n CME : Your SA Journal of CPD - The effect of lifestyle choices on the family : main article

Volume 23, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0256-2170



In contemporary society there are many alternative structures to that which traditionally has been considered to be a family, i.e. a group of people functioning as a single household. <br>In systems theory, a family is considered to be a structure of interrelated parts in which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. <br>Any action taken by one member will affect other members and the structure as a whole. <br>Children frequently present with behavioural problems or anxiety secondary to family stress. <br>Individual risk and resilience factors relate to temperament, pre-morbid psychiatric history and psychosocial functioning. <br>The MacMaster model of family functioning defines 6 important areas influencing adjustment: &lt;ul&gt;&lt;li&gt; problem-solving ability&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt; communication&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt; roles</li> <li>affective responsiveness</li> <li>affective involvement&lt;/li&gt; &lt;li&gt; behaviour control.</li></ul> The family doctor is uniquely positioned to guide an individual to ameliorate the consequences of their choices by recognising dysfunctional behaviours and communication and recommending alternatives. <br>This needs to be a conscious action with a clear purpose to prevent the doctor from being absorbed into the family's dysfunctional patterns.

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