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Communication in different types of families

Define Family

Family of origin refers to relatives connected by blood or other traditional legal bonds

such as marriage or adoption and includes parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles,

nieces, and nephews.

Define Communication

The imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other


Family Communication Types

 Consensual Family

 Pluralistic Family

 Protective Family

 Laissez-faire family

Consensual Family

A consensual family is high in both conversation and conformity orientations, and they

encourage open communication but also want to maintain the hierarchy within the family

that puts parents above children. This creates some tension between a desire for both

openness and control. Parents may reconcile this tension by hearing their children’s

opinions, making the ultimate decision themselves, and then explaining why they made

the decision they did.

Pluralistic Family

A pluralistic family is high in conversation orientation and low in conformity. Open

discussion is encouraged for all family members, and parents do not strive to control their

children’s or each other’s behaviors or decisions. Instead, they value the life lessons that

a family member can learn by spending time with non–family members or engaging in


Protective Family

A protective family is low in conversation orientation and high in conformity, expects

children to be obedient to parents, and does not value open communication. Parents make

the ultimate decisions and may or may not feel the need to share their reasoning with

their children. If a child questions a decision, a parent may simply respond with “Because

I said so.”

Laissez-faire family

A laissez-faire family is low in conversation and conformity orientations, has infrequent

and/or short interactions, and doesn’t discuss many topics. Remember that pluralistic

families also have a low conformity orientation, which means they encourage children to

make their own decisions in order to promote personal exploration and growth. Laissez-

faire families are different in that parents don’t have an investment in their children’s

decision making, and in general, members in this type of family are “emotionally

divorced” from each other.

Communication in different types of families

Nuclear Family

The nuclear family is the traditional type of family structure. This family type consists of

two parents and children. Nuclear family does affect communication between family as a

whole. At times, the important decisions requiring the elderly advise are neglected or

prolonged and leads to lot of problems in life. On the other hand, The benefit of the

nuclear family is that only small number of persons are there, they are more close and

open to each other and hence the decision is taken very fast. There are no chances of

selfish behavior and life is very free and without restrictions.

Joint Family

Joint families are composed of sets of siblings, theirs spouses, and their dependent

children. Many persons in the family are available to help if any member of the family

faces any difficulty. There is environment of very good communication among the family

and they love each other. No member of the family feels aloneness and feels background

support from the family

If the joint family is not cohesive, the family may become the field of war. The selfish

behavior of the member may turn the benefit of the family into drawback. No decision is

taken as there is scattered idea and low interest and this is how communication gaps keep

developing among family members.

Extended family

The extended family is the most common type of family in the world. Extended families

include at least three generations: grandparents, married offspring, and grandchildren. In

extended families, family members live with mutual respect, support each other and

communicate effectively. On the other hand, conflicts may arise between the family

members which can result into ineffective communication.

Single parent family

The single parent family consists of one parent raising one or more children on his own.

Often, a single parent family is a mother with her children, although there are single

fathers as well. Single parent families are generally close and find ways to work together

to solve problems, such as dividing up household chores. On the other hand, Single

parents are faced with unique challenges that directly impact their communication with

children. Communication challenges in single‐ parent homeless families also include loss

of family stability, managing privacy, and relying on others to parent their children.

Blended family

A blended family is formed when divorced or widowed parents who have children marry.

Often misunderstandings occur among these type of families, because both parents are

struggling with the fact that they need to look after their children and also look after the

children of their partner. This can lead to immense communication gap among family

Binuclear family

A binuclear family is an original family divided into two by divorce. It consists of two

nuclear families, the maternal nuclear family headed by the mother, and the paternal

nuclear family headed by the father. That’s why it is called binuclear family. In these

families the focus of communication is on maintaining strong relationships.

Communication is very necessary but it may be low because the head of the family alone

play the two roles of earner and housekeeping. Parents usually communicate with

children to motivate them, to make the children confident and to maintain their self-

concept and self-esteem.