Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Family Function Levels of Turkish Fathers with Children Aged between 0 - 6

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Family Function Levels of Turkish Fathers with Children Aged between 0 - 6

Article excerpt

Family function levels of fathers with children aged 0-6 in Samsun, Turkey were compared on the basis of length of marriage, level of education, family structure, and type of marriage. The sample consisted of 171 fathers aged between 24-36 (average age 29.2). The Family Assessment Device (Epstein, Baldwin, & Bishop, 1983) was used to measure family function levels of fathers and t-test and one way ANOVA were used to analyze the data. There was a significant difference in family function levels of the fathers, according to length of their marriage, in the subdimensions of problem solving, communication, affective involvement, behavior control and general functionmgs, according to their level of education. In all the subdimensions of affective involvement and behavior control, according to the family structures of fathers, significant differences were found between groups and total general points; according to fathers' types of marriage, a significant difference was found between the groups regarding problem solving, communication, affective involvement, behavior control and general total points.

Keywords: family functions, Family Assessment Device, fathers, 0-6 age children.

The family is the first communication environment. Here individuals learn all kinds of natural and cultural reality and an atmosphere of confidence is created for the first time, where first sharings take place, and the first support for our efforts for getting to know ourselves is provided, the first door that opens to reality, our first setting on the stage of the world and the first place that we meet the actors. That is to say, family is a composition of firsts (tnam, 1990). A person realizes his/her dependence in this environment of firsts and starts to think about others besides himself/herself amongst the needs and wishes that are necessary for the continuation of his/her existence. Thus, one's infinite desires are limited by one's own will (Bilginer, 1991).

The 41st Article of the Constitution of the Turkish Republic (1982) attributes a very significant meaning to family by saying "Family is the foundation of society". Family should also be considered as "the cornerstone of every nation, the source of the civilization river and an adhesive that keeps together everything" (Covey, 1999). Family is a Gestalt as it brings forward the network of relationships among individuals at another level, instead of the individuals one by one (Gülerce, 1996).

Although there have been great changes in the structure and meaning of the family in contemporary societies throughout the twentieth century, the family is still a fundamental part of social life. Individuals become a part of close relationships, share the responsibilities of social life and prepare their children for maturity through social activities in families (Lee et al., 2002).

The family, as the smallest system built by a man and a woman, has some functions to carry out according to the systems perspective. Kut (1994) stated that the concept of function involves not only the tasks of the family, but also the existence of important roles and relationships. Those who classify functions of the family divide families into two main groups as healthy/functional families and unhealthy/dysfunctional families according to whether they carry out the functions of the family or not (Bulut, 1993; Nazli, 2000).

When the family members perform their functions in a healthy way, they become concerned about each other, emotionally connected to each other and support the members in their efforts to improve themselves accordingly. It is observed that if everything is spoken overtly, there is direct communication, problems are accepted rather than denied and each member has a place in the family in both literal and psychosocial terms. Besides, it is accepted that there is flexibility in relationships, coalition of mother and father, equal distribution of power and psychological support takes place, and certain roles are adopted in relationships with each other and also with other individuals outside the family. …

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