Family Cohesion Research Paper

FACES is a scale that is used to evaluate families and the structure of it. “This model bridges family theory, research, and practice” (Braithwaite, Bylund, Galvin p 32). There are two categories that make up this scale; cohesion and adaptability. This test can be used as a tool to help families see where their strengths and weaknesses are. It could be a good tool to use before getting married to see where the two families are different or similar. The purpose of this paper is to discuss in more detail what FACES is and the results of my family.

I will talk about our results and why I think they ended up like that. FACES There are two parts to the test. There is a cohesion or “togetherness” part and an adaptability part. You take it twice because the first time you answer the questions is for your actual family. The second time is for your ideal family or how you wish it would be. The scores mean different things and then you plot the numbers of a graph. It is really interesting to see how different the two are. There are several categories of cohesion that one’s family can fall under: disengaged, connected, cohesive, and enmeshed.

Through their communication, family members develop, maintain, or change their patterns of cohesion” (Braithwaite, Bylund, Galvin p 33). The four levels of adaptability are the following: rigid, structured, flexible, and chaotic. “Communication is central to the adaptive function of a family. Effective adaptation relies on shared meanings. Through communication, family members learn to regulate their adaptive behaviors, thereby affecting the system as a whole” (Braithwaite, Bylund, Galvin p 35).

In both of these categories, communication is a key to making up a noble family. It is not just the verbal communication, but the non-verbal is just as important. Having a family is hard work, especially for parents. They want what is best for their children but there are parents who are over protective and parents who do not have any rules or structure. It is important to have a balance of both. As Braithwaite, Bylund, and Gavin said, “Family systems need periods of stability as well as change in order to function” (p ).

Results It is interesting that you can think your family is one way and after taking this test you see they are different than what you expected. My family is a close family. My parents are together and I have two sisters. We grew up loving and supporting one another. We went to the Church of Christ so we were more on the conservative side. My parents expected the best from us and that we were always on our best behavior. I took the test and my families cohesion had a score of 47. That did not surprise me. We are a very close family and love being together.

When we get together everyone tries to be there because it can be hard to find a time that fits with everyone’s schedule. We are supportive of one another. My parents have always been supportive of the decisions that we make and encourage us to make the right choice. I definitely look up to my sisters. I feel comfortable talking to them about things that I may not want to with my mom. Our score for adaptability was 24. I did not think that was very high, but as I thought more about it, it fits perfectly with my family.

My family has always been very structured with lots of rules. I am not saying that we needed the rules or that my parents had to discipline us, but the rules were always there. My parents wanted us to know what they expected and they reminded us constantly of that. My mom is definitely a worrier and she doesn’t want anything bad to happen. She is a little over protective sometimes and always wants to know what is going on. There was not a whole lot of difference in my ideal family. Honestly, I thought the results would be really different but they weren’t.

The score for cohesion was 48 and adaptability was 29. I was glad that the score was the same for cohesion because, again, we really are a close family. Family is very important and that is something my parents have instilled in us. Although the score for adaptability was just a few numbers away, there was a difference. The words used to describe the numbers for my family now were “structured” and “enmeshed”. The words that were provided for my ideal family were “flexible” and “enmeshed”. The only difference in the two is words “structured” and “flexible”.

This could not be more accurate. I think my home life was very structured and there was a whole lot of boundaries. We were not free to do anything. My parents had to approve of everything we did and wanted to know what we were doing at all times. I would have really liked a little less structure and boundaries. I think my parents did a great job at teaching me what was right and wrong. They instilled in me from an early age good character and morals. I think once I reached a certain age, they could have let go of the reigns a little and let me make my own decisions.

Parents are not given a handbook about how to be good parents. It just happens all at once and they have to go with it. There are different stages that families go through. When the kids get into the teen years, they do not want to spend a lot of time with their parents or structure in the home. All parents choose to parent different. There is really no right or wrong way. It just depends on the individual’s beliefs and how they wish to connect with their family. Conclusion The FACES test is one way to see where a family lies in their adaptability and closeness.

It is a useful resource to see where a family lies in their relationship. It is ok to not be a tight nit family. Like we learned in the last chapter, there are all kinds of families and they are parented differently. There is no right or wrong way to raise a family. I think it all depends on the kids and how how they respond to certain things. As parents, you have to be ready to adapt to different obstacles that come your way. “When positive or negative stresses arise, involving such issues as money, illness, or divorce, families must adapt”.

I think it is important for parents to know that there are times to be more structured and other times to let go a little. It is crucial for kids to have boundaries all through their childhood and especially in middle school. Then, once they reach high school, kids should have a little more freedom and the chance to make some decisions on their own. I think it is important for children to know their parents trust them and will support them. High school is a time for them to grow and learn how things work. The only way people learn is through trying and there is going to be failure, but that is good.