Psychosocial Functions of the Family


PsychosocialFunctions of the Family

Familyas a Psychosocial Unit

Thefamily is an important source of love for many people. Maslow statedthat its one of the main aspects in life that helps us attain ourpsychological needs (Jacobsen etal.2004). The relationship between a parent and a child is of paramountimport for the growing mind to be able to be contented and successfulin life. Care is the realization of Maslow’s love and belongingneed. This concept makes a member of a given family wanted in theworld, a feeling that is important for such individuals to reachself-actualization (Jacobsen etal.2004). With proper affection and love being accorded to all familymembers, a conducive environment and friendly personality isgenerated where a person respects, loves and appreciates othermembers in the family and the entire society (Jacobsen etal.2004)

.The moment that affection is not displayed in a positive way,individuals may develop an unstable personality. A family providessecurity, both psychologically and physically since it gives membersconfidence to face external forces when situation demand and ashelter against outside pressures (Jacobsen etal.2004). An individual will feel more secure with the family membersbecause they know all the people they are interacting with, and haveunwavering believe that they will accord them unconditional respect,love and advice just because they are family. The emotional safeenvironment accords family members the respect and reason they needto encounter various life challenges feeling secure and safe withthemselves and others. As psychosocial unit families are there to notonly protect and support each member but also shape individualthoughts and behavior (Jacobsen etal.2004).

Apositive interaction allows family members to grow and changeaccordingly depending on the prevailing environmental factors. Afamily can provide an excellent platform in which individuals have anopportunity to define themselves (Jacobsen etal.2004). In such a setting individual differences are accepted,appreciated and sometimes even celebrated. Its lets young childbecome independent when its the apt time and come back to the safetyof the family members when they need affection and reassurance(Jacobsen etal.2004). This means an individual can mature and grow positively. Areasonable rate of growth and change is expected in a family asindividuals become older and take more responsibilities. In thislight they are able to use their intellect and judgment to makerational choices and interact appropriately with others within theirsurroundings (Jacobsen etal.2004). This type of change and growth creates an excellent backgroundfor a resilient environment where individuals can bounce back fromnegative situation and assist all members cope with changes thatcould be detrimental.

Attachmenttheory provides some insights into the elements that make a family apsychosocial unit. Based on the precepts of attachment theory, bondsbetween a parent and a child and among members of family affects achild’s personality development and subsequent interpersonalrelationship (Jacobsen etal.2004). The theory also asserts that the creation of bonds andstrengthening of relationships in a family to create a situationwhere exchange of thoughts and sharing of ideas is made possible, iswhat makes family a psychosocial unit. Adults within the realms ofthe family feel secure and confident to share their thoughtsregarding various aspects of life. Social support is connected topsychological well-being, meaning that the more an individual withina family setting feels he has family and friends who are with them atall times, the less likely they can be anxious and depressed(Jacobsen etal.2004).


Jacobsen,V., Fursman, L., Bryant, J., Claridge, M &amp Jensen, B. (2004).Theoriesof Family and Policy.Retrieved from: