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Chapter 6

- Present in usually romantic and intimate relationship
- Closeness, affection and love
- Knowing deep info about the other people
- Disclosure of personal knowledge of family members
- Meaningful shared experience

1. Personal commitment
a. Commitment to be a part of the family
i. The individual wants to saty in the relationship with the other family
ii. Being part of a particular family is a part of one’s self-concept
iii. It is not out of obligations or necessity, it is because they wanted to
b. Showed through:
i. Intensity -> enthusiastically asserting positive messages about
commitment to family members
ii. Repetition -> regularly repeating positive messages about
commitment to family members
iii. Explicitness -> using specific language and direct so fam members
understand the meaning behind positive messages about

Other types of commitment keep relationships intact, especially during stressful time

- Moral commitment
- Structural commitment
^ both are not the source of intimacy

2. Self-disclosure
a. Intentionally revealing personal or private info to others
b. Self-disclosure typically generates intimacy between people
i. Trust
c. However, the listener of this info have to respond in a way that
communicates validation, understanding and caring


- Can involve risk

o Rejection
o Angry responses
o Retaliation -> info could be used against you

3. Sexual communication between parents and children

a. Can potentially foster intimacy between parents and their children
b. When done affectively sexual comm. Can have positive effects and behavior
i. Prevent unplanned pregnancies
ii. Prevent STIs
iii. Transmit parents values about sex to their children
c. Mothers tend to be the one who are more involve in sex convos than fathers
d. In general daughters receive more sex convos than son

Effective ways for parents to discuss sex with the children:

- Mutual dialogue and discussion – parents facilitate convos with their children
- Parents communicate an attitude of openness, not preachiness
- Discussions of sex have the greatest impact when they occur regularly
o Not just “the talk” but ongoing discussion

If done effectively, it helps children better understand themselves and their actions

- Parents fear that a child is too young to discuss sex
- Parents discomfort
- Parents own unhealthy attitudes towards sex
- Parents lack of communication skills

4. Effort and Sacrifice

a. Gothman’s love maps
i. Know major events in each other’s history
ii. Continuously update their info about as the facts and feelings of the
fam members changes
iii. Love maps strengthen bonds between fam and help fam through
stressful periods
iv. Developing and maintaining and refining love maps represents effort
in relationships – speaks to the need for relationship maintenance
- Choosing to give up something to benefits the other person
- Sacrifice can be difficult and many newly married people have not had truly
experience sacrifice for their partners

5. Characteristic of forgiveness
Ocassionally, one way or another, we will hurt fam feelings
a. Acknowledgement of harmful conduct
i. Person who committed the transgression acknowledge what he/she
did wrong; victim acknowledges his/her hurt feelings
b. Extention of undeserved mercy
i. Hurt person must decided whether to extend mercy
1. Ex: yes you hurt me but imma forgive u for now etc.
c. Emotional transformation
i. The victim purges the impulse to seek revenge or avoid the person
who committed the transgression
ii. Get rid of the feeling to get back at the person who hurt you
d. Relationship renegotiation
i. To what extent will the relationship be the same?
ii. What rules and expectations for the future?
iii. Involving discussion and how they gonna move forward with the
existing relationship
iv. Seeing it with a new lens? Or adjusting something in it?


Mc Master 5 role functions – helps to understand the goals that family tries to provide for
their members

1. Gender role socialization

a. The family is the first and most powerful source of gender role socialization
i. No one is born knowing what it means to be a girl or a boy
ii. Parents thought them implicitly or explicitly about gender roles to
their children
1. Ex: what it meant to be a man or a woman, masculine vs.
feminine etc.
b. Traditional gender roles vs. androgynous gender roles
i. Traditional gender riles – very specific ideas of who should perform
task in which emotionally and supported by dislosure
ii. Androgynous gender roles – who should perform which tasks in a
family is based on skills, interest and ability and availability ; self-
disclosure and expression of emotion are not tied to gender
2. Nurturing and support
a. Parents and other fam give advise to children, issue instruction and
directiveness and answer questions
i. Historically mothers tended to be the family nurturer, today, fathers
tend to share this responsibility as well
ii. Siblings also plays a role in nurturing as well
b. Parents and other family members are also primary source (hopefully) non-
judgmental understanding
3. Tools for individual development
a. Parents and others fam need to help children to become independent
i. Encourage children to explore their talents and interests and make
1. Involves balancing connection-autonomy -> self sufficient
4. Kinship maintanence
a. Family members facilitate w/ other fam to visit other fam outside the home
b. Facilitate recreational activities that involve fam who loves outside the house
c. Facilitate comm between fam who lives outside the house
5. Basic resources
a. Food, shelter, warmth and clothing
b. Today’s parents providing basic needs for their children –curentg parenting
styles are less gendered than the past ; very common for mothers and fathers
for work out or at home
c. However, even though more men are working at home and women working
out of home, women still does more chores and house work than men.

Couple types

Fitzpatrick 4 couples type

Limitation = based on heterosexual couples

1. Traditional couples
a. Couple is highly interdependent and emphasize participating in activities
b. Gender roles important
c. Low tolerance for uncertainty; hold the stability of the relationship in high
d. Prefer to avoid conflict
e. Like to be together ALWAYS
2. Interdependent couple types
a. Value both connection and personal autonomy
b. Endorse androgynous, flexible gender roles
c. Comfortable with uncertainty and change
d. Discuss the state of the relationship regularly; do not shy away from conflict
3. Separate couple type
a. Not interdependent at all
b. Need great deal of personal space
i. Emotionally divorced -> according to Fitzpatrick
c. Gender roles tend to be important
d. Low tolerance for uncertainty; prefer routines
e. Tend to go to great lengths to avoid conflict
i. In large part because conflict would involve interdependence
4. Mixed couples type
a. 40 -50% of couples do not really fall into a specific category rather many
represents a meshing of 2 different types

Family Types
1. Pluralistic
2. Consensual
3. Protective
4. Laissez-faire

Conformity and conversation

High conformity = family members express similar values and attitudes

Low conformity = fam express varied values and attitudes and patterns of interactions

- High -> tend to function more harmoniously and have few er conflicts
- Low -> valued individuality but more conflict
High conversation= open family system; feel free to speak their mind
Low convos= more closed/ more reserved


- The ability to influence other people
o Influence their attitude
o Influence behavior
- Involve all relationship dynamic
o Operates transactionally
o Power aspect of the relationship between two or more people
- Power is dynamic – who has what kind of power potentially shift over time
- In systems, every time power is employed, it has system wide-effects
o When one person in a system exerts power, other members of the
system respond and adjust accordingly
- Power can be enabling or disabling
o Long term impact of enable impact are more impactful in long term
rather than disabling
o Ex: enabling ( talking nicely) – disabling ( forcing )
- Enabling power
o Expressive composed behavior to control over people
o Communicates confidence
o Achieve their goals
o Using interpersonalrelationships to assist in achieving goals
o More impacful in the longterms
- Disabling power
o Using intimidation, threats, punishments and other harsh tactics to
influence others.
o Have short term effects and not effective in the long run
o Resulted in dissatisfaction, hurt feelings, resistance, and resentment

Power bases
- Where do people get their power from?

1. Normative resources – who made the decision in the family

a. Cultural societal and invidiual family expections about who make the decision
in a family. For example, culturally mothers made certain types and father
made other types etc.
2. Economic resources – where there is money there is power
a. Control allowed or expected through a person’s financial resources.
b. A family bread winner likely to have more power
c. Elagitarian relationships
3. Affective resource
a. Control allowed through demonstration of care and commitment of love.
Ex: not doing drugs due to not hurting the partner
4. Personal resources
a. Characteristics and personality
i. Ex: charismatic and a more engaging person tends to have more
power rather than the quite one
b. Cognitive resources
i. A person’s intellect and reasoning ability

Enacting power
- In everyday situations people uses vaied ways to uses power to control people
- Direct or indirect
- Unilateral or bilateral

1. Direct – indirect
a. Direct tactics
i. Using unambigious verbal comm to influence
others. Ex: asking and persistence; asking
someone for what u want
b. Indirect tactics
i. Using ambiguious comm to influences others.
Ex: dropping hints – being affectionate – cry to
get what they want
2. Unilateral or bilateral
a. Unilateral tactics
i. Taking independent actions. Ex: telling people
what you want and withdrawing ( I stop talking
to her until she does what I want )
b. Bilateral tactics
i. Using interactive startegies. Ex: persuasion,
bargaining, reasoning , facts, etc.
Power in parent-child relationship
- Parents need power iver their children, especially when they are young

1. Authoritarian – demanding, directive and non-responsive

a. Tendency to use disabling power
b. Power tactics used are typically unilateral and direct
c. Allows for very little open dialogue between parents and child
d. Expect children to follow a very strict rules and expectations
e. Usually rely on harsh punishment to demand obedience or teach a lesson
- Children of authoritarian parents tends to be
o Prone to having low self-esteem
o Be fearful or shy
o Associate obedience with love
o Have difficulty in social situations
2. Permissive parents
a. Undemanding, nondirective and responsive ( indulgent) parents
i. Often the child has more power than the parent
ii. Power tactics are used by the parent, they are typically indirect and
iii. Parents avoid confrontation with their child (afraid like)
iv. Few rules and general lack of structure
v. More interested in being a friend rather a parent
vi. To attempt to gain control, a permissive parent may attempt to bribe
the child with large rewards
- Children usually be like:
o Engaging in heavy underage alcohol use
o Less likely to succeed in academic
o Low levels of self-disciplines and self-control
o Develops negative personalities traits such as self-centeredness
o Clash with authority figures at schools or at work
3. Authoritative parents – demanding but also responsive
a. This parenting style relies heavily on enabling power
b. Power tactics used re typically direct and bilateral
c. Parents have high expectations for their child but temper these expectations
with understandings and support
d. Structure for the child’s life ( ex: consistent bedtime , household rules etc.)
e. Open comm between parent and child
- Generally believe to create a healthiest environment for a child and fosters a
positive relationship between parent and child

Children also tries to gain power in the family

- Children gain power in order to:
o Establish their position in the family
o Gain resources
o Establish their own identities
- Acting out
- Keeping secrets from parents
- Manipulating parents
- Forming alliances with one parent over another

How do families make decision?

1. Consensus
a. When all family member agrees
2. Accommodation
a. When not everyone agrees but they kinda figure that further discussion is not
necessary so they kinda move on
3. De facto decision
a. One person makes the executive decision