The Study Of Child-Parent Relations In Disharmonious Families

Abstract

Disharmonious relations in the family create the unfavorable background for the emotional development of the child. They often lead to violations of child-parent relations in the family. This study is aimed at identifying the main problems of the disharmonious relations in the family influence on the occurrence of violations in the child’s behavior of the child. Children experience the most acute feelings in the situation of сontact disruption with parents, lack of their warmth and care, divorce, intra-family conflicts affecting the nature of child-parent relations. Our study of child-parent relations is reduced to solving two main tasks, according to which the choice of methods is carried out. The article reveals the characteristics of child-parent relations in disharmonious families. Theoretical analysis and empirical research showed that the parents’ psychological and personal problems, which they solve at the expense of their children, are at the basis of disharmonious relationships in the family. This kind of parents’ problems is revealed in the article. These are conflicts between mother and father, lack of the parental feelings development, projection of their own interests and desires on a child, bringing conflict between spouses into the sphere of upbringing. It is these problems that directly affect the behavior of children. The study confirmed our hypothesis. A purposeful work is needed to identify and prevent disharmonious relations in the family.

Keywords: Familydisharmonious familyсhild-parent relationsinterpersonal relationships in the familyparentschild

Introduction

Actualizing the problem

A modern family in a changing world can be both a positive and a negative factor in the child’s development. Disharmonious relations in the family create the unfavorable background for the emotional development of the child. They often lead to communicative disorders in the family. They can also become a source of conflicts in the family and children’s psychological trauma. Relations with children in such a family are inadequate, unstable. With the change in socio-political situation, demographic changes and many other circumstances, the study of child-parent relations in disharmonious families remains relevant and timely.

Explore Importance of the Problem

It should be noted that, despite the great interest in this issue, the content of the concept of "child-parent relations" in the psychological and pedagogical literature is not defined unambiguously. We determined the understanding of this definition on the basis of the analysis of psychological and educational literature. It is important that the child-parent relationships are different from other types of interpersonal relationships. They are closer and begin with the first days of a person's life, because it is the family that has an impact on a child, it is in the family where a child learns to interact and gains experience, where he is brought up. These relationships begin with the birth of a person and last a lifetime. They affect the children’s perception of norms of behavior, values, and social roles.

Problem Statement

There are different approaches to the study of child-parent relations. In psychology, child-parent relations are understood as a relationship, mutual influence, active interaction of the parents and a child, manifesting the socio-psychological patterns of interpersonal relations (Fromm, 2004; Gippenreiter, 2016). According to another approach it is the substructure of family relations including interrelated but unequal relations: of parents to a child - parental relationship as well as the child's relationship to parents (Varga, 2001; Spivakovskaya, 1988).

Child-parent relations in the social and pedagogical context are viewed as processes of interconnection and interdependence of children and parents affecting changes both in the family itself and in the society, because family is one of the most important social institutions (Biktagirova, 2014, 2017; Biktagirova & Valeeva, 2015; Reprintseva, 2007). Therefore, disharmonization of relations in the family is an important issue for research.

A disharmonious family is viewed as a family not fulfilling its functions. At the same time, the needs of family members are not met, their personal growth is limited, emotional, communicative relationships are violated. (Kovar, 1979; Spivakovskaya, 1988; Eidemiller & Yustickis, 2008; Crittenden, 1988; Karabanova, 2005; Ovcharova, 2005; Biktagirova & Valeeva, 2016).

Research Questions

The child reacts sharply to any changes in the family. If parents in the family bear this kind of disharmonious relationships, children experience a development crisis; become the most vulnerable members of the family. Children experience the most acute feelings in the situation of сontact disruption with parents, lack of their warmth and care, divorce, intra-family conflicts affecting the nature of child-parent relations.

There are the following problems in the study of child-parent relations in disharmonious families:

1. Study of interpersonal parent-child relationships from the parent’s point of view;

2. Study of interpersonal parent-child relationships from the child’s point of view;

3. Identification of ways to harmonize relations in disharmonious families.

Accordingly the research problem is revealing the problems of disharmonious child-parent relations in the family affecting most the occurrence of violations in the child’s behaviour.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the research is to reveal the main problems of disharmonious child-parent relations in the family affecting most the occurrence of violations in the child’s behaviour and to outline the ways of their harmonization.

Research Methods

Theoretical and empirical methods

To test the hypothesis there was developed a complex of methods, complementing one another:

- Theoretical: analysis of the psychological and pedagogical literature on the research problem; studying and generalization of pedagogical experience.

- Empirical: questioning, testing, teenagers' and parents' performance results study.

Study of child-parent relations

In the diagnosis of child-parent relations, various methods are used, reflecting different approaches to understanding the essence of family upbringing and identifying problems in relation to children and parents. Most researchers associate them with the psychological atmosphere of the family, the system of interpersonal relations in the family, the attitude towards children, their interests and needs, the level of the parents' psychological and pedagogical culture (Kovar, 1979; Spivakovskaya, 1988; Eidemiller & Yustickis, 2008; Crittenden, 1988; Karabanova, 2005; Ovcharova, 2005; Biktagirova & Valeeva, 2016).

The study of child-parent relations is reduced to solving two main tasks, according to which the choice of methods is carried out. Interpersonal parent-child relationships from the parents’ point of view are explored with the help of the Parents Questionnaire "Analysis of Family Relationships" (AFR) (Eidemiller, & Yustitskis, 2000). It has two versions – child’s and adolescent’s. We used the teenage version. The methodology is designed to study the parents' experience in raising a child (adolescent) and searching for mistakes in upbringing. It allows diagnosing dysfunctions in the system of family members’ mutual influence, violations in the structural and role aspect of the family vital activity and in the mechanisms of its integration.

Interpersonal parent-child relationships from the viewpoint of a child are studied with the help of the questionnaire "Children Evaluate Parents " (CEP). This technique is a modification of the questionnaire "Analysis of Family Upbringing", which was performed by Furmanov, Aladin & Furmanova (1998). This questionnaire is designed to study the child's ideas about the style of family education. Based on the data obtained, we can reveal the causes of the problems in the family.

To identify ways of harmonizing these relations on the part of parents, we used a questionnaire for parents and grandparents about relations with children in the family (Reprintseva, 2007).

Stages of the research

At the first stage of the experiment the information on the research problem in philosophical, psychological and pedagogical literature and psychological practice was studied, summarized and systematized; personal experience in this area was accumulated and analyzed.

At the second stage, a study of child-parent relations in disharmonious families was conducted.

At the third stage the results were analyzed and interpreted.

Description of the experiment

The experiment was conducted in Kazan basic schools in the natural conditions of the educational process. 68 teenagers from Kazan schools from disharmonious (unsuccessful) families aged 13-15, and 85 parents (66 mothers and 19 fathers) participated in the experiment.

Findings

According to the questionnaire for parents "Analysis of Family Relationships" (AFR) parents filled 20 scales allowing to reveal different types of upbringing: indulgent and dominant hyperprotection, increased moral responsibility, emotional rejection, cruel treatment and hypoprotection, etc.

The proposed questionnaire helped to find answers to the following questions.

Firstly, in what ways do parents raise a child (type of upbringing). If this type contributes to the emergence and development of pathological changes in the personality of the child, we must also answer the second question: why do parents bring up their child in this way?

Secondly, what is the cause of this type of upbringing?

Analyzing the data of the questionnaire of parents from disharmonious families (table 01 ), we found out incorrect types of upbringing, and the reasons for their violations.

High scores were obtained on the scales "excessive requirements-prohibitions" (2.84 out of 3), "hyperprotection" (6.71 out of 7) and "minimality of sanctions" (3.57 out of 4), which indicates the mistakes of raising children. There is also a minimal rate on the scale of "hypoprotection" (3.29 out of 7), which is characterized by lack of attention to the child. In addition, there is a relatively high rate on the scale “taking the conflict between parents into the sphere of upbringing” (3, 17 of 4).

Table 1 -
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In order to confirm the reliability, a mathematical-statistical treatment of the average indices was carried out according to the scales using the Student's t-test. The data obtained as a result of the statistical treatment of the Student’s t-test showed the significance of the results for all the above scales at the level of 95% reliability in the following indicators: hyperprotection, expansion of the sphere of parental feelings; educational uncertainty; underdevelopment of parental feelings; taking the conflict between parents into the sphere of upbringing.

Interpersonal parent-child relationships from the viewpoint of a child was studied with the help of the questionnaire "Children Evaluate Parents" (CEP). This allowed us to identify problems in family upbringing from the point of view of adolescents and compare them with parental ones.

Table 2 -
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According to the results, high scores on the "hyperprotection" scales (5.92 out of 7) and "excessive sanctions" (3.44 out of 4), "excessive requirements-prohibitions" (2.73 out of 3) were obtained, "taking the conflict between parents into the sphere of upbringing"(3.88 out of 4),"disregard of needs "(3.71 out of 5)," underdevelopment of parental feelings "(5.93 out of 7), which also indicates the mistakes of raising children. First of all, this conditioned violation of upbringing testifies to the existence of indulgent hyperprotection combined with the preference for child's qualities in teenagers (3.96 out of 5) and ignoring their needs. In this case, parents tend to ignore the children’s growing up, to stimulate them to maintain such child's qualities as immediacy, naivety, playfulness. For such parents, the teenager is still small. In addition, they often openly admit the parent's insufficient desire to meet the needs of the child, first of all, the need for emotional contact with the parents.

In addition, it should be noted that such indicators as hyperprotection, taking the conflict between parents into the sphere of upbringing coincide with parents and adolescents.

The data obtained as a result of the statistical treatment with the Student’s t-test also showed the significance of the results at the 95% reliability level in the following indicators: hyperprotection, expansion of the sphere of parental feelings, excessive sanctions, disregard of needs, underdevelopment of parental feelings, taking the conflict between parents into the sphere of upbringing.

Due to the fact that these problems were revealed, we partly used the methodology of Reprintseva "Questionnaire for parents and grandparents about relationships with children in the family." The questionnaire was adapted for adolescents. Only parents participated in the survey.

The results of this survey confirmed previous studies on issues related to the causes of disharmonious relations and specified them. Thus, parents incorrectly choose methods of harmonization of relations.

Parents of disharmonious families showed a low demand for professional assistance in family upbringing (5.3% of parents). Parents do not turn to psychologists and educators for help, but prefer to solve problems "by their own" methods (78, 2%), or they turn to neighbors or friends (16.5%).

Parents are forced to admit that "their" methods towards adolescents are not always effective. But they do not hurry for help to specialists. Moreover, conservative methods of upbringing prevail, such as shouting (including insulting children), a cold tone of communication (silence as well), a restriction or promise of something concrete, slapping, cuffing (and sometimes punishment with a belt and even more severe treatment of children). As for the constructive methods of family upbringing, parents turned to affection, persuasion and explanation, but to a lesser extent. They note that very often these methods are ineffective and lead to conflicts (Table 03 ).

Table 3 -
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Thus, the problems of child-parent relations in disharmonious families are associated with the wrong styles of upbringing in the family, ignoring the needs and interests of children and adolescents, family and child-parent conflicts as a result of using "incorrect" methods of family upbringing and low psychological and pedagogical competence of parents.

Conclusion

The study reveals the characteristics of child-parent relations in disharmonious families. Theoretical and empirical research has shown that the basis of disharmonious relations in the family is the psychological and personal problems of parents, which they solve at the expense of their children. The main problems of parents are revealed, such as: conflicts between mother and father, excessive sanctions, ignoring of needs, lack of development of parental feelings, projection of one's own interests and desires on the child, bringing conflict between spouses into the sphere of upbringing. A purposeful work is needed to identify and prevent disharmonious relations in the family.

Harmonization of child-parent relations in the family should include:

- Establishment of psychological balance in the family through prevention and constructive resolution of intra-family conflicts;

- Development of psychological and pedagogical competence of parents;

- Prevention of violations of family education: protection, full satisfaction of the needs of children, the degree of presentation of claims, prohibitions, sanctions to a child;

- Various methods of correction of child-parent relations - discussions, psychodrama, analysis of family situations and actions of children and parents, communication in solving problems, role-playing together, exercises for the development of communication skills, art-therapy, game therapy, trainings, etc.

Acknowledgements

The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University.

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2017.08.02.106

Online ISSN

2357-1330