U.S. Census Def of a family
A group of two or more people related by birth, marriage, or adoption who reside together
Examples of Family Characteristics

Characteristics of the family as a whole

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Characteristics of individual members

Unique circumstances

Examples of characteristics of family as a whole
Size, form, cultural background, SES, and geographic location
Educator’s definition of family
Two or more people who regard themselves as family and who carry out the functions that families typically perform
The foundational values and beliefs that set the standards for how people perceive, interperate, and behave within their family, school, and community.



Religion, Language, Race, Ethnicity, Age, Geography, and Income
Cultural competence
Fostering self-awareness as well as an understanding and respect for the cultural community in which the family belongs
Enrolling more students of a minority in SpEd that the percentage of those students in the entire school population
Life Skills
Reframing, passive appraisal, spiritual support, social support, professional support
Systems, as it applies to families
Whatever happens to one member, happens to the rest
3 assumptions for Family Systems Theory
1) The output/input configuration systems 2) the concepts of wholeness and subsystems 3) the role of boundries in defining systems
Describe inputs and outputs

Inputs are the family characteristics (as a whole, individually, and unique circumstances

Outputs are the family functions (affection, self-esteem, spiritual, SES…)

Marital Subsystem
Interactions between husband/wife; same sex or domestic partners
Parental Subsystems
Interactions between parents and their children
Sibling subsystem
Interactions between siblings
Extended family subsystem
Interactions b/w members of the nuclear family, relatives, and others regarded as relatives
Cohesion and adapability describe:
The emotional bonding that members of family subsystems have and the quality and nature of boundaries, organization, and negotiations
Family member’s close emotional bonding with each other and to the level of independence they feel withing the family system. High disengagement>high enmeshment