Consequences Of Dysfunctional Family Upbringing

Communication in Dysfunctional Families


  1. Explain how children raised in dysfunctional families learn to communicate.
  1. Why do children raised in dysfunctional families feel the need to maintain in their adult life the rigid controls learnt in childhood?
  1. In the context of the dysfunctional family, how is ‘rigidity’ reviewed?
  1. What is the function of ‘denial’ in the dysfunctional family unit?
  1. What is seen as being essential to healthy relationships?
  1. What occurs when conflict within the family is unresolved?
  1. Within a healthy family system, how is intimacy defined?
  1. What are the two damaging misconceptions that are accepted by people raised in dysfunctional families?
  1. What is seen as being one of the steps towards self-acceptance?
  1. In the context of family therapy, how should ‘recovery’ be reviewed?

1. It is known that children growing up in a dysfunctional family face various consequences and problems while growing up. The dysfunctional families usually employ the silent language of dysfunctional that is transformed into various rules and regulations that are strictly implemented in the family. Indirect communication is the main form of communication in the dysfunctional families (RODRIGUEZ, SMITH and ZATZ, 2009). Thus it can be said that the children in dysfunctional families learn to use silence and indirect communication as the main types of communication. The children in dysfunctional families build protective walls and they deal with stress in an unconstructive manner. The communication skills of the children in these types of families are thus different than other children in a normal family. The children use silence to express their feelings in order to avoid the honest conversation. The dysfunctional families usually hide their feelings and they avoid all conversations related to expressing feelings. Thus similar traits are seen in children as well. The children learn to communicate this way in a dysfunctional family.

2. The children raised in dysfunctional families feel the need to maintain in their adult life the rigid controls learnt in childhood. Here it can be said that the children in dysfunctional families uses silence as the main form of communication. In a dysfunctional family all forms of real communication about the feelings are avoided and the rigidity is one of the major functions of such family. Rigidity is the main beginning of a dysfunction in a family. In a dysfunctional family, strict rules are imposed in order to avoid unpredictable or dangerous behaviour of a family member (RODRIGUEZ, SMITH and ZATZ, 2009). Rigidity can control the behaviour of an individual and thus it is explored and supported in a dysfunctional family. A child who grew up in such environment feels the need to impose similar rigidity in their adult life as well, as they become comfortable with the conditions and they may feel uncomfortable if they let go of the rigidity of rules. People who grew up in such environment do not react better to change.

3. Rigidity can be referred as non-flexibility. It is evident that in the context of a dysfunctional family, rigidity is one of the major elements or functions that affects and governs the behaviour of individuals within a family. In a dysfunctional family, rigidity is maintained in order to avoid the ill-effects of unpredictable behaviour. Thus a specific degree of controlled is implemented in such families and all the emotional expressions are also controlled in such families. There are several rules and regulations imposed in dysfunctional families that must be obeyed by all the family members (Regulska, 2014). It is also evident that people distorting from the rules face the wrath of other family members and they face shame, ignorance and physical abuse of others as well. It is also evident that people in such families maintain similar rigidity in their later lives.

4. Denial is also prevalent in a dysfunctional family. Here it can be said that, the family members discount the external and internal experience of reality and they also minimise the life-threatening behaviour. This is basically referred as denial. In dysfunctional families, the members do not want to accept the degree of seriousness of an issue. They always think that, things will get better and they are not as bad as it may be perceived. Such behaviour is unhealthy for the family members and especially for the children living in such environment. It is unhealthy for children to feel that something is wrong but they cannot express any feelings about it to anyone (Casabianca, 2014). Denial in a family can make the children distrustful towards their own perceptions and thus it can lead to other mental health related issues like anxiety in the children.

5. There are various essential functions to a healthy relationship in a family. Trust is one of the major and essential elements of a healthy relationship along with dependability. In order to maintain a healthy relationship it is very important to establish trust between one another so that there can be effective communication. It should be easier to share problems and convey their emotions and feelings to each other (B�gels, van Dongen and Muris, 2003). It can build a strong base for a healthy relationship. On the other hand there should be flexibility rather than rigidity and expression of doubts and feelings should be open to each and everyone. There should be acceptance for every trait and type of person. So these are the essential functions for a healthy relationship especially in a family.

Rigidity in Dysfunctional Families

6. It is evident that conflicts are usually seen within a family. The conflicts can occur due to mismatch in opinions or disagreements regarding certain issues. It is known that each and every individual is different and thus such conflicts are evident in a family. But it is very important to resolve such conflicts in a family. If the conflicts are unresolved then the impact of such factors can be seen in the long-run (Carlson, 2003). It can harm the relationship between the members and that conflict can also be extended to other family members. Thus it is very important to resolve such conflict so that extensive impact can be avoided. It is evident that in dysfunctional families the conflict resolution is avoided and a form of denial is seen towards the ill effects of the conflict.

7. The richness and depth of healthy family association derives from intimacy. Dysfunctional families teach regulations that prevent or restrict such secure bonding. Closeness within a strong family is defined as capacity to deeply contact the significant self of other on a reliable basis. When people trust themselves and their family members to enquire for their requirements to be met, when people are eager to compromise and negotiate, when people are keen to extend to other family associates and always present for them in any case, then closeness has taken origin within that family system. The reorganization of a dysfunctional family needs more specialized skills and knowledge than the action of an individual therapy. Family and its intimate associations are essential for following the illness incidence and occurrence. To analyze any complication in depth association within the family members and other partners are apparently important. Information from family are used in evaluating requirements for determining mental or physical heath, associated care priorities, case analysis, tracing and stopping communicable illnesses.

8. People brought up in dysfunctional families are forced to disallow reality; they acknowledge and accept two damaging misconceptions. These are: no wrong thing is present within their people of origin and something is fundamentally intensely incorrect at the very center of them. These people also accept their parents’ or partners’ concepts regarding what they should not and should be feeling and thinking. Kids at their early stage and a profound level are taught not to accept them. As it is seen that the old rule denial is now transformed into acceptance, it is said that the very initial step of self-acceptance is to initiate accepting that the feelings are genuine and people have their rights to express those feelings. If someone said that they are unaware of the fact that what they are feeling that represents that the person is tremendously confused and are trained to redirect or hide their feelings.

9. The initial step of self-acceptance is one’s true self and next step is to understand the fact that life journey has no finish point. To self-accept, one must always endeavor to increase the prospects as an individual. To achieve accomplishment, one must always search for it. The probability to self-accept is something which lied within the individual (MACINNES, 2006). One should make them keen to develop and take necessary actions to disengage that self-acceptance. With today’s hyper-informed and hypercompetitive pressure a question is always present within the society that is how does individual truly accept them holistically? To answer this support can be taken from Abraham Maslow’s theory that people follow their own paths. This matters how entirely people decide themselves to accomplish the psychological and personal greatness which is positioned at the top.

10. Whatever the situation it is, dysfunction rules will be changed by recovery process.  Facing old rigidity patterns, isolation, denial and silence is an outstanding way to initiate to cure previous wounds. Recovery from dysfunction rules and from the engulfment issues and abandonment issues is a current process. Therefore, the interviewer need to be aware that from initial interview the family, the client should not be left under illusions regarding anything other than the exact fact. It is foolishness to expect an overnight change. Recovery is not a changing element but a pattern of transformation which should be initiated for the advantage of the clients.


B�gels, S., van Dongen, L. and Muris, P. (2003). Family influences on dysfunctional thinking in anxious children. Inf. Child Develop., 12(3), pp.243-252.

Carlson, R. (2003). New Treatments Sought for Dysfunctional HER Family. Oncology Times, 25(9), pp.18-20.

Casabianca, R. (2014). Anxieties in Children: Dysfunctional Interactional Patterns and an Effective Systemic/Integrative Treatment. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 25(2), pp.145-162.

MACINNES, D. (2006). Self-esteem and self-acceptance: an examination into their relationship and their effect on psychological health. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 13(5), pp.483-489.

Regulska, A. (2014). Supporting the dysfunctional family in the contemporarysystem of the welfare.Pedagogika Rodziny, 4(1).


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