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Universal Characteristics of Families
Every family is a small social system. Family comprises of small social systems because of the
inter-relations and inter-actions of its members. Every member of the family has their particular
roles and are expected to perform diligently.
Every family has its own cultural values and rules. Family cultural values influences each family
member’s behavior, morals, beliefs and traditions.
Every family has structure. Each family has a structure that refers to the combination of relatives
that form a family. It looks at the presence or absence of members.
Every family has certain basic functions. All families have sociological and biological functions
in the society.
Every family moves through stages in its life cycle. All families experience different stages in
the life cycle.
Attributes of Families as Social Systems
Families are interdependent. Interdependence of family member is a characteristic of social
Families maintain boundaries. These boundaries link the family together in a bond that excludes
others. This is not to say that family boundaries cannot be permeable
Families exchange energy with their environments. Families exchange energy with external
environments and also lern from them
Families are adaptive. One of major roles of community health nurse is to help restore the
equilibrium, keep family stable within the environment
Families are goal-oriented. Families exist for a purpose for example to establish a place where
family members can develop
Question 3
The mother is in the child-bearing adults stage.
Functions of family.
The six functions of a family include procreation, fulfilling the adult’s emotional needs, teaching
and instilling family norms to children, maintaining the family systems, passing along values and
beliefs, and provide support to each other.

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