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Her areas of expertise are family assessment and treatment, clinical research, and family-work issues. Heather Coleman is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Calgary, and a practicing clinical social worker for more than 15 years.

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Her research areas include social work education child and family and her areas of interest include family violence, family preservation, gender issues, First Nations and addictions, human sexuality, and clinical practice. The husband's relationship is marginally affected, whereas the wife's drastically changes. The wife moves out of the husband's house. If they stay in the same town, she does not enjoy same trust, confidence, and closeness as her previous counterpart does.

She cannot make friends with her male colleagues, nor with married couples as the other women consider her to be a husband snatcher. Marital and Parental Relationships Husband-wife relationship is the basic and most important amongst the network of relationships on which a family revolves. Healthy relations facilitate the spouses not only to perform their roles effectively but also help in the proper socialization of the children.

On the other hand, marital conflict leads to familiar disorganization and has negative consequences on the upbringing of children. Thus, the quality of interaction between a husband and a wife has repercussions on the whole family. Parent-Child Relationships Parent-children conflicts with regards to individual freedom and double standards giving greater freedom to sons than daughters, is a recurring feature and has been noted in many studies Kurian, A girl child is allowed to remain a child only for short period of life.

It is always stressed that her relationship with her natal home is temporary. Parents tend to discriminate among boys and girls not only in terms of reinforcing speech, activity and play, but also in terms of food, education and other material possessions in India. Many of the social customs and rituals favour or promote child abuse.

Indian society makes a relative underestimation of girls and views them as a family liability. Girls get less autonomy and freedom from parents than boys Ghadially, Sibling Relationships Sibling relationship is recognized as unique among close human relationships because siblings share a common genetic heritage and common early experience within the family. The exchange patterns of emotional support are established among the siblings during early years Avioli, Sibling relationship is also marked by discord when paternal authority is weak or absent.

Such conflict is an important dimension of sibling relations. Herzberger and Hall a state that boys and girls may have different expectations when siblings are involved in the conflict. Severe sibling violence was found to be more prevalent among boys. Furthermore, when younger children were victimized by an older sibling they sought help from parents.

As joint family system is one of the basic features of Indian society, it becomes essential to consider the cordial and conflicting relationship between secondary relatives. Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Relationships The mother-in-law occupies a dominant position and plays an important role in the social life of the daughter-in-law. This is one area where very few studies have been done. Srivastava in his comparative study of folk cultures of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states of central India reported that in both the regions, usually the mother-in-law kept severe control over the daughter-in-law.

The elder woman finds the younger was disrupting unity among brothers; the younger finds the elder to be intolerably demanding and dominating Madan, The relationship of women with sisters-in-law is another area which has dearth of studies although it is of great significance in a joint household. Problems Faced in Family Relationships Marital problems A background of patterns of marital interactions, roles, and power in India is essential before we review research on marital problems.

However, studies on family in India have generally concentrated on the joint family, with a patriarchal structure. It has been largely recognized that conjugal relations have little significance in the joint family Ramu, Consequently, marital interaction, role, and power have received scant attention. The few studies that are identified in this area are grouped and described below.

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Marital adjustment versus maladjustment Marital adjustment refers to a state of accommodation which is achieved in different areas where conflict may exist. Srivastav, Singh, and Nigam studied the effect of certain demographic characteristics such as age differences, duration of marriage, education, occupation, socio-economic status, and number of children on marital adjustment. The analysis indicated that age difference between husband and wife highly contributed towards marital adjustment.

Secondly, differences in educational level of the spouses were more evident in the maladjusted couples. Shukla observed that as compared to the single career couples, more of the dual career couples expected that the husband and the wife should be about equally responsible for the provider and the housekeeper roles, and evaluated the wives more favorably in the provider role and the husbands in the housekeeper roles.

It is interesting, though, that in both the groups, wives derived greater happiness in their marriages when they were satisfied with the housekeeper role and evaluated their husbands favorably in the provider role. Husbands, on the other hand, attached greater importance to satisfaction with and a favorable evaluation of themselves in the provider role and their spouses in the kinship roles.

Thus, the working woman ends up playing a multiplicity of roles. The main reasons behind the unsatisfactory relationship were lack of time to interact freely with husband and lack of time to provide adequate love and care for their children. The other reasons were physical and mental exhaustion due to heavy and never ending work, indifferent attitudes of their husbands and in-laws towards their over work and inability both of them to gain control over the women workers earnings.

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In another study, Mohan and Singh studied mental adjustment of rural and urban couples in relation to their personality in terms of extroversion, neuroticism, and psychotism. The analysis showed that rural couples were better adjusted than urban. Kumar and Rohtagi studied the dominance need of spouses and also attempted to identify personality factors such as intelligence and extroversion with reference to adjustment in marriage. It was found that husbands with high adjustment possessed a higher need of dominance, whereas wives with high adjustment were submissive.

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It was found also that couples with high adjustment were more intelligent, possessed high extroversive interest as compared to couples showing low adjustment. Kumar and Rohtagi examined the relationship of anxiety, neuroticism and security variables with adjustment in marriage and showed that anxiety affects one's adjustment in marriage. Family Violence Family violence is a complex concept which encompasses wife abuse, child abuse, and elderly abuse.

Pagelow , p. It has recently been recognized by the United Nations as a fundamental abuse of women's human rights. It lists under the category of gender based violence, abuses such as battering, sexual abuse of female children, dowry related violence, marital rape, and female genital mutilation. Female infanticide is still common in some pockets of the country.

In recent years, new forms of violence have been added to the list. Most important among these are dowry deaths and female feticide. Heife, Pitanguy, and Germaine , paper describe violence against women as "any act of verbal or physical force, life threatening deprivation directed at an individual women or girl that causes physical and psychological harm, humiliation or arbitrary deprivation of liberty that perpetuates female subordination. The situation continues to decline further. The latest reports indicate that crime against women rate is Steinmetz and Lucca stirred a controversy by reporting that men do not have a monopoly as tormentors.

Rather, they found a considerable similarity between husbands and wives using violent methods for resolving marital conflicts. Nevertheless, though women may be more verbal, the resort to physical means to maintain their dominant position in the family is held by men Gandhi, According to Gandhi, factors related to poverty and lack of education among women make them more vulnerable to violence.

Thus, elimination of violence against women requires reengineering of society on equalitarian values, where women enjoy equal rights over education, land, property, and business. The creation of such a society needs the support of all, including men. Effect of Family on Child Development In a joint family, the child gets multiple parents and many adult figures for his or her identification. In these families, children are overprotected and sheltered and, as a result, self-non-self segregation is hampered.

In a nuclear family, the child has a limited set of adult models to emulate.

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As a result, he or she develops a strong sense of personal bond with the parents, with a greater scope of developing clear-cut self-identity Sinha, Children brought up in single parent families have only one adult member in the family and often lack kinship and community support. These children develop early independence with added responsibilities.

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A majority of the single parent families being the poorest of the poor cannot adequately meet their children's needs. A large number of children in institutions and on streets come from single parent families. Thus, to enhance the impact of child development, direct work with children is not adequate. The family life and the family's environment also have to be enriched. A strong family unit would promote child development and prevent child destitution. The Elderly's Need of a Family and Abuse of Elders In the Indian context, responsibility for care of the elderly is primarily borne by members of the family.

However, few parents go to court to claim maintenance from their children. The Constitution of India recognizes the duty of the State towards the elderly. Traditionally, the aged in India continue to live in their homes where they have been living throughout their lives. The family, the neighborhood, and the community provide ample opportunities for companionship and social life.

Even today the family, the kinship group, the neighborhood, and the community continue to contribute to the psychological and social well-being of the old. Most of the investigations in India suggest that the aged are respected, consulted on important decisions even if it is a token gesture , and continue to be heads of households. One is the migration of the younger adults of the family to towns and in some cases to foreign countries, in which case the older generation loses the support of their children, if they are left behind see Table 8.

The older generation may be reluctant to migrate, either because of shortage of housing in towns or because of difficulty in adjusting to the life style in new setup. On the positive side, parents are wanted and made to feel useful when they take up responsibilities of caring for the grandchildren, and helping with the running of the house. The flip side is that women, who have been the traditional caregivers, are now not available for that role, and the old people are left to fend for themselves.

The well-being of old people may also be affected by their own personality problems. If the person has not maintained a good relationship with his or her family members throughout life, then it becomes difficult to improve relationships in later period. Elderly people experience a stage of transition from independence to interdependence, then to total dependence, which produces a crises and tension for all generations Steinmetz, The sex of the old person also becomes an important risk factor for abuse. It has been found that elderly females are more abused than males Dudley, The tradition of obligatory dependence on male children is perhaps the bane of old age despite increasing evidence in recent times that daughters are coming forward to assume the responsibility of providing support to their elderly parents when they are abandoned by their son s.

Migration and Displacement of the Family Migration has fundamental implication for women and children. They suffer when the male migrates either alone or with them. The kinship network is broken and the traditional skills are no longer useful in the urban economy Desai, b. However, it has also been suggested that rather than family disintegration, male migration could lead to more capable and self confident women.

This analysis is based on three factors: guardianship of family, residential arrangement, and management of major household activities. Nevertheless, it has been observed that after the return of the emigrant husbands, although the wives continue to participate in decision making, the execution of major household activities was taken over by their male counterparts Sekhar, Family has been recognized as a basic unit of society and is a link between individual and community.

The structure of the family continues to be patriarchal. A number of changes have been observed in the patterns of marriage such as age at marriage, inter-caste marriage, etc. A relative increase is noticed in divorce cases in urban areas. It was quite common in the past but at that time families were more stable and provided adequate security in terms of physical, social and emotional needs.

Current trends indicate that there is a definite change in the basic system of family, especially the role of elders and disharmony in husband-wife relationship. Divorce rates are testimony to the increasing fragility of husband-wife relationship. Migration has major implications on women and children. Although children in several set-ups, women, and the elderlies have been the subjects of various studies, investigations on the family as a whole are clearly very limited.