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Family social wellness
Measures for the evaluation of family functioning provide our major entry point into the study of family social health. Table 4.6 gives a sample of the variety of concepts measured in the subscales of seven instruments used to evaluate family functioning (Walker and Crocker 1988). Another set of instruments can be found in the coping literature (Krause 1988). Many of the items in table 4.6 are designed to capture positive aspects of social wellness, such as mood and tone, marital satisfaction, happiness, and relationship quality. Only the first of the instruments, however - the Beavers-Timberlawn family evaluation scale - is based on observed measures, rather than selfreport, and is claimed to be objective, quantifiable, multifactoral, focused on the entire family, and relatively simple to administer and score.
Walker and Crocker (1988) conclude that "a global measure of family functioning that is well standardized and relatively simple to administer does not now exist and may never be developed." We view this perspective as overly pessimistic. Rather than looking to create any single measurement tool that serves as a "gold standard," we believe that sensitive use of qualitative research and rapid assessment methods in developing countries should be able to yield a variety of culture- and situationspecific measures that may be represented by relatively simple indicators for specific research purposes. Such research is actively needed, however, because the investigation of the dimensions of family functioning that are of greatest relevance to international development has yet to begin.
Table 4.5 Latent and indicator variables of a causal model on the antecedents and consequences of the family's social network
|Factor structure coefficients|
|Latent variables||No. Description||(n = 570)|
|I. Eco-context||1. Socio-economic status||.85||.85|
|2. Urban location||.62||.58|
|3. Action space density||.51||.48|
|4. Location of residence||.34||.41|
|5. Period of living in same house/flat||.46||.45|
|II. Extrafamilial activities (parents)||6. Membership in sports and other leisure groups||1.00||1.00|
|III. Social network (parents)||7. Intensity of primary contacts||.72||.75|
|8. No. of telephone contacts||.63||.57|
|9. No. of visiting contacts||.51||.18|
|10. No. of good friends||.68||.53|
|11. No. of close families with children||.54||.55|
|12. Addressee for educational problems||.44||.57|
|IV. Expressive family climate||13. Stimulating family climate (second-order factor)||1.00||1.00|
|V. Child's participation in parents' social network||14. Child's participation in parents' social contacts (composite score)||1.00||1.00|
|VI. Educational style||15. Enhancing child's initiative||.49||.83|
|16. Enhancing child's autonomy||.37||.66|
|17. Loving support||.62||.48|
|18. Limited verbal reward||-.60||- .23|
|VII. Extraverted temperament (child)||19. Will-power||.93||.90|
|VIII. Social activities (child)||21. No. of telephone contacts||.62||.60|
|22. No. of activities in sports groups||.64||.68|
|23. No. of hours spent in group activities||.41||.48|
|24. No. of extracurricular activities||.73||.74|
|25. Social active field of experience (SAFE)||.60||.43|
Source: Schneewind (1989).
Table 4.6 Family measure subscales categorized by Fischer's schema a, b
|Measure||Subscale||SD||C and S||E and N||CA||DA|
|Clarity of expression||x|
|Range of feelings||x|
|Mood and tone||x|
|FACES II||Family cohesion|
|Interests and recreation||x|
|FCAM||Consideration versus conflict||x|
|Togetherness versus separateness||x|
|Internal versus external locus of control||x|
|Family actualization versus inadequacy||x|
|Closeness versus estrangement||x|
|FFL||Frequency of disagreement||x|
|Agreement and disagreement||x|
a. Key to Fischer's schema: SD, structural descriptors; C and S. controls and sanctions; E and N. emotions and needs; CA, cultural aspects; DA, developmental aspects.
b. Source: Schneewind (1989) after Forman and Hagan.
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