A dysfunctional family is a group of people usually related by some means, not always necessarily by blood, in which conflict, misbehavior, maltreatment and neglecting create a hostile life for its members. To explain this idea better we will see the definition of family, the differences between a healthy and a dysfunctional family; their characteristics and behavioral patterns. Some examples will help us examine this issue better, taking us to discuss the different factors that contribute to the formation of such families, along with its consequences in today’s society.
According to the Dictionary of Contemporary English, a family is a group of people affiliated by consanguinity, formed by a father, a mother and children (1). On the other hand, its etymology recognizes the Roman Empire to be the first one to define a Family. Ironically, the Romans defined it as a group of people linked, not necessarily by blood or affection (2). Instead the main link that united the ancient Roman families was labor. According to E. J. Graff in her context “What makes a Family?” She describes that the ancient families in Europe were primarily created at will, with the only purpose to improve work productivity and patriarchs would adopt grown ups into their families for a better investment. “Choice not Biology made a Family”(3) These families would consist of legitimate children, adopted adults, secretaries, other dependents and slaves of various ages.
“The Romans rarely used it to mean family in the sense of kin” (4) writes Roman Family historian Suzane Dixon. Evidently, the word family can have different definitions, depending on the geographic era and the time. However, members of families, either biological or chosen, all throughout history have been exposed or subjected to neglect, abuse and violence. Unfortunately the difference between a healthy and a dysfunctional family can be unclear sometimes, as the boundary may seem too ambiguous when the words abuse and discipline are used erroneously.
A family dysfunction can be any condition that impedes its proper rhythm. Most families have some periods of time when functioning is impaired by stressful circumstances, for instance: death, illness, unemployment, finances, stress, work, school, etc. Moreover, healthy families tend to return to normal functioning after the crisis passes. In dysfunctional families, however, problems tend to be chronic.
A healthy family is not perfect; there may be misunderstandings, tensions, conflicts, yelling, hurt and anger, but not always. Emotional expression is allowed; and it’s acceptable to get mad sometimes, as long as it’s not all the time. The Holy Bible teaches on Ephesians 4-23 “Be ye angry and sin not, let not the sun go down upon your wrath”. (5) Also, in a healthy family, rules tend to be explicit and are consistent, but with some flexibility to adapt to individual needs and particular situations. Ephesians 6-4 exemplifies this idea with...