 2010 ). In addition, consistent with the tenets of stress process theory, most evidence points to poor quality relationships with adult children as detrimental to parents’ well-being ( Koropeckyj-Cox, 2002 ; Polenick et al., 2016 ); however, a recent study found that strain with adult children is related to better cognitive health among older parents, especially fathers ( Thomas & Umberson, 2017 ).

Adult Children

As children and parents age, the nature of the parent–child relationship often changes such that adult children may take on a caregiving role for their older parents ( Pinquart & Soerensen, 2007 ). Adult children often experience competing pressures of employment, taking care of their own children, and providing care for older parents ( Evans et al., 2016 ). Support and strain from intergenerational ties during this stressful time of balancing family roles and work obligations may be particularly important for the mental health of adults in midlife ( Thomas, 2016 ). Most evidence suggests that caregiving for parents is related to lower well-being for adult children, including more negative affect and greater stress response in terms of overall output of daily cortisol ( Bangerter et al., 2017 ); however, some studies suggest that caregiving may be beneficial or neutral for well-being ( Merz et al., 2010 ). Family scholars suggest that this discrepancy may be due to varying types of caregiving and relationship quality. For example, providing emotional support to parents can increase well-being, but providing instrumental support does not unless the caregiver is emotionally engaged ( Morelli, Lee, Arnn, & Zaki, 2015 ). Moreover, the quality of the adult child-parent relationship may matter more for the well-being of adult children than does the caregiving they provide ( Merz, Schuengel, et al., 2009 ).

Although caregiving is a critical issue, adult children generally experience many years with parents in good health ( Settersten, 2007 ), and relationship quality and support exchanges have important implications for well-being beyond caregiving roles. The preponderance of research suggests that most adults feel emotionally close to their parents, and emotional support such as encouragement, companionship, and serving as a confidant is commonly exchanged in both directions ( Swartz, 2009 ). Intergenerational support exchanges often flow across generations or towards adult children rather than towards parents. For example, adult children are more likely to receive financial support from parents than vice versa until parents are very old ( Grundy, 2005 ). Intergenerational support exchanges are integral to the lives of both parents and adult children, both in times of need and in daily life.


Over 65 million Americans are grandparents ( Ellis & Simmons, 2014 ), 10% of children lived with at least one grandparent in 2012 ( Dunifon, Ziol-Guest, & Kopko, 2014 ), and a growing number of American families rely on grandparents as a source of support ( Settersten, 2007 ), suggesting the importance of studying grandparenting. Grandparents’ relationships with their grandchildren are generally related to higher well-being for both grandparents and grandchildren, with some important exceptions such as when they involve more extensive childcare responsibilities ( Kim, Kang, & Johnson-Motoyama, 2017 ; Lee, Clarkson-Hendrix, & Lee, 2016 ). Most grandparents engage in activities with their grandchildren that they find meaningful, feel close to their grandchildren, consider the grandparent role important ( Swartz, 2009 ), and experience lower well-being if they lose contact with their grandchildren ( Drew & Silverstein, 2007 ). However, a growing proportion of children live in households maintained by grandparents ( Settersten, 2007 ), and grandparents who care for their grandchildren without the support of the children’s parents usually experience greater stress ( Lee et al., 2016 ) and more depressive symptoms ( Blustein, Chan, & Guanais, 2004 ), sometimes juggling grandparenting responsibilities with their own employment ( Harrington Meyer, 2014 ). Using professional help and community services reduced the detrimental effects of grandparent caregiving on well-being ( Gerard, Landry-Meyer, & Roe, 2006 ), suggesting that future policy could help mitigate the stress of grandparent parenting and enhance the rewarding aspects of grandparenting instead.

Substantial evidence suggests that the experience of intergenerational relationships varies for men and women. Women tend to be more involved with and affected by intergenerational relationships, with adult children feeling closer to mothers than fathers ( Swartz, 2009 ). Moreover, relationship quality with children is more strongly associated with mothers’ well-being than with fathers’ well-being ( Milkie et al., 2008 ). Motherhood may be particularly salient to women ( McQuillan, Greil, Shreffler, & Tichenor, 2008 ), and women carry a disproportionate share of the burden of parenting, including greater caregiving for young children and aging parents as well as time deficits from these obligations that lead to lower well-being ( Nomaguchi et al., 2005 ; Pinquart & Sorensen, 2006 ). Mothers often report greater parental pressures than fathers, such as more obligation to be there for their children ( Reczek, Thomeer, et al., 2014 ; Stone, 2007 ), and to actively work on family relationships ( Erickson, 2005 ). Mothers are also more likely to blame themselves for poor parent–child relationship quality ( Elliott, Powell, & Brenton, 2015 ), contributing to greater distress for women. It is important to take into account the different pressures and meanings surrounding intergenerational relationships for men and for women in future research.

Family scholars have noted important variations in family dynamics and constraints by race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Lower SES can produce and exacerbate family strains ( Conger, Conger, & Martin, 2010 ). Socioeconomically disadvantaged adult children may need more assistance from parents and grandparents who in turn have fewer resources to provide ( Seltzer & Bianchi, 2013 ). Higher SES and white families tend to provide more financial and emotional support, whereas lower SES, black, and Latino families are more likely to coreside and provide practical help, and these differences in support exchanges contribute to the intergenerational transmission of inequality through families ( Swartz, 2009 ). Moreover, scholars have found that a happiness penalty exists such that parents of young children have lower levels of well-being than nonparents; however, policies such as childcare subsidies and paid time off that help parents negotiate work and family responsibilities explain this disparity ( Glass, Simon, & Andersson, 2016 ). Fewer resources can also place strain on grandparent–grandchild relationships. For example, well-being derived from these relationships may be unequally distributed across grandparents’ education level such that those with less education bear the brunt of more stressful grandparenting experiences and lower well-being ( Mahne & Huxhold, 2015 ). Both the burden of parenting grandchildren and its effects on depressive symptoms disproportionately fall upon single grandmothers of color ( Blustein et al., 2004 ). These studies demonstrate the importance of understanding structural constraints that produce greater stress for less advantaged groups and their impact on family relationships and well-being.

Research on intergenerational relationships suggests the importance of understanding greater complexity in these relationships in future work. For example, future research should pay greater attention to diverse family structures and perspectives of multiple family members. There is an increasing trend of individuals delaying childbearing or choosing not to bear children ( Umberson, Pudrovska, et al., 2010 ). How might this influence marital quality and general well-being over the life course and across different social groups? Greater attention to the quality and context of intergenerational relationships from each family member’s perspective over time may prove fruitful by gaining both parents’ and each child’s perceptions. This work has already yielded important insights, such as the ways in which intergenerational ambivalence (simultaneous positive and negative feelings about intergenerational relationships) from the perspectives of parents and adult children may be detrimental to well-being for both parties ( Fingerman, Pitzer, Lefkowitz, Birditt, & Mroczek, 2008 ; Gilligan, Suitor, Feld, & Pillemer, 2015 ). Future work understanding the perspectives of each family member could also provide leverage in understanding the mixed findings regarding whether living in blended families with stepchildren influences well-being ( Gennetian, 2005 ; Harcourt, Adler-Baeder, Erath, & Pettit, 2013 ) and the long-term implications of these family structures when older adults need care ( Seltzer & Bianchi, 2013 ). Longitudinal data linking generations, paying greater attention to the context of these relationships, and collected from multiple family members can help untangle the ways in which family members influence each other across the life course and how multiple family members’ well-being may be intertwined in important ways.

Future studies should also consider the impact of intersecting structural locations that place unique constraints on family relationships, producing greater stress at some intersections while providing greater resources at other intersections. For example, same-sex couples are less likely to have children ( Carpenter & Gates, 2008 ) and are more likely to provide parental caregiving regardless of gender ( Reczek & Umberson, 2016 ), suggesting important implications for stress and burden in intergenerational caregiving for this group. Much of the work on gender, sexuality, race, and socioeconomic status differences in intergenerational relationships and well-being examine one or two of these statuses, but there may be unique effects at the intersection of these and other statuses such as disability, age, and nativity. Moreover, these effects may vary at different stages of the life course.

Sibling Relationships

Sibling relationships are understudied, and the research on adult siblings is more limited than for other family relationships. Yet, sibling relationships are often the longest lasting family relationship in an individual’s life due to concurrent life spans, and indeed, around 75% of 70-year olds have a living sibling ( Settersten, 2007 ). Some suggest that sibling relationships play a more meaningful role in well-being than is often recognized ( Cicirelli, 2004 ). The available evidence suggests that high quality relationships characterized by closeness with siblings are related to higher levels of well-being ( Bedford & Avioli, 2001 ), whereas sibling relationships characterized by conflict and lack of closeness have been linked to lower well-being in terms of major depression and greater drug use in adulthood ( Waldinger, Vaillant, & Orav, 2007 ). Parental favoritism and disfavoritism of children affects the closeness of siblings ( Gilligan, Suitor, & Nam, 2015 ) and depression ( Jensen, Whiteman, Fingerman, & Birditt, 2013 ). Similar to other family relationships, sibling relationships can be characterized by both positive and negative aspects that may affect elements of the stress process, providing both resources and stressors that influence well-being.

Siblings play important roles in support exchanges and caregiving, especially if their sibling experiences physical impairment and other close ties, such as a spouse or adult children, are not available ( Degeneffe & Burcham, 2008 ; Namkung, Greenberg, & Mailick, 2017 ). Although sibling caregivers report lower well-being than noncaregivers, sibling caregivers experience this lower well-being to a lesser extent than spousal caregivers ( Namkung et al., 2017 ). Most people believe that their siblings would be available to help them in a crisis ( Connidis, 1994 ; Van Volkom, 2006 ), and in general support exchanges, receiving emotional support from a sibling is related to higher levels of well-being among older adults ( Thomas, 2010 ). Relationship quality affects the experience of caregiving, with higher quality sibling relationships linked to greater provision of care ( Eriksen & Gerstel, 2002 ) and a lower likelihood of emotional strain from caregiving ( Mui & Morrow-Howell, 1993 ; Quinn, Clare, & Woods, 2009 ). Taken together, these studies suggest the importance of sibling relationships for well-being across the adult life course.

The gender of the sibling dyad may play a role in the relationship’s effect on well-being, with relationships with sisters perceived as higher quality and linked to higher well-being ( Van Volkom, 2006 ), though some argue that brothers do not show their affection in the same way but nevertheless have similar sentiments towards their siblings ( Bedford & Avioli, 2001 ). General social support exchanges with siblings may be influenced by gender and larger family context; sisters exchanged more support with their siblings when they had higher quality relationships with their parents, but brothers exhibited a more compensatory role, exchanging more emotional support with siblings when they had lower quality relationships with their parents ( Voorpostel & Blieszner, 2008 ). Caregiving for aging parents is also distributed differently by gender, falling disproportionately on female siblings ( Pinquart & Sorensen, 2006 ), and sons provide less care to their parents if they have a sister ( Grigoryeva, 2017 ). However, men in same-sex marriages were more likely than men in different-sex marriages to provide caregiving to parents and parents-in-law ( Reczek & Umberson, 2016 ), which may ease the stress and burden on their female siblings.

Although there is less research in this area, family scholars have noted variations in sibling relationships and their effects by race-ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Lower socioeconomic status has been associated with reports of feeling less attached to siblings and this influences several outcomes such as obesity, depression, and substance use ( Van Gundy et al., 2015 ). Fewer socioeconomic resources can also limit the amount of care siblings provide ( Eriksen & Gerstel, 2002 ). These studies suggest sibling relationship quality as an axis of further disadvantage for already disadvantaged individuals. Sibling relationships may influence caregiving experiences by race as well, with black caregivers more likely to have siblings who also provide care to their parents than white caregivers ( White-Means & Rubin, 2008 ) and sibling caregiving leading to lower well-being among white caregivers than minority caregivers ( Namkung et al., 2017 ).

Research on within-family differences has made great strides in our understanding of family relationships and remains a fruitful area of growth for future research (e.g., Suitor et al., 2017 ). Data gathered on multiple members within the same family can help researchers better investigate how families influence well-being in complex ways, including reciprocal influences between siblings. Siblings may have different perceptions of their relationships with each other, and this may vary by gender and other social statuses. This type of data might be especially useful in understanding family effects in diverse family structures, such as differences in treatment and outcomes of biological versus stepchildren, how characteristics of their relationships such as age differences may play a role, and the implications for caregiving for aging parents and for each other. Moreover, it is important to use longitudinal data to understand the consequences of these within-family differences over time as the life course unfolds. In addition, a greater focus on heterogeneity in sibling relationships and their consequences at the intersection of gender, race-ethnicity, SES, and other social statuses merit further investigation.

Relationships with family members are significant for well-being across the life course ( Merz, Consedine, et al., 2009 ; Umberson, Pudrovska, et al., 2010 ). As individuals age, family relationships often become more complex, with sometimes complicated marital histories, varying relationships with children, competing time pressures, and obligations for care. At the same time, family relationships become more important for well-being as individuals age and social networks diminish even as family caregiving needs increase. Stress process theory suggests that the positive and negative aspects of relationships can have a large impact on the well-being of individuals. Family relationships provide resources that can help an individual cope with stress, engage in healthier behaviors, and enhance self-esteem, leading to higher well-being. However, poor relationship quality, intense caregiving for family members, and marital dissolution are all stressors that can take a toll on an individual’s well-being. Moreover, family relationships also change over the life course, with the potential to share different levels of emotional support and closeness, to take care of us when needed, to add varying levels of stress to our lives, and to need caregiving at different points in the life course. The potential risks and rewards of these relationships have a cumulative impact on health and well-being over the life course. Additionally, structural constraints and disadvantage place greater pressures on some families than others based on structural location such as gender, race, and SES, producing further disadvantage and intergenerational transmission of inequality.

Future research should take into account greater complexity in family relationships, diverse family structures, and intersections of social statuses. The rapid aging of the U.S. population along with significant changes in marriage and families suggest more complex marital and family histories as adults enter late life, which will have a large impact on family dynamics and caregiving. Growing segments of family relationships among older adults include same-sex couples, those without children, and those experiencing marital transitions leading to diverse family structures, which all merit greater attention in future research. Moreover, there is some evidence that strain in relationships can be beneficial for certain health outcomes, and the processes by which this occurs merit further investigation. A greater use of longitudinal data that link generations and obtain information from multiple family members will help researchers better understand the ways in which these complex family relationships unfold across the life course and shape well-being. We also highlighted gender, race-ethnicity, and socioeconomic status differences in each of these family relationships and their impact on well-being; however, many studies only consider one status at a time. Future research should consider the impact of intersecting structural locations that place unique constraints on family relationships, producing greater stress or providing greater resources at the intersections of different statuses.

The changing landscape of families combined with population aging present unique challenges and pressures for families and health care systems. With more experiences of age-related disease in a growing population of older adults as well as more complex family histories as these adults enter late life, such as a growing proportion of diverse family structures without children or with stepchildren, caregiving obligations and availability may be less clear. It is important to address ways to ease caregiving or shift the burden away from families through a variety of policies, such as greater resources for in-home aid, creation of older adult residential communities that facilitate social interactions and social support structures, and patient advocates to help older adults navigate health care systems. Adults in midlife may experience competing family pressures from their young children and aging parents, and policies such as childcare subsidies and paid leave to care for family members could reduce burden during this often stressful time ( Glass et al., 2016 ). Professional help and community services can also reduce the burden for grandparents involved in childcare, enabling grandparents to focus on the more positive aspects of grandparent–grandchild relationships. It is important for future research and health promotion policies to take into account the contexts and complexities of family relationships as part of a multipronged approach to benefit health and well-being, especially as a growing proportion of older adults reach late life.

This work was supported in part by grant, 5 R24 HD042849, Population Research Center, awarded to the Population Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Conflict of Interest

None reported.

  • Bangerter L. R., Liu Y., Kim K., Zarit S. H., Birditt K. S., & Fingerman K. L (2017). Everyday support to aging parents: Links to middle-aged children’s diurnal cortisol and daily mood . The Gerontologist , gnw207. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw207 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Bedford V. H., & Avioli P. S (2001). Variations on sibling intimacy in old age . Generations , 25 , 34–40. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Berkman L. F., Glass T., Brissette I., & Seeman T. E (2000). From social integration to health: Durkheim in the new millennium . Social Science & Medicine , 51 , 843–857. doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00065-4 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Bernard J. (1972). The future of marriage . New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Blustein J., Chan S., & Guanais F. C (2004). Elevated depressive symptoms among caregiving grandparents . Health Services Research , 39 , 1671–1689. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6773.2004.00312.x [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Broman C. L. (2005). Marital quality in black and white marriages . Journal of Family Issues , 26 , 431–441. doi:10.1177/0192513X04272439 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Carpenter C., & Gates G. J (2008). Gay and lesbian partnership: Evidence from California . Demography , 45 , 573–590. doi:10.1353/dem.0.0014 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Carr D., Cornman J. C., & Freedman V. A (2016). Marital quality and negative experienced well-being: An assessment of actor and partner effects among older married persons . Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 71 , 177–187. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbv073 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Carr D., & Springer K. W (2010). Advances in families and health research in the 21st century . Journal of Marriage and Family , 72 , 743–761. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00728.x [ Google Scholar ]
  • Cicirelli V. G. (2004). Midlife sibling relationships in the context of the family . The Gerontologist , 44 , 541. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Cohen S. (2004). Social relationships and health . American Psychologist , 59 , 676–684. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.59.8.676 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Conger R. D., Conger K. J., & Martin M. J (2010). Socioeconomic status, family processes, and individual development . Journal of Marriage and the Family , 72 , 685–704. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00725.x [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Connidis I. A. (1994). Sibling support in older age . Journal of Gerontology , 49 , S309–S318. doi:10.1093/geronj/49.6.S309 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Degeneffe C. E., & Burcham C. M (2008). Adult sibling caregiving for persons with traumatic brain injury: Predictors of affective and instrumental support . Journal of Rehabilitation , 74 , 10–20. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Denney J. T., Gorman B. K., & Barrera C. B (2013). Families, resources, and adult health: Where do sexual minorities fit ? Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 54 , 46. doi:10.1177/0022146512469629 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Donoho C. J., Crimmins E. M., & Seeman T. E (2013). Marital quality, gender, and markers of inflammation in the MIDUS cohort . Journal of Marriage and Family , 75 , 127–141. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2012.01023.x [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Drew L. M., & Silverstein M (2007). Grandparents’ psychological well-being after loss of contact with their grandchildren . Journal of Family Psychology , 21 , 372–379. doi:10.1037/0893-3200.21.3.372 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Dunifon R. E., Ziol-Guest K. M., & Kopko K (2014). Grandparent coresidence and family well-being . The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science , 654 , 110–126. doi:10.1177/0002716214526530 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Edin K., & Kefalas M (2005). Promises I can keep: Why poor women put motherhood before marriage . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Elder G. H., Johnson M. K., & Crosnoe R (2003). The emergence and development of life course theory . In Mortimer J. T. & Shanahan M. J. (Eds.), Handbook of the life course (pp. 3–19). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. doi:10.1007/978-0-306-48247-2_1 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Elliott S., Powell R., & Brenton J (2015). Being a good mom: Low-income, black single mothers negotiate intensive mothering . Journal of Family Issues , 36 , 351–370. doi:10.1177/0192513X13490279 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Ellis R. R., & Simmons T (2014). Coresident grandparents and their grandchildren: 2012 . Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Erickson R. J. (2005). Why emotion work matters: Sex, gender, and the division of household labor . Journal of Marriage and Family , 67 , 337–351. doi:10.1111/j.0022-2445.2005.00120.x [ Google Scholar ]
  • Eriksen S., & Gerstel N (2002). A labor of love or labor itself . Journal of Family Issues , 23 , 836–856. doi:10.1177/019251302236597 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Evans K. L., Millsteed J., Richmond J. E., Falkmer M., Falkmer T., & Girdler S. J (2016). Working sandwich generation women utilize strategies within and between roles to achieve role balance . PLOS ONE , 11 , e0157469. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157469 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Fingerman K. L., Pitzer L., Lefkowitz E. S., Birditt K. S., & Mroczek D (2008). Ambivalent relationship qualities between adults and their parents: Implications for the well-being of both parties . The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 63 , P362–P371. doi:10.1093/geronb/63.6.P362 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Frech A., & Williams K (2007). Depression and the psychological benefits of entering marriage . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 48 , 149. doi:10.1177/002214650704800204 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Fukukawa Y., Tsuboi S., Niino N., Ando F., Kosugi S., & Shimokata H (2000). Effects of social support and self-esteem on depressive symptoms in Japanese middle-aged and elderly people . Journal of Epidemiology , 10 , 63–69. doi:10.2188/jea.10.1sup_63 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Gennetian L. A. (2005). One or two parents? Half or step siblings? The effect of family structure on young children’s achievement . Journal of Population Economics , 18 , 415–436. doi:10.1007/s00148-004-0215-0 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Gerard J. M., Landry-Meyer L., & Roe J. G (2006). Grandparents raising grandchildren: The role of social support in coping with caregiving challenges . The International Journal of Aging and Human Development , 62 , 359–383. doi:10.2190/3796-DMB2-546Q-Y4AQ [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Gilligan M., Suitor J. J., Feld S., & Pillemer K (2015). Do positive feelings hurt? Disaggregating positive and negative components of intergenerational ambivalence . Journal of Marriage and Family , 77 , 261–276. doi:10.1111/jomf.12146 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Gilligan M., Suitor J. J., & Nam S (2015). Maternal differential treatment in later life families and within-family variations in adult sibling closeness . The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 70 , 167–177. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbu148 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Glass J., Simon R. W., & Andersson M. A (2016). Parenthood and happiness: Effects of work-family reconciliation policies in 22 OECD countries . AJS; American Journal of Sociology , 122 , 886–929. doi:10.1086/688892 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Goldsen J., Bryan A., Kim H.-J., Muraco A., Jen S., & Fredriksen-Goldsen K (2017). Who says I do: The changing context of marriage and health and quality of life for LGBT older adults . The Gerontologist , 57 , S50. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw174 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Graham J. E., Christian L. M., & Kiecolt-Glaser J. K (2006). Marriage, health, and immune function: A review of key findings and the role of depression . In Beach S. & Wamboldt M. (Eds.), Relational processes in mental health, Vol. 11 . Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Grigoryeva A. (2017). Own gender, sibling’s gender, parent’s gender: The division of elderly parent care among adult children . American Sociological Review , 82 , 116–146. doi:10.1177/0003122416686521 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Grundy E. (2005). Reciprocity in relationships: Socio-economic and health influences on intergenerational exchanges between third age parents and their adult children in Great Britain . The British Journal of Sociology , 56 , 233–255. doi:10.1111/j.1468-4446.2005.00057.x [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Harcourt K. T., Adler-Baeder F., Erath S., & Pettit G. S (2013). Examining family structure and half-sibling influence on adolescent well-being . Journal of Family Issues , 36 , 250–272. doi:10.1177/0192513X13497350 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Harrington Meyer M. (2014). Grandmothers at work - juggling families and jobs . New York, NY: NYU Press. doi:10.18574/nyu/9780814729236.001.0001 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Hartwell S. W., & Benson P. R (2007). Social integration: A conceptual overview and two case studies . In Avison W. R., McLeod J. D., & Pescosolido B. (Eds.), Mental health, social mirror (pp. 329–353). New York: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-36320-2_14 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Hughes M. E., & Waite L. J (2009). Marital biography and health at mid-life . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 50 , 344. doi:10.1177/002214650905000307 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Jensen A. C., Whiteman S. D., Fingerman K. L., & Birditt K. S (2013). “Life still isn’t fair”: Parental differential treatment of young adult siblings . Journal of Marriage and the Family , 75 , 438–452. doi:10.1111/jomf.12002 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Kawachi I., & Berkman L. F (2001). Social ties and mental health . Journal of Urban Health-Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine , 78 , 458–467. doi:10.1093/jurban/78.3.458 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Kiecolt-Glaser J. K., & Newton T. L (2001). Marriage and health: His and hers . Psychological Bulletin , 127 , 472–503. doi:10.1037//0033-2909.127.4.472 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Kim H.-J., Kang H., & Johnson-Motoyama M (2017). The psychological well-being of grandparents who provide supplementary grandchild care: A systematic review . Journal of Family Studies , 23 , 118–141. doi:10.1080/13229400.2016.1194306 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Koropeckyj-Cox T. (2002). Beyond parental status: Psychological well-being in middle and old age . Journal of Marriage and Family , 64 , 957–971. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2002.00957.x [ Google Scholar ]
  • Lee E., Clarkson-Hendrix M., & Lee Y (2016). Parenting stress of grandparents and other kin as informal kinship caregivers: A mixed methods study . Children and Youth Services Review , 69 , 29–38. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.07.013 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Lee G. R., & Demaris A (2007). Widowhood, gender, and depression: A longitudinal analysis . Research on Aging , 29 , 56–72. doi:10.1177/0164027506294098 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Lipowicz A. (2014). Some evidence for health-related marriage selection . American Journal of Human Biology , 26 , 747–752. doi:10.1002/ajhb.22588 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Liu H., Reczek C., & Brown D (2013). Same-sex cohabitors and health: The role of race-ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 54 , 25. doi:10.1177/0022146512468280 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Liu H., & Umberson D. J (2008). The times they are a changin’: Marital status and health differentials from 1972 to 2003 . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 49 , 239–253. doi:10.1177/002214650804900301 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Liu H., & Waite L (2014). Bad marriage, broken heart? Age and gender differences in the link between marital quality and cardiovascular risks among older adults . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 55 , 403–423 doi:10.1177/0022146514556893 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Liu H., Waite L., & Shen S (2016). Diabetes risk and disease management in later life: A national longitudinal study of the role of marital quality . Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 71 , 1070–1080. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbw061 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Lorenz F. O., Wickrama K. A. S., Conger R. D., & Elder G. H (2006). The short-term and decade-long effects of divorce on women’s midlife health . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 47 , 111–125. doi:10.1177/002214650604700202 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Mahne K., & Huxhold O (2015). Grandparenthood and subjective well-being: Moderating effects of educational level . The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 70 , 782–792. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbu147 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • McQuillan J., Greil A. L., Shreffler K. M., & Tichenor V (2008). The importance of motherhood among women in the contemporary United States . Gender & Society , 22 , 477–496. doi:10.1177/0891243208319359 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Merz E.-M., Consedine N. S., Schulze H.-J., & Schuengel C (2009). Well-being of adult children and ageing parents: Associations with intergenerational support and relationship quality . Ageing & Society , 29 , 783–802. doi:10.1017/s0144686x09008514 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Merz E.-M., Schuengel C., & Schulze H.-J (2009). Intergenerational relations across 4 years: Well-being is affected by quality, not by support exchange . Gerontologist , 49 , 536–548. doi:10.1093/geront/gnp043 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Merz E.-M., Schulze H.-J., & Schuengel C (2010). Consequences of filial support for two generations: A narrative and quantitative review . Journal of Family Issues , 31 , 1530–1554. doi:10.1177/0192513x10365116 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Milkie M. A., Bierman A., & Schieman S (2008). How adult children influence older parents’ mental health: Integrating stress-process and life-course perspectives . Social Psychology Quarterly , 71 , 86. doi:10.1177/019027250807100109 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Morelli S. A., Lee I. A., Arnn M. E., & Zaki J (2015). Emotional and instrumental support provision interact to predict well-being . Emotion , 15 , 484–493. doi:10.1037/emo0000084 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Mui A. C., & Morrow-Howell N (1993). Sources of emotional strain among the oldest caregivers . Research on Aging , 15 , 50–69. doi:10.1177/0164027593151003 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Musick K., & Bumpass L (2012). Reexamining the case for marriage: Union formation and changes in well-being . Journal of Marriage and Family , 74 , 1–18. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2011.00873.x [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Namkung E. H., Greenberg J. S., & Mailick M. R (2017). Well-being of sibling caregivers: Effects of kinship relationship and race . The Gerontologist , 57 , 626–636. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw008 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Ng D. M., & Jeffery R. W (2003). Relationships between perceived stress and health behaviors in a sample of working adults . Health Psychology , 22 , 638–642. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.22.6.638 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Nomaguchi K. M., & Milkie M. A (2003). Costs and rewards of children: The effects of becoming a parent on adults’ lives . Journal of Marriage and Family , 65 , 356–374. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2003.00356.x 0022-2445 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Nomaguchi K. M., Milkie M. A., & Bianchi S. B (2005). Time strains and psychological well-being: Do dual-earner mothers and fathers differ ? Journal of Family Issues , 26 , 756–792. doi:10.1177/0192513X05277524 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Pearlin L. I. (1999). Stress and mental health: A conceptual overview . In Horwitz A. V. & Scheid T. (Eds.), A Handbook for the study of mental health: Social contexts, theories, and systems (pp. 161–175). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Pienta A. M., Hayward M. D., & Jenkins K. R (2000). Health consequences of marriage for the retirement years . Journal of Family Issues , 21 , 559–586. doi:10.1177/019251300021005003 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Pinquart M., & Soerensen S (2007). Correlates of physical health of informal caregivers: A meta-analysis . Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 62 , P126–P137. doi:10.1093/geronb/62.2.P126 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Pinquart M., & Sorensen S (2006). Gender differences in caregiver stressors, social resources, and health: An updated meta-analysis . Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 61 , P33–P45. doi:10.1093/geronb/61.1.P33 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Polenick C. A., DePasquale N., Eggebeen D. J., Zarit S. H., & Fingerman K. L (2016). Relationship quality between older fathers and middle-aged children: Associations with both parties’ subjective well-being . The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , gbw094. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbw094 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Quinn C., Clare L., & Woods B (2009). The impact of the quality of relationship on the experiences and wellbeing of caregivers of people with dementia: A systematic review . Aging & Mental Health , 13 , 143–154. doi:10.1080/13607860802459799 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Reczek C., Liu H., & Spiker R (2014). A population-based study of alcohol use in same-sex and different-sex unions . Journal of Marriage and Family , 76 , 557–572. doi:10.1111/jomf.12113 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Reczek C., Thomeer M. B., Lodge A. C., Umberson D., & Underhill M (2014). Diet and exercise in parenthood: A social control perspective . Journal of Marriage and Family , 76 , 1047–1062. doi:10.1111/jomf.12135 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Reczek C., & Umberson D (2016). Greedy spouse, needy parent: The marital dynamics of gay, lesbian, and heterosexual intergenerational caregivers . Journal of Marriage and Family , 78 , 957–974. doi:10.1111/jomf.12318 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Rendall M. S., Weden M. M., Favreault M. M., & Waldron H (2011). The protective effect of marriage for survival: A review and update . Demography , 48 , 481. doi:10.1007/s13524-011-0032-5 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Revenson T. A., Griva K., Luszczynska A., Morrison V., Panagopoulou E., Vilchinsky N., & Hagedoorn M (2016). Gender and caregiving: The costs of caregiving for women . In Caregiving in the Illness Context (pp. 48–63). London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. doi:10.1057/9781137558985.0008 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Rook K. S. (2014). The health effects of negative social exchanges in later life . Generations , 38 , 15–23. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Sbarra D. A. (2009). Marriage protects men from clinically meaningful elevations in C-reactive protein: Results from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP) . Psychosomatic Medicine , 71 , 828. doi:10.1097/PSY.0b013e3181b4c4f2 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Seeman T. E., Singer B. H., Ryff C. D., Love G. D., & Levy-Storms L (2002). Social relationships, gender, and allostatic load across two age cohorts . Psychosomatic Medicine , 64 , 395–406. doi:10.1097/00006842-200205000-00004 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Seltzer J. A., & Bianchi S. M (2013). Demographic change and parent-child relationships in adulthood . Annual Review of Sociology , 39 , 275–290. doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-071312-145602 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Settersten R. A. (2007). Social relationships in the new demographic regime: Potentials and risks, reconsidered . Advances in Life Course Research , 12 , 3–28. doi:10.1016/S1040-2608(07)12001–3 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Silverstein M., Gans D., & Yang F. M (2006). Intergenerational support to aging parents: The role of norms and needs . Journal of Family Issues , 27 , 1068–1084. doi:10.1177/0192513X06288120 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Simon R. W. (2002). Revisiting the relationships among gender, marital status, and mental health . The American Journal of Sociology , 107 , 1065–1096. doi:10.1086/339225 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Stone P. (2007). Opting out? Why women really quit careers and head home . Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Suitor J. J., Gilligan M., Pillemer K., Fingerman K. L., Kim K., Silverstein M., & Bengtson V. L (2017). Applying within-family differences approaches to enhance understanding of the complexity of intergenerational relations . Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , gbx037. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbx037 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Swartz T. (2009). Intergenerational family relations in adulthood: Patterns, variations, and implications in the contemporary United States . Annual Review of Sociology , 35 , 191–212. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.34.040507.134615 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Symister P., & Friend R (2003). The influence of social support and problematic support on optimism and depression in chronic illness: A prospective study evaluating self-esteem as a mediator . Health Psychology , 22 , 123–129. doi:10.1037/0278-6133.22.2.123 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Thoits P. A. (2010). Stress and health: Major findings and policy implications . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 51 , S41–S53. doi:10.1177/0022146510383499 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Thomas P. A. (2010). Is it better to give or to receive? Social support and the well-being of older adults . Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 65 , 351–357. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbp113 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Thomas P. A. (2016). The impact of relationship-specific support and strain on depressive symptoms across the life course . Journal of Aging and Health , 28 , 363–382. doi:10.1177/0898264315591004 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Thomas P. A., & Umberson D (2017). Do older parents’ relationships with their adult children affect cognitive limitations, and does this differ for mothers and fathers ? Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , gbx009. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbx009 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., Crosnoe R., & Reczek C (2010). Social relationships and health behavior across the life course . Annual Review of Sociology, Vol 36 , 36 , 139–157. doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-120011 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., & Montez J. K (2010). Social relationships and health: A flashpoint for health policy . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 51 , S54–S66. doi:10.1177/0022146510383501 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., Pudrovska T., & Reczek C (2010). Parenthood, childlessness, and well-being: A life course perspective . Journal of Marriage and Family , 72 , 612–629. doi:10.1111/j.1741- 3737.2010.00721.x [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., Thomeer M. B., Kroeger R. A., Lodge A. C., & Xu M (2015). Challenges and opportunities for research on same-sex relationships . Journal of Marriage and Family , 77 , 96–111. doi:10.1111/jomf.12155 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., Thomeer M. B., Reczek C., & Donnelly R (2016). Physical illness in gay, lesbian, and heterosexual marriages: Gendered dyadic experiences . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 57 , 517. doi:10.1177/0022146516671570 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., Williams K., Powers D. A., Liu H., & Needham B (2006). You make me sick: Marital quality and health over the life course . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 47 , 1–16. doi:10.1177/002214650604700101 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., Williams K., Thomas P. A., Liu H., & Thomeer M. B (2014). Race, gender, and chains of disadvantage: Childhood adversity, social relationships, and health . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 55 , 20–38. doi:10.1177/ 0022146514521426 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Umberson D., Williams K., & Thomeer M. B (2013). Family status and mental health: Recent advances and future directions . In Aneshensel C. S. & Phelan J. C. (Eds.), Handbook of the sociology of mental health (2nd edn, pp. 405–431). Dordrecht: Springer Publishing. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-4276-5_20 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Van Gundy K. T., Mills M. L., Tucker C. J., Rebellon C. J., Sharp E. H., & Stracuzzi N. F (2015). Socioeconomic strain, family ties, and adolescent health in a rural northeastern county . Rural Sociology , 80 , 60–85. doi:10.1111/ruso.12055 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Van Volkom M. (2006). Sibling relationships in middle and older adulthood . Marriage & Family Review , 40 , 151–170. doi:10.1300/J002v40n02_08 [ Google Scholar ]
  • Voorpostel M., & Blieszner R (2008). Intergenerational solidarity and support between adult siblings . Journal of Marriage and Family , 70 , 157–167. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2007.00468.x [ Google Scholar ]
  • Waite L. J., & Gallager M (2000). The case for marriage: Why married people are happier, healthier, and better off financially . New York: Doubleday. [ Google Scholar ]
  • Waldinger R. J., Vaillant G. E., & Orav E. J (2007). Childhood sibling relationships as a predictor of major depression in adulthood: A 30-year prospective study . American Journal of Psychiatry , 164 , 949–954. doi:10.1176/ajp.2007.164.6.949 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • White-Means S. I., & Rubin R. M (2008). Parent caregiving choices of middle-generation blacks and whites in the United States . Journal of Aging and Health , 20 , 560–582. doi:10.1177/0898264308317576 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Williams K. (2003). Has the future of marriage arrived? A contemporary examination of gender, marriage, and psychological well-being . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 44 , 470. doi:10.2307/1519794 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Williams K. (2004). The transition to widowhood and the social regulation of health: Consequences for health and health risk behavior . Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 59 , S343–S349. doi:10.1093/ geronb/59.6.S343 [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Williams K., & Umberson D (2004). Marital status, marital transitions, and health: A gendered life course perspective . Journal of Health and Social Behavior , 45 , 81–98. doi:10.1177/002214650404500106 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Xu M., Thomas P. A., & Umberson D (2016). Marital quality and cognitive limitations in late life . The Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences , 71 , 165–176. doi:10.1093/geronb/gbv014 [ PMC free article ] [ PubMed ] [ Google Scholar ]
  • Zhang Z., & Hayward M. D (2006). Gender, the marital life course, and cardiovascular disease in late midlife . Journal of Marriage and Family , 68 , 639–657. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3737.2006.00280.x [ Google Scholar ]

Frequently asked questions

Why do i need a thesis statement.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Frequently asked questions: Writing an essay

For a stronger conclusion paragraph, avoid including:

  • Important evidence or analysis that wasn’t mentioned in the main body
  • Generic concluding phrases (e.g. “In conclusion…”)
  • Weak statements that undermine your argument (e.g. “There are good points on both sides of this issue.”)

Your conclusion should leave the reader with a strong, decisive impression of your work.

Your essay’s conclusion should contain:

  • A rephrased version of your overall thesis
  • A brief review of the key points you made in the main body
  • An indication of why your argument matters

The conclusion may also reflect on the broader implications of your argument, showing how your ideas could applied to other contexts or debates.

The conclusion paragraph of an essay is usually shorter than the introduction . As a rule, it shouldn’t take up more than 10–15% of the text.

An essay is a focused piece of writing that explains, argues, describes, or narrates.

In high school, you may have to write many different types of essays to develop your writing skills.

Academic essays at college level are usually argumentative : you develop a clear thesis about your topic and make a case for your position using evidence, analysis and interpretation.

The “hook” is the first sentence of your essay introduction . It should lead the reader into your essay, giving a sense of why it’s interesting.

To write a good hook, avoid overly broad statements or long, dense sentences. Try to start with something clear, concise and catchy that will spark your reader’s curiosity.

Your essay introduction should include three main things, in this order:

  • An opening hook to catch the reader’s attention.
  • Relevant background information that the reader needs to know.
  • A thesis statement that presents your main point or argument.

The length of each part depends on the length and complexity of your essay .

Let’s say you’re writing a five-paragraph  essay about the environmental impacts of dietary choices. Here are three examples of topic sentences you could use for each of the three body paragraphs :

  • Research has shown that the meat industry has severe environmental impacts.
  • However, many plant-based foods are also produced in environmentally damaging ways.
  • It’s important to consider not only what type of diet we eat, but where our food comes from and how it is produced.

Each of these sentences expresses one main idea – by listing them in order, we can see the overall structure of the essay at a glance. Each paragraph will expand on the topic sentence with relevant detail, evidence, and arguments.

The topic sentence usually comes at the very start of the paragraph .

However, sometimes you might start with a transition sentence to summarize what was discussed in previous paragraphs, followed by the topic sentence that expresses the focus of the current paragraph.

Topic sentences help keep your writing focused and guide the reader through your argument.

In an essay or paper , each paragraph should focus on a single idea. By stating the main idea in the topic sentence, you clarify what the paragraph is about for both yourself and your reader.

A topic sentence is a sentence that expresses the main point of a paragraph . Everything else in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

An essay isn’t just a loose collection of facts and ideas. Instead, it should be centered on an overarching argument (summarized in your thesis statement ) that every part of the essay relates to.

The way you structure your essay is crucial to presenting your argument coherently. A well-structured essay helps your reader follow the logic of your ideas and understand your overall point.

The structure of an essay is divided into an introduction that presents your topic and thesis statement , a body containing your in-depth analysis and arguments, and a conclusion wrapping up your ideas.

The structure of the body is flexible, but you should always spend some time thinking about how you can organize your essay to best serve your ideas.

The vast majority of essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Almost all academic writing involves building up an argument, though other types of essay might be assigned in composition classes.

Essays can present arguments about all kinds of different topics. For example:

  • In a literary analysis essay, you might make an argument for a specific interpretation of a text
  • In a history essay, you might present an argument for the importance of a particular event
  • In a politics essay, you might argue for the validity of a certain political theory

At high school and in composition classes at university, you’ll often be told to write a specific type of essay , but you might also just be given prompts.

Look for keywords in these prompts that suggest a certain approach: The word “explain” suggests you should write an expository essay , while the word “describe” implies a descriptive essay . An argumentative essay might be prompted with the word “assess” or “argue.”

In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.

Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.

Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.

The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.

The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.

Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.

You should try to follow your outline as you write your essay . However, if your ideas change or it becomes clear that your structure could be better, it’s okay to depart from your essay outline . Just make sure you know why you’re doing so.

If you have to hand in your essay outline , you may be given specific guidelines stating whether you have to use full sentences. If you’re not sure, ask your supervisor.

When writing an essay outline for yourself, the choice is yours. Some students find it helpful to write out their ideas in full sentences, while others prefer to summarize them in short phrases.

You will sometimes be asked to hand in an essay outline before you start writing your essay . Your supervisor wants to see that you have a clear idea of your structure so that writing will go smoothly.

Even when you do not have to hand it in, writing an essay outline is an important part of the writing process . It’s a good idea to write one (as informally as you like) to clarify your structure for yourself whenever you are working on an essay.

Comparisons in essays are generally structured in one of two ways:

  • The alternating method, where you compare your subjects side by side according to one specific aspect at a time.
  • The block method, where you cover each subject separately in its entirety.

It’s also possible to combine both methods, for example by writing a full paragraph on each of your topics and then a final paragraph contrasting the two according to a specific metric.

Your subjects might be very different or quite similar, but it’s important that there be meaningful grounds for comparison . You can probably describe many differences between a cat and a bicycle, but there isn’t really any connection between them to justify the comparison.

You’ll have to write a thesis statement explaining the central point you want to make in your essay , so be sure to know in advance what connects your subjects and makes them worth comparing.

Some essay prompts include the keywords “compare” and/or “contrast.” In these cases, an essay structured around comparing and contrasting is the appropriate response.

Comparing and contrasting is also a useful approach in all kinds of academic writing : You might compare different studies in a literature review , weigh up different arguments in an argumentative essay , or consider different theoretical approaches in a theoretical framework .

The key difference is that a narrative essay is designed to tell a complete story, while a descriptive essay is meant to convey an intense description of a particular place, object, or concept.

Narrative and descriptive essays both allow you to write more personally and creatively than other kinds of essays , and similar writing skills can apply to both.

If you’re not given a specific prompt for your descriptive essay , think about places and objects you know well, that you can think of interesting ways to describe, or that have strong personal significance for you.

The best kind of object for a descriptive essay is one specific enough that you can describe its particular features in detail—don’t choose something too vague or general.

If you’re not given much guidance on what your narrative essay should be about, consider the context and scope of the assignment. What kind of story is relevant, interesting, and possible to tell within the word count?

The best kind of story for a narrative essay is one you can use to reflect on a particular theme or lesson, or that takes a surprising turn somewhere along the way.

Don’t worry too much if your topic seems unoriginal. The point of a narrative essay is how you tell the story and the point you make with it, not the subject of the story itself.

Narrative essays are usually assigned as writing exercises at high school or in university composition classes. They may also form part of a university application.

When you are prompted to tell a story about your own life or experiences, a narrative essay is usually the right response.

The majority of the essays written at university are some sort of argumentative essay . Unless otherwise specified, you can assume that the goal of any essay you’re asked to write is argumentative: To convince the reader of your position using evidence and reasoning.

In composition classes you might be given assignments that specifically test your ability to write an argumentative essay. Look out for prompts including instructions like “argue,” “assess,” or “discuss” to see if this is the goal.

At college level, you must properly cite your sources in all essays , research papers , and other academic texts (except exams and in-class exercises).

Add a citation whenever you quote , paraphrase , or summarize information or ideas from a source. You should also give full source details in a bibliography or reference list at the end of your text.

The exact format of your citations depends on which citation style you are instructed to use. The most common styles are APA , MLA , and Chicago .

An argumentative essay tends to be a longer essay involving independent research, and aims to make an original argument about a topic. Its thesis statement makes a contentious claim that must be supported in an objective, evidence-based way.

An expository essay also aims to be objective, but it doesn’t have to make an original argument. Rather, it aims to explain something (e.g., a process or idea) in a clear, concise way. Expository essays are often shorter assignments and rely less on research.

An expository essay is a common assignment in high-school and university composition classes. It might be assigned as coursework, in class, or as part of an exam.

Sometimes you might not be told explicitly to write an expository essay. Look out for prompts containing keywords like “explain” and “define.” An expository essay is usually the right response to these prompts.

An expository essay is a broad form that varies in length according to the scope of the assignment.

Expository essays are often assigned as a writing exercise or as part of an exam, in which case a five-paragraph essay of around 800 words may be appropriate.

You’ll usually be given guidelines regarding length; if you’re not sure, ask.

Ask our team

Want to contact us directly? No problem.  We  are always here for you.

Support team - Nina

Our team helps students graduate by offering:

  • A world-class citation generator
  • Plagiarism Checker software powered by Turnitin
  • Innovative Citation Checker software
  • Professional proofreading services
  • Over 300 helpful articles about academic writing, citing sources, plagiarism, and more

Scribbr specializes in editing study-related documents . We proofread:

  • PhD dissertations
  • Research proposals
  • Personal statements
  • Admission essays
  • Motivation letters
  • Reflection papers
  • Journal articles
  • Capstone projects

Scribbr’s Plagiarism Checker is powered by elements of Turnitin’s Similarity Checker , namely the plagiarism detection software and the Internet Archive and Premium Scholarly Publications content databases .

The add-on AI detector is powered by Scribbr’s proprietary software.

The Scribbr Citation Generator is developed using the open-source Citation Style Language (CSL) project and Frank Bennett’s citeproc-js . It’s the same technology used by dozens of other popular citation tools, including Mendeley and Zotero.

You can find all the citation styles and locales used in the Scribbr Citation Generator in our publicly accessible repository on Github .

Writing Right

Quotations: The Protein of Academic Writing

Internship Journal 2

Importance of a Thesis Statement

  • By Mackenzie Tabler in Uncategorized

Starting college can be extremely scary with all of the new concepts being thrown at you. It is a whole new way of living and the work can be very different. Writing is crucial to many college classes. Unlike high school level writing, college level writing can be a bit more thorough. Professors tend to look for key elements in your essays. One of the most essential parts to any essay is the thesis statement. Learning how to form a thesis statement is very important. A thesis statement is an imperative trait to form a strong essay. Normally one or two sentences, a thesis unifies and provides direction for a piece of writing.

There are two main reasons why thesis statements are so important for an essay.

  • First, the writer develops a thesis to create a focus on an essay’s main idea. It is important for the writer to be able to write the main idea in a few sentences to create a clear idea for the paper. Not only does the thesis guide the reader, but also the writer. The thesis provides direction to help the writer keep their paper organized.
  • Second, having a well-crafted thesis statement helps the reader understand the main idea of the essay. The thesis statement sets the reader up for the rest of the essay. Usually at the end of the introduction paragraph, the thesis leads into the body paragraph, which provides evidence and ideas to back up the thesis. The thesis statement is important because it tells the audience what they will be reading about.

Because thesis statements are essential in any essay, it is important for writers to understand what makes up a solid thesis. As the basis of an essay, a thesis must support three things: audience, purpose, and content. This basically just means answer who, why, and what in your thesis. Who are you writing this thesis for? Be sure to identify the audience to clarify who your paper is for. Why are you writing this thesis? Establish a purpose to ensure that the reader knows the direction of your paper. What will be included in this thesis? Determine the key points of your essay and include them in your thesis.

Here is a comparison to help you understand the importance: The role of a thesis statement is like the role of the sun in the solar system. Just as the planets orbit the sun in the solar system, the different parts of an essay orbit the thesis statement. The planets feed off of the sun, just like the body paragraphs and conclusion feed off of the thesis.

Your audience should be able to easily find the thesis in your essay. The thesis statement should be clear and concise so the reader can identify it and efficiently understand the meaning of the paper. If someone can’t find the thesis in your essay, go back and make sure that you created a meaningful and well-understood thesis.

All styles of writing are different, but a strong thesis is something that they all share.

' src=

Mackenzie Tabler

© 2024 Writing Right.

Made with by Graphene Themes .

We use cookies to enhance our website for you. Proceed if you agree to this policy or learn more about it.

  • Essay Database >
  • Essays Samples >
  • Essay Types >
  • Thesis Statement Example

Family Thesis Statements Samples For Students

17 samples of this type

WowEssays.com paper writer service proudly presents to you an open-access database of Family Thesis Statements intended to help struggling students tackle their writing challenges. In a practical sense, each Family Thesis Statement sample presented here may be a guide that walks you through the crucial stages of the writing procedure and showcases how to pen an academic work that hits the mark. Besides, if you require more visionary assistance, these examples could give you a nudge toward a fresh Family Thesis Statement topic or encourage a novice approach to a banal subject.

In case this is not enough to satisfy the thirst for efficient writing help, you can request customized assistance in the form of a model Thesis Statement on Family crafted by a pro writer from scratch and tailored to your particular requirements. Be it a simple 2-page paper or a sophisticated, extended piece, our writers specialized in Family and related topics will deliver it within the pre-agreed timeframe. Buy cheap essays or research papers now!

Spring 2016 Thesis Statements Example

Italian women writers, marriage vs. military member thesis statement sample, marriage vs. military service member, good example of thesis statement on easier access to contraceptives to teenagers.

Don't waste your time searching for a sample.

Get your thesis statement done by professional writers!

Just from $10/page

Good Subculture Theories Application Thesis Statement Example


The paper is a case study that focuses on subculture theories. As such, the paper will take an application approach where the theory is explored in the context of Pachuco subculture. The subculture relates to Mexican-American gang which developed in the 1930s (Sanchez, n.d.). The subculture was characterized by delinquent behavior thus forming a suitable case to apply the subculture theories.

Understanding the Emergence of Pachuco Subculture

Good example of thesis statement on child abuse, why divorce in western countries is high thesis statements examples, dreaming and working {type) to use as a writing model, free the three major aspects of industrialization between 1865 and 1920 included: thesis statement sample, industrialization after the civil war, an analysis of morrison’s “recitatif” thesis statement, emerging technology: a top-quality thesis statement for your inspiration, emerging technology – smart homes.

Thesis Statement Smart home technology should become widespread as it has the potential of improving residential energy efficiency, by determining optimal appliance settings and usage schedule. Moreover, it can be utilized for assisted living applications, significantly improving the quality of life of the elderly or disabled.


A-level thesis statement on child sex trafficking in south asia for free use, example of thesis statement on genetic testing, introduction, good thesis statement on bioethics position paragraph, good thesis statement about three major aspects of industrialization between 1865 and 1920 that impacted the communities, economy, and politics of the united states., thesis and outline: industrialization after the civil war.

Thesis Statement An analysis of the period that followed the American Civil War reveals changes in the economic, political, and social spheres as the country shifted from an agrarian society to an industrial one.

Essay Outline

Free thesis statement on history:, the civil rights movement, corporate citizenship: alibaba thesis statement template for faster writing, registered nurses: free sample thesis statement to follow.

Thesis statement: The occupation of a Registered Nurse seems to take an enormous amount of responsibility. The duties of a Registered Nurse are many. Nurses also "assist physicians during treatments and examinations." The jobs of a Registered Nurse will be a challenge for me. The working conditions of a nurse range from one extreme to the next.

Password recovery email has been sent to [email protected]

Use your new password to log in

You are not register!

By clicking Register, you agree to our Terms of Service and that you have read our Privacy Policy .

Now you can download documents directly to your device!

Check your email! An email with your password has already been sent to you! Now you can download documents directly to your device.

or Use the QR code to Save this Paper to Your Phone

The sample is NOT original!

Short on a deadline?

Don't waste time. Get help with 11% off using code - GETWOWED

No, thanks! I'm fine with missing my deadline

Thesis Statement About Family

There are many different types of families, and each one has its own way of functioning. The family is the basic unit of society, and as such, it is important to understand how it works.

The family system thesis is a theory that suggests that the family is the basic unit of society, and that it plays a vital role in socializing children. According to this theory, the family is responsible for providing love, support, and structure to its members. Additionally, the family is believed to be responsible for transmitting values and beliefs to its members.

This theory has been used to explain many different phenomena, including child abuse and neglect. It has also been used to explain why some parenting styles are more effective than others. Additionally, the family system thesis can help to explain why some families are more successful than others.

Overall, the family system thesis is a theory that can help to explain many different aspects of family life. It is important to remember, however, that every family is different, and that this theory should not be used to judge or compare families. Instead, it should be used as a tool to better understand how families work and what their role is in society.

Families are dynamic and interdependent networks in today’s world. The children’s developmental processes are influenced by the family system’s operation. A family’s structure, on the other hand, does not determine whether it is a healthy family system. There are single parents, stepfathers, divorced parents, remarried parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles among today’s families.

The family system thesis posits that all families are systems, and each family system has its own unique structure and function. The family system thesis states that the family is the basic unit of society. The family is a social institution that plays a vital role in the socialization of children. The family is also the primary source of love, support, and care for its members.The family system thesis further states that the family is a key factor in the development and well-being of its members.

The family provides love, support, security, and stability to its members. It also helps to socialize children and prepare them for adulthood. In addition, the family promotes the physical, psychological, and emotional health of its members.

The family system thesis has important implications for child development and family functioning. It suggests that the family is a crucial factor in the development of children. It also suggests that the family plays a vital role in the well-being of its members. The family system thesis has important implications for social policy and practice. It suggests that policies and programs should focus on strengthening families and supporting their functioning.

By meeting each family member’s needs and encouraging good communication, they can all help to maintain a healthy family system (Jamiolkowski, 2008). A child’s physical and emotional health are both harmed by an unhealthy family structure. An ill family arrangement has both negative and permanent consequences on a youngster’s brain and social development.

It can lead to physical and emotional problems in children such as anxiety, depression, attachment issues, and eating disorders (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

There are many different types of families, and each family has its own way of functioning. The type of family system a child grows up in can have a big impact on their development. There are four main types of family systems: nuclear families, extended families, single-parent families, and blended families.

Nuclear families are the most common type of family in the United States. A nuclear family is typically composed of a mother, father, and their children. In some cases, grandparents may also be part of the nuclear family (Jamiolkowski, 2008). Nuclear families usually live in the same house and have a close relationship.

Extended families are larger than nuclear families and typically include grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Extended family members often live close to each other and help support each other. In some cultures, extended family members may even live in the same house (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

Single-parent families are becoming more common in the United States. In a single-parent family, there is only one parent raising the children. The other parent is either not present or not involved in the child’s life. Single-parent families can be either nuclear or extended families (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

Blended families are created when two people with children from previous relationships get married or start a relationship. The children from both families become step-siblings. Blended families often have to work hard to create a new family system that works for everyone (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

No matter what type of family system a child grows up in, there are certain things that all families need in order to function well. Families need love, support, communication, and respect. They also need to be able to solve problems and deal with conflict in a healthy way. When families have these things, they are more likely to be happy and functional.

A healthy family system is a family unit in which each person’s requirements are met. These needs include safety, security, survival, love and belonging, as well as self-esteem and developmental abilities. The members of a healthy family structure share an affection for one another, respect one another, and follow certain rules to safeguard and improve the welfare of each member (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

A dysfunctional family system is a family unit in which the needs of the members are not being met. In these families, there is often conflict, violence, and/or abuse. The members of dysfunctional families may not have a close relationship with one another and may not show respect for one another. There may also be a lack of rules or boundary violations within the family (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

There are many reasons why families become dysfunctional. One reason may be because of child abuse. Child abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. It can also include neglect, which is when a parent fails to provide for their child’s basic needs. Child abuse can have lasting effects on a child’s development, and can even lead to problems in adulthood (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

Another reason why families may become dysfunctional is due to parenting styles. Parenting styles are the ways in which parents interact with and raise their children. There are four main types of parenting styles: authoritarian, permissive, uninvolved, and authoritative.

Authoritarian parents are very strict and have high expectations for their children. Permissive parents are more lenient and do not have as many rules or expectations for their children. Uninvolved parents are generally uninterested in their children’s lives and do not provide much support. Authoritative parents are supportive and have high expectations for their children (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

Families can also become dysfunctional due to substance abuse. Substance abuse is a major problem in many families and can lead to a number of problems, such as financial difficulties, job loss, and legal issues. It can also cause strain on relationships and lead to conflict within the family (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

There are many ways to help dysfunctional families get back on track. Family therapy is one way to help families make changes and improve communication. Parent education classes can also be helpful for parents who want to learn more about how to effectively parent their children. Individual counseling may also be beneficial for family members who are struggling with personal issues (Jamiolkowski, 2008).

No matter what the reason is for a family’s dysfunction, it is important to seek help if you are struggling. There are many resources available to help families make changes and get back on track. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.

More Essays

  • Essay On Dysfunctional Family
  • Mother To Son Thesis Statement
  • Thesis Statement Chronicle Of A Death Foretold
  • Old World Technology Thesis Statement Essay
  • Dysfunctional family relationships
  • A Sound Of Thunder Thesis Statement
  • Definition Of Family Essay
  • Family Cohesion Research Paper
  • Family Conflict Essay
  • Canadian Family Enetering 21st

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Thesis Station

Thesis: importance of family.

Sample Thesis Paper

The family serves as the basic unit of society and is therefore generally the first interface to which health problems in a society are exposed. Christensen (2004) asserts that the family serves as the determinant of daily patterns and actions that the individuals in the family carry out. The family therefore plays a significant role as a unit of society in deterring what elements of society the members of the family are exposed.

The family unit contributes to the maintenance of healthcare in the form of a system through the tendency of the family unit to establish routines and mutually recognized patterns of behavior of daily life. According to Christensen (2004) a family traditionally chooses to give health care a specific and unique focus of attention. The role of the family as a system to promote family health care also comes into play when considered in light of the fact that the system serves to dictate norms followed for food distribution, ratio between consumption of home-cooked food and pre-cooked food bought from outside and involvement in the care of elderly family members as well as involvement in the care of children.

Please order custom thesis paper, dissertation , term paper , research paper, essay , book report , case study from the Order Now page.

thesis statement importance of family

Related Posts

Sample Thesis Paper Once the veteran is diagnosed with and the recommendation for admission is…

Sample Thesis Paper These social advances extended to the 50s, as women were able to…

Sample Thesis Paper Social work is a specific term within the social sciences which addresses…

web analytics

Brothers tried to fight off mountain lion during fatal attack, family says

GEORGETOWN, Calif. (AP) - Two brothers who were attacked, one fatally, by a mountain lion in Northern California over the weekend tried to scare the cougar away once they realized it was stalking them, and then fought with the animal after it pounced, according to a family statement Monday.

Taylen Robert Claude Brooks, 21, was killed Saturday in a remote area northeast of Sacramento in the first fatal encounter with a mountain lion in the state in two decades. His 18-year-old brother, Wyatt Jay Charles Brooks, survived and is expected to recover after multiple surgeries.

“We are all devastated by the tragic loss of Taylen yet thankful Wyatt is still with us and are well-aware the outcome could have been even worse,” the family statement said. “These two young men being as close as any two brothers could be, lived a full energetic life enjoying the outdoors.”

Brothers Taylen Brooks, 21, (left) and Wyatt Brooks, 18, were attacked by a mountain lion...

The statement, which was provided to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office , included pictures of both young men.

The brothers from rural Mount Aukum were hunting for shed antlers Saturday afternoon near Georgetown, a historic town about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of the state capital. They had hunted and fished together almost daily.

They were walking along the edge of a dirt road around 1 p.m. when they noticed the mountain lion. As they were taught, the brothers raised their hands in the air to appear larger, shouted and threw a backpack at the lion in an attempt to scare it away, the family statement said.

Instead of retreating, the cougar charged and took the younger brother to the ground by his face.

“While Taylen beat on and yelled at the lion, Wyatt was able to wrestle the lion to the ground with him on top of the lion. The lion began clawing at Wyatt’s midsection causing Wyatt to release his grip. At that point, the lion released Wyatt, got up and charged Taylen, biting Taylen in the throat and taking Taylen to the ground,” the statement said.

Taylen Robert Claude Brooks, 21, was killed in the first fatal encounter with a mountain lion...

His face severely lacerated, Wyatt Brooks continued to beat on the big cat in a futile attempt to get it to release his brother. Eventually he ran back toward their car to find cell service and call 911.

Taylen Brooks died at the scene. His brother is home recuperating after undergoing reconstructive surgery on his face and neck, the family said.

California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife said its wardens found the cougar and euthanized it. Mountain lions have attacked humans previously, but the last fatal encounter was in 2004 in Orange County, according to a verified list kept by the agency.

Last month, a woman in Washington state was riding her bike on a trail with a group of friends when she was attacked by a mountain lion. The woman and her friends were able to fight the animal off, but she suffered injuries to her face and neck.

Taylen Brooks worked with his father, Aaron, painting houses and cutting firewood. A talented guitar player, he also enjoyed fishing and was remembered as a “very kind and gentle soul.”

Wyatt Brooks has been in a fire academy since September, hoping ultimately to be hired by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. His family described him as an avid baseball player and a bow-hunting enthusiast.

“A brother is a friend given by nature,” the family wrote in their statement. “These two brothers were driven by nature.”

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

thesis statement importance of family

Meade County Sheriff’s Office rescues 15 dogs from ‘neglectful owners”

A STARS member comforts a bunny.

Hot Springs no-kill animal shelter opens new location in Rapid City, stresses importance of getting pets fixed

Houchin was sentenced to 10 years in prison with four years suspended.

Man sentenced 10 years in prison for killing his sister

Native American men wearing seatbelts on horseback.

Oglala Lakota Nation breaks convention with comical PSA about wearing seatbelts

Latest news.

FILE - Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. speaks during a campaign event, Oct. 9,...

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. picks Nicole Shanahan as his running mate for his independent White House bid

The latest Georgia lottery sign after no one won Monday night’s Powerball jackpot.

$1.12 billion Mega Millions drawing nears, followed by $865 million Powerball prize

A boat moves past a container ship as it rests against wreckage of the Francis Scott Key...

6 presumed dead after cargo ship rams into Baltimore bridge’s support column, causing collapse

Utah head coach Lynne Roberts speaks during a press conference after a second-round college...

Utah coach says team was shaken after experiencing racist hate during NCAA Tournament

Idaho leaders condemn racism following an incident involving the Utah women's basketball team....

Idaho leaders condemn racism following incident involving Utah basketball team


  1. Family, Culture, and Communication

    Introduction. Family is the fundamental structure of every society because, among other functions, this social institution provides individuals, from birth until adulthood, membership and sense of belonging, economic support, nurturance, education, and socialization (Canary & Canary, 2013).As a consequence, the strut of its social role consists of operating as a system in a manner that would ...

  2. Essay about Family Values & Traditions: Prompts + Examples

    Thesis Statement about Family Values. The thesis statement is the main idea of your essay. ... Family values are important because they have a strong impact on children's upbringing. These values might influence children's behavior, personality, attitude, and character traits. These can affect how the children are going to build their own ...

  3. Essay about Family: Definition, Topics & Sample

    A paper concerned with the importance of family, the Role they play in shaping individuals, its social significance, and so on is called a family essay. Family essays bring the missing insights, helping people realize how important families are and how much family dynamics could affect members' well-being. In this article, you will learn how to ...

  4. Thesis About Family

    Thesis About Family. 1. Introduction. Family is very important part of our everyday life. It helps us in improving our personality. It also helps us in shaping our life. It teaches us the value of love, affection, care, truthfulness and self-confidence and provides us tools and suggestions which are necessary to get success in life.

  5. 620 Family Topic Ideas to Write about & Essay Samples

    620 Family Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. Explore a wide variety of topics about family members, love, values, and more. As a student, you are likely to get an assignment to write about the importance of relationships. That's why you can be in need of a good friends and family topic. In this case, you've found the right page.

  6. Thesis Statements

    A thesis statement: tells the reader how you will interpret the significance of the subject matter under discussion. is a road map for the paper; in other words, it tells the reader what to expect from the rest of the paper. directly answers the question asked of you. A thesis is an interpretation of a question or subject, not the subject itself.

  7. How to Write a Thesis Statement

    Placement of the thesis statement. Step 1: Start with a question. Step 2: Write your initial answer. Step 3: Develop your answer. Step 4: Refine your thesis statement. Types of thesis statements. Other interesting articles. Frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

  8. 30+ Great Argumentative Essay Topics About Family ...

    The Greatest Of The Franciscan Values (argumentative Essay Topics About Family) Essay prompt: 1) Live lovingly. 2) Care for creation. 3) Proclaim joy and hope. 4) Be living instruments of peace to all our brothers and sisters in God's family. Addiction as a product of Social Dislocation and Family Stress.

  9. Developing a Thesis Statement

    A thesis statement . . . Makes an argumentative assertion about a topic; it states the conclusions that you have reached about your topic. Makes a promise to the reader about the scope, purpose, and direction of your paper. Is focused and specific enough to be "proven" within the boundaries of your paper. Is generally located near the end ...

  10. Family Expository Essay Writing: How-to, Samples & Examples

    Here's some samples of thesis statements that might inspire you. Thesis idea 1: Family has always been an important part of society, but is the importance of family overrated? Thesis idea 2: When children and parents fall out, there are a few techniques which can be used for reconciliation, thus improving family functioning, if both parties want it. ...

  11. Importance of Family Communication Essay

    We will write a custom essay on your topic. Communication within family members helps in early detection of family differences among members and offers an immediate solution to any conflict, which might occur. Healthy communication in the family creates an enabling environment in which members not only pass information about their wants, needs ...

  12. Write an Essay about Family: From Introduction to Conclusion

    A concise, engaging, and well-written introduction will get the audience to respect your analytical talents, writing style, and research approach. Close with a paragraph that summarizes the paper's structure. 3. Write your arguments about family. Expand the major themes into individual paragraphs to form the body of your essay.

  13. Essay on Importance of Family for Students and Children

    A family is a group of people who are related by blood or heritage. These people are linked not only by blood but also by compassion, love, and support. A person's character and personality are shaped by his or her family. There are various forms of families in today's society. It is further subdivided into a tight and extended family ...

  14. 150 Creative Ideas for Writing An Essay About My Family

    Do your homework. Depending on your topic, you might need to hit the books, browse articles, or even chat with family members for info. Organize your thoughts. Sketch out an outline or a plan to give your essay some structure. Start with an intro that sets the stage, drops your thesis, and gets the ball rolling.

  15. Family Relationships and Well-Being

    Pathways Linking Family Relationships to Well-Being. A life course perspective draws attention to the importance of linked lives, or interdependence within relationships, across the life course (Elder, Johnson, & Crosnoe, 2003).Family members are linked in important ways through each stage of life, and these relationships are an important source of social connection and social influence for ...

  16. Essay on Importance of Family For Kids & Students

    You can read more Essay Writing about articles, events, people etc. Long and Short Essay on the Importance of Family in English For Students and Children. We have given below an extended essay on the importance of family comprising 500 words and a brief essay on the topic containing 100-150 words.

  17. Why do I need a thesis statement?

    The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons: It gives your writing direction and focus. It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point. Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

  18. Importance of a Thesis Statement

    First, the writer develops a thesis to create a focus on an essay's main idea. It is important for the writer to be able to write the main idea in a few sentences to create a clear idea for the paper. Not only does the thesis guide the reader, but also the writer. The thesis provides direction to help the writer keep their paper organized.

  19. Family Thesis Statement Examples That Really Inspire

    17 samples of this type. WowEssays.com paper writer service proudly presents to you an open-access database of Family Thesis Statements intended to help struggling students tackle their writing challenges. In a practical sense, each Family Thesis Statement sample presented here may be a guide that walks you through the crucial stages of the ...

  20. Thesis Statement About Family Essay

    The family system thesis has important implications for child development and family functioning. It suggests that the family is a crucial factor in the development of children. It also suggests that the family plays a vital role in the well-being of its members. The family system thesis has important implications for social policy and practice.

  21. Thesis Statement on Importance of Family

    Thesis Statement on Importance of Family - Free download as PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. thesis statement on importance of family

  22. Thesis: Importance of family

    The family serves as the basic unit of society and is therefore generally the first interface to which health problems in a society are exposed. Christensen (2004) asserts that the family serves as the determinant of daily patterns and actions that the individuals in the family carry out. The family therefore plays a significant role as a unit ...

  23. (PDF) family planning final thesis.

    family planning final thesis. Thesis for: Bachelor Science Of Public Health Officer. Advisor: SUPERVISOR BY: Dr. Hamze Ali Abdulahi, Hoodo Ziad Yousuf Hudda A/rahman Mire Hoodo Ahmed Hashi Haliima ...

  24. Brothers tried to fight off mountain lion during fatal attack, family says

    The statement, which was provided to the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, included pictures of both young men.. The brothers from rural Mount Aukum were hunting for shed antlers Saturday ...