.: AİLE VE ÇOCUK PSİKOLOJİSİ :.
Aile kavramı yüzyıllardır süregelen bir sistemdir, fakat değişen zamanla ve dünyayla aile sistemindeki ilişkiler de değişmektedir. Bireyin aileye bakışı bulunduğu kültürel çevre ve taşıdığı inançlar doğrultusunda değişiklik göstermektedir. Bu yazıda aile içindeki değişimlerin sebebi sayabileceğimiz bazı etkenleri tartışıyorum. Kültür; aile içindeki rollerin tanımında ve anne çocuk arasındaki ilişkide en etkin rolü oynamaktadır diyebiliriz, Batı ve Doğu kültürler, aile yapısını da farklı tanımlar dolayısıyla ortaya kültür farklılığından dolayı farklı yapıda oluşmuş aile tipleri çıkar. Farklı kültürdeki annelerin çocuklarına vermiş olduğu ilişki, çocukların, ileriki yıllardaki aile, eş ve ilişki seçimlerinin tabanının oluşturmasından dolayı Batı ve Doğuda yaşanan romantik, arkadaş ve aile ilişkileri de farklılık göstermektedir. Evlilikte eşlerin diyaloğu, uyumu ve iletişimi de ayrıca çocuğun aile içindeki mutluluğunu belirleyen diğer faktörlerdir. Bunun dışında çocuğun mutluluğu ve normal gelişimini etkileyen diğer faktörlerden ailenin içinde bulunduğu sosyoekonomik durum ve aile içindeki anne baba ve çocuk üçlü iletişimi de önemlidir.
From ancient times, family has been a safe home for the human to be cared and have committed relationships from the time they were born. Family members could benefit from dyadic and interrelated relationships in the family for their well-being. However, understanding of the family system is constantly changing with a changing world, culture, social and political factors.
Family functioning changes due to individuals world views, cultural belief systems that are effecting individual beliefs and their social context. So in this paper, I am going to develop a framework to explain the variables effecting within family relations and processes and their outcomes for the family well-being.
In a well-functioning family, there would not be any pathological or problematic problem that is affecting family members negatively. In contrast the family tasks should work for the well-being and growth of the family members. Since the family has described its normality functioning within time and context variables; when searching for family functioning we should look at the variables the family has described itself due.
Family norms that are mostly valued through cultural belief provide means for the roles, and actions of the family members. This shared family believes within the same culture acts as a guide that also provides assumptions and values for the experiences of the family within social norms (Walsh, 1993).
As the world witnesses, the Western families are changing dramatically defining family functioning together with the changing values and beliefs of the culture. The postmodern family of West has created new concepts that has differentiated itself from traditional family in the sense that unmarried couples or gay couples rearing their children which are extreme cases in Eastern cultures. So western cultures have allowed individuals to live a family life they have chosen.
Rothbaum et al has studied the cultural effect over attachment between mother and children which also have relevant evidence for the dyadic family relations. They have gathered their sample from Japan which is a collectivist culture and U.S.A. which is a individualistic culture. Evidence from these data has suggested that the perception of the attachment styles differs across cultures. For example, an ambivalent attachment between mother and children in Japan has been onsidered as a healthy and necessary tie unlike in USA it is considered as a maladaptive form of attachment. This cultural way of looking at the attachment has affected the development of children and dyadic relationship between mother and children. Also ambivalent attachment in Japanese case has relevance with an enmeshed family that are overly involved with each other, however this attachment style in Western seen as that preoccupied mothers of toddlers have difficulty when separating from their infants which is maladaptive for both mother and children. In contrast this has
been interpreted as a way of sensitive care giving that the mother is ready to anticipate the needs of the infant before he/she expresses and so that they can minimize their infants stress. On the other hand, Western culture has seen this as a limitation for the individual autonomy of the infant and his/her individual desires.
Interdependence vs. Independence These highlighted differences in attachment styles mothers perceive are mostly due to the understanding of the independence and interdependence that they want their children to develop.
In a collectivist culture such as Japan dependence and commitment of the group well-being is a crucial issue which is believed to meet the needs of the individuals in turn. This way of dependence also makes the social harmony in the social life and family. In contrast, independence is highly valued in individualistic cultures like USA so mothers are not overly involved with their children so that they lead their children to express their feelings and needs and from autonomous and independent individual expressions. These forms of attachment styles that has seen adaptive due to cultures in turn has effective outcomes in the individual lives and their later relations. Children of overly involved mothers seek for harmonious relationships that satisfy their needs of loyalty and absence of conflict, unlike children of USA mothers who seek for romance, love and sexuality in their relationships and marriages as well.
When we look at the marital view of the Eastern and Western partners, we see that marriages of Eastern couples are mostly centered on the family; grandfathers and children etc. However, Western couples mostly surrounds their marriages around each other, they seek for mutual satisfaction and dyadic relationship (Rothbaum et al, 2002).
Marital quality and mother-father dyadic relationship
We can also look at the quality of the marital relationship as a determinant for the quality of the care giving of the children. Recent researchers has indicated that there is a considerable amount of marital quality and mother-father dyadic relationship over their childrearing practices which again changes due to culture. It has been tested that children of marital discords develop a negative representation for the child-father-mother triad relationship and also spouses in negative marriages
seek for support and closeness from their children which is overwhelming for the children (Rothbaum et al, 2002). So the risk for the children to develop emotional problem increases for to stabilize his/her relations with their parents. This problem mostly occurs in Western families since the spouses are mostly interested in the intimacy and romance in their dyadic relations, when they are not satisfied with their marital qualities this unsatisfied dyadic relation appears in their child-parent relation as well.
Taking these considerations into account, another study Cowan et al conducted has included the gender of the parent and children as a variable that is affecting parent-child dyadic relationship.
There has not found a significant effect of mother care giving to her children even in poor marital relations, this is explained because mothers mostly do daily care of their children and they have been identified the role of mother by the society. However, in a poor marital relationship this situation acts differently for the father, even after the birth of their children men still seek more romance and affection than their spouses which in turn led to their disattachement from marriage and fatherhood
as well. However this disattachement does not equally appear in fathers relation with his son and daughter. The gender of the children acts as a variable over the involvement of the father with his
children. It was reported that fathers are behaving more authoritarian and negatively to their daughter than their sons especially if they are involved in a marital conflict and have different personality characters from their spouses (Cowan et al, 1993). One cause for this result can be defined as the socially constructed of fatherhood, since their role as parents are not certainly defined as maternal role. This result also can be interpreted in the sense that when men are dissatisfied with
their marriages they reflect this upon their young girls which in turn affecting their schemas about future relations.
Parental Behavior among Triadic Relation
It was seen that each subsystem of family is affected by the quality of the other dyadic relations as well with the marital quality. So researchers have look at whether parents behaving models are chancing to their children if they are interacting alone or within family. The design was conducted in the kindergarten where children first played with his/her mother and father alone then
together. Parents dimensions of structuality and negative effect and engagement changed due to familial context. Mothers are seen as more structurist and less negative to their children when together with the father than alone but fathers only showed less negative effect to their children when played together than alone (Johnson, 2001).
Socio-economic Status (SES) of the Family
A recent study conducted by Fişek in Turkey where the honor of the family has been over valued especially oriented around the protection and chastity of women that has measured the effect of SES over the family processes. Since Turkey is a collectivist culture that values family over the individual which is a socially constructed unit. However due to regions in Turkey the understanding of the family functioning and women honor changes, as the SES of the families increase and as the families coming from urban and educated groups, they view women as more
equal to men in terms of chastity and they tolerate the divorce and remarriage of the women (Sunar & Fişek, 2005). This result also has been supported by the finding of Fişek in another study again conducted in Turkey found that High SES families show more proximity than low SES families. These results suggest that the socioeconomic status of the family is an active variable over the construction and the structure of the family. As indicated, High SES families have more equal dyadic relations that
work for the adaptive functioning of its members to society and also increases the proximity within family again works for the satisfied relations among members of the family.
Apart from all the socially constructed values I mentioned above, I wanted to describe religion apart from other variables. Religion can be viewed as one of the most powerful socially constructive affecting over individuals belief system in their lives and family lives as well. Even the religious believes among world has show differences, the religious belief in Turkey , Islam, have a distinct feature in the sense that it provides an advantage for the male that he can get a second wife and even have legitimate children in turn which limits the role of the women in family life. Women are mostly seen as the representatives of the honor of the family, their duty is to protect their families and selves honor and could be punished psychically and verbally if their honors are threatened (Fişek, 2005). This is an extreme case mostly seen in rural areas in Turkey, however it is often to see these examples from all over the world, since religion is a strong belief system that can be sometimes superstitious so that it can limit the instincts and autonomy of the individuals by organizing a strict family structure.
In conclusion, all the variables I have stated have a strong relation in the formation of the function and structure of the family which leads to adaptation of the family to society. Even this adaptation sometimes appear in a restrictive form for the members of the family due to the social and religious contexts, it is an ongoing process of the development and growth for both individual and family and it cannot grow independent of the context it lives.
Cowan, P. A., & Cowan, C. P., & Kerig, P.K. (1993). Mothers, Fathers, Sons, and Daughters: Gender
Differences in Family Formation and Parenting Style. Family, Self & Scoiety, 165-195.
Fişek, G. O. (1991). A Cross-Cultural Examination of Proximity and Hierarchy as Dimensions of Family
Structure. Family Process Inc., 30, 121-133.
Johnson, V. K. (2001). Marital Interaction, Family Organization and Differences in Parenting Behavior:
Explaining Variations Across Family Interaction Contexts. Family Process, 40, 333-342.
Rothbaum, F., & Rosen, K., & Ujie, T., & Uchida, N. (2002). Family Systems Theory, Attachement
Theory, and Culture. Family Process, 41, 328-350.
Sunar, D., & Fişek, G. O. (2005). Contemporary Turkish Families. Families in Global Perspective, 169-
Walsh, F. (1993). Conceptualization of Normal Family Processes. Time Guilford Press, 3-69.