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ERIC Number: ED439375
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
What Exactly Is a Family?
Stevens, Patricia
It is imperative that counselors understand the difference in their personal perspective of what constitutes a family and the perspective of others, as well as the difference in personal perspective and "scientific knowledge". Beginning to acknowledge these differences is the first step in integrating diversity into counseling skills. This article presents a class exercise to assist students in becoming aware of their own idea of family as well as a tool to use with clients in order to determine their definition of family. In addition, it presents results of a survey that determined what the concept family means in theoretical terms. One distinctive finding was that American students tended to define family in relationship to the appearance of children in the household, which did not hold true for other populations. The pastoral counseling group tended to define family by blood ties that inhabit the same physical structure. Malaysian students overwhelmingly defined family within the context of their religious and cultural beliefs in which only those individuals who are related by blood or marriage are considered family. The recommendation is that counselors continue to examine what family means to various populations and cultures since counseling clients from other countries is becoming more common. (JDM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Malaysia; Sweden