- What are your priorities in ensuring a healthy lifestyle? What kind of values do you hold and share? How would you describe the overall health and wellbeing of all family members?
- What does your daily diet consist of? How often do you cook at home and eat out? What food groups are usually present in your diet?
- At what time do you wake up and go to sleep? Is your sleep schedule consistent? How often do you or your family members feel tired during the day?
- Do any of your family members have trouble with elimination? Are there any elimination-related health issues present? Does anybody use elimination supplements or medicine?
- Do you have a regular exercise or training routine? Does your family engage in any group activities or sports? How active are you and your family members?
- How would you evaluate your family’s cognitive abilities? Do you partake in any kind of cognitive activity? Do you or your family members suffer from any pre-existing or developed cognitive problems?
- Does anyone in your family have any kind of sensory impairment? Do you or others use tools for sensory aid? Are there accommodations in place for you or your children at school, home, and the workplace?
- How would you describe your role in the family? How do your family members view themselves? Are there any self-image issues in the family?
- What roles do the members of the family play? Is familial hierarchy respected by all members? How did the roles come to be?
- Are you and your family members comfortable with their sexuality? Are the children sufficiently informed on the questions or sex and gender? Is everybody sexually healthy, to your knowledge?
- Do you or your family members have any past or present trauma? What are your methods of dealing with trauma? Do you seek professional help?
Health Assessment Results
By using the questionnaire above, I have conducted a health survey of an acquaintance’s family. The family in question will be referred to as “Petersons” for the sake of convenience and anonymity. Utilizing the answers acquired, an assessment of health and overall well-being was formed. This paper will summarize and analyze my findings on the matter.
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Family Structure, Health, and Practices
Starting, the Peterson family consists of a mother and a father, a grandmother, and a single child, a girl. The family all lives together, in a single household. The daughter is school-aged, and both parents have full-time jobs. The income is stable and puts them around average for a middle-to-low class family. The mother and father are the main authority of the house, sharing responsibilities, with the grandmother taking care of their daughter. The grandmother lives off of her pension and support for the other members. All family members are white Europeans of the Christian faith, living in a decent neighborhood. The family is not overly religious, except the grandmother who regularly prays and attends service.
In regards to mental and physical health, the answers vary. The family does not have an established fitness routine, though the daughter is encouraged to do regular morning exercise. The mother and father do not usually partake in physical activities, and the grandmother has personal health concerns that prevent her from training. Grandmother Peterson has problems with sight and walking, and uses a cane to move around more comfortably. The sleep patterns of all family members are irregular, with grandmother and the daughter staying up late quite often. Everyone is noted to be tired in the second half of the day. In regards to the diet, the Petersons usually cook at home, and the diet is varied, including different food groups. Parents encourage healthy eating and controlling the calorie intake, although not to a large degree. The child does seem to be prone to eating too much high-fat, sugary products, leading to being overweight. According to the mother, no elimination problems seem to be present in any of the family members.
Mental health seems to be a somewhat overlooked issue in the family. While the members have good interpersonal relationships and a strong support system, they do not effectively resolve their problems. The daughter struggles with self-esteem and image issues relating to her appearance and weight, and the mother confesses to having trouble with anger management. None of them are actively seeking therapy or doing anything to resolve their issues, and the only coping mechanism is venting to other family members.
Health Pattern Strengths and Problems
Several health pattern strengths were displayed by the Petersons. Firstly, the solidity of family roles and hierarchy. Their familial ladder was established early on and all members respect and adhere to their positions. The daughter abides by the rules of the household and does her part in housekeeping. The grandmother serves as the caretaker and the giver of advice, who does not intervene with the parenting techniques of the mother and father. They, in turn, are responsible for the well-being of the family unit and can make most major decisions. Secondly, the presence of a strong support system. Healthy relationships between family members allow everyone to feel safe and reliable, mitigate the struggles of daily life. Despite the aforementioned strengths of this family unit, some problems must be noted as well. The lack of a regular exercise schedule or physical group activities takes a toll on the well-being of the family, especially on the daughter and grandmother. The need to establish a suitable routine for ensuring everybody stays in good condition is apparent. Secondly, the mental health problems of some of the members need more attention. Petersons should properly address the problems the child and mother face, and find an appropriate coping mechanism that brings benefit to the family unit. A visit to a doctor or a psychologist may be advised as a solution for anger and image problems. Another problematic area for the Petersons is the physical health of the grandmother. Due to her respectable age, the woman has trouble seeing and moving around the house, and there are no sufficient accommodations in place to make her life more comfortable.
The Application of Family Systems Theory
The issues mentioned and described above have obvious negative consequences on the well-being and prosperity of the family unit. According to the family systems theory, many of the problems individuals face need to be effectively understood and resolved through the lens of family and group involvement. The troubles relating to the daughter, for example, can be tackled by the united efforts of all family members. The girl has developed body and self-esteem issues, and her relatives should show support and be emotionally available to her. According to the research, family resilience has a positive effect on the mental health and the well-being of their child (Herbell et al., 2020).
Another problem that can be solved collectively is the promotion of a healthier diet. The important part of regulating the child’s weight and preventing obesity is finding the approach that would not be detrimental to her in the future (Barnhart et al., 2020). Family members must control the eating habits of themselves and the child while showing support and acceptance. By setting an example and enforcing rules, the parents can mitigate the negative influence of high-fat and sugary foods on their daughter. Lastly, the engagement of the whole family can be used to promote a regular exercise routine, designed to improve the overall quality of life. It is noted by the researchers that parental incentive to engage in regular physical activity correlates with adult and child physical activity (Solomon-Moore et al., 2017). By taking into account the need for collective improvement, the Petersons can help each other improve by strengthening their support systems.
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Barnhart, W. R., Braden, A., & Dial, L. A. (2020). Perceived parental feeding practices and concern about overweight status interact with emotion regulation difficulties to predict emotional eating: Findings from a cross-sectional study. Web.
Herbell, K., Breitenstein, S. M., Melnyk, B. M., & Guo, J. (2020). Family resilience and flourishment: Well-being among children with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. Research in Nursing & Health. Web.
Solomon-Moore, E., Sebire, S. J., Thompson, J. L., Zahra, J., Lawlor, D. A., & Jago, R. (2017). Are parents’ motivations to exercise and intention to engage in regular family-based activity associated with both adult and child physical activity? BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine, 2(1). Web.