Family Interview Paper Essay

Family Assessment Paper 2382


The family just recently moved to my neighborhood and we casually said hi to each other. I went to their house and introduced myself and informed them of my intentions. I explained to the family that I was going to perform a family assessment and that this was about assessing the family processes and interactions and identifying both the weak and strong points in the family. I further discussed with the family that the purpose for this assessment was purely academic, confidentiality will be maintained and no diagnostic tests of any kind will be made. Permission was given before scheduling the interview and verified again prior to start. This was verbally consented and there was no need to sign any papers. Therefore, we set up the appointment for 5 o’clock in the evening on Saturday February the 11th 2012 and the interview was going to be at their home in the living room. As of my plan I wrote and grouped my interview questions.

I was to interview the kids first and then finish up with the parents, the mother being the very last because of the abuse questions and assessment. I had the abuse assessment forms in envelopes for them to fill out at the end of the session. I planned to get the genogram with both the parent. So on this day of interview all the five family members were present. We gathered in their living room and being covered with all the information, the environment was tens free. I interviewed the kids first. And theirs was general, and I mostly wanted to know what their roles were in the family as a whole.

Structural Assessment
Family composition/ separate genogram attached
The family consists of three kids, ages 15, 13 and a 6month old. The Kids’ names are Pt, Ks and Ax. None of the parents have been married before. This was their first one. They also have two large dogs and a small cat that they recently adopted. Nobody else lives at home with the family Home and community environment.

They live in a single family house. Pt has his own room, ks has her own room too and the parents share the room with baby Ax. They stated to don’t know many people yet in the neighborhood but so far it is a calm environment. They live near a community park, library, the kids’ school and day care is just a couple of blocks away, a hospital, dental clinic, a fire department nearby as well as a shopping center. Occupation and education background

Mother is pursuing a RN. nursing degree and works 1 day a month in a nursing home. Father is a truck driver and is gone most of the week. He is mostly in Texas and Chicago. They both attained an equivalent of a high school diploma back in Poland. Mother is mostly the caregiver in the house while the father is the provider. This is a family that moved from Poland ten years ago, they lived in California before moving to Minnesota six years ago. Kids Assessment

The oldest kid, a teenage boy just said he loved helping in the house especially since the baby came and he has been doing a lot of that. He does dishes, helps younger siblings with their assignments (mother is very busy with school and sometimes does not understand English very well). He said he wishes his dad would be home more but he also understood that he had to provide for them and pay the housing. He was a very calm young man and pleasant to talk to. Next I interviewed the 13 year-old girl, I had to talk about fashion at some point to get her attention and it worked.

Morbidly obese and she said she has been trying to lose weight but she can’t stop herself from eating anything sweet she lays her hands on. She said she really wanted a girl sibling when her mom first said she was pregnant but when her baby brother was born she got over it fast .She is very helpful with the baby too and loves him dearly. Sometimes offers to sleep with him so her mother can get some sleep. Structural family relationship-

Bb’s family is from Poland and she does not have any relatives in the United States. Rn is also from Poland. His brother lives in Chicago thus he can’t help with the new baby and daycare is too expensive. So for now Bb has to stay home and watch baby Ax. However, she also goes to school and when she is gone to school; she has a lot of trouble finding help with the kids. She is doing evening classes so that Pt and Ks can help babysit after school. And that has been working out so far but would love to find a permanent solution. Cultural and religious tradition

The family is white from Polish background. Bb and Rn were born and raised up in Poland. Their first two kids, Pt and Ks were born in Poland but have grown up mostly in the US. They speak multiple languages but more articulate in English. The family is a staunch Catholics and they go to a polish church in Minneapolis. They celebrate religious holidays like Easter and Christmas. They value Christianity and believe that Church is the basis of spirituality. The family also believes in baptism and eating sacrament so they have all their kids baptized.

Functional Assessment
Family interaction and roles
Bb does not work much, but just once in a month. She stays home with the kids; she wishes she could work more because they are falling behind on the mortgage and can’t afford to buy things that she would want to have. For instance she wants a newer car but she can’t afford one now. However, they are managing although they have been able to cut back on other things that they were used to, before, such as family trips.

Baby Ax was an accidental pregnancy and they were all much unprepared for it. It was especially hard on the family when Bb had to stop working because she had HTN and gestational diabetes. She was on bed rest for most of the pregnancy. The family has been through a lot lately and they are not doing well with the baby. Rn is complaining paying all the bills and finds it very hard to help with the baby. Power decision making/problem solving

The family believes in authoritative rearing of kids and parents work well with the kids when they have done something undesirable. They do not believe in whipping the kids but discipline in denying privileges and giving time outs. Mother is mostly the disciplinarian. According to Bb, they agree on punishment according to what the kids have done and they both support each other in disciplining the kids. The power and decision making is the father’s role and they will consult with him even when he is far on matters that need his attention. Abuse assessment.

I used the abuse form that I had prepared from the questions on (Varcarolis, 2007 pg. 591) to interview the mother on abuse. I asked her the four questions from the abuse assessment screen (figure 26-2). 1. Have your ever been emotionally or physically abused by your partner or someone important to you? 2. Within the last year, have you been hit, slapped, kicked or otherwise physically hurt by someone? 3. Within the last year has anyone forced you to have sexual activities? 4. Are you afraid of your partner or anyone you listed on the assessment list?

The mother denied being abused physically emotional or sexually in the past year. She denied feeling unsafe. She denied being threatened and said she felt safe in the home. Her verbal and nonverbal communication was congruent. Father also denied any kind of abuse and really expressed lots of appreciation about the wife instead. I also asked the following questions regarding their kids on (Varcarolis, 2007 pg. 598). 1. What arrangements do you make when you have to leave your child alone? 2. How do you discipline your children

3. When your infant cries for a long time how you do get him to stop? 4. What about your child’s behavior bothers you the most?

These questions were to assess the possibility for children abuse and neglect but the results were negative regardless of the stressors the parents disciplines their kids fairly as I mentioned earlier in the power decision making / problem solving. They never leave the baby alone in the home and they attend to the crying baby promptly and calm him down by meeting his needs. Generally, the rationale for the screening is to ensure consistent and accurate assessments and protection of all individuals and or families at risk for domestic violence, maltreatment and neglect. (Varcarolis, 2007 pg. 587) On the same note women are victimized about six times more often than men (Varcarolis, 2007 pg. 586). Communication

Different communication techniques were used during this interview, it included open ended questions, seeking clarification, focusing and summarizing. There were also some non-verbal communication such as silence, nodding of the head, eye contact, smiles, movement of hands, looking up unto the roof, looking down onto the floor and movement on the seats. Active listening played a major role in data generation. There were also some interruptions with the kids seeking attention, dad and mom at different times taking breaks to smoke and a couple incoming phone calls. Expression of feelings/individuals:

The family showed respect and peace among themselves members listened to each other’s opinions. No curse words to each other during the interview and I was very impressed with the respect to one another overall. Even though the father is away, he calls 3-4 times a day to talk to the kids and his wife. They are a close-knit family and try to stay together even during a crisis. Dad said love, patience and peace is the key to their long lasting marriage of their18 years. Regardless of all the stress they are going through, financially and with the baby care, they are clinging together still. Mother also expressed a nonverbal communication congruently in support dad’s statements Self-destructive behavior:

Both parents smoke in the home and this is very unhealthy for the kids and to themselves. Father also drinks a lot on the days when he is off. This family eats out a lot too even with the limited finances, this in itself is expensive and choice of foods are not always the healthiest considering the fact that the family members are obese or overweight.

Stages: (Friedman)
Observation of family member’s interactions: Positive interactions were seen within the family members. The children were seen playing and interacting very well, and occasionally coming to the parent for attention and seeking clarifications on what to eat and not to eat. Leadership/Submission: Leadership and submission characteristic are evident within the family system. Though at times parents have episode of arguments, but they are always quick to come to a compromise. Father enforces rules and advices the wife to follow suit in order to have a common voice. Activities shared: Both parents stated “we take them on a walk and sometimes biking and occasionally weekend trip when the time permits but we are barely surviving so we have not done anything for a longtime now. Emotional

Support: Emotional Support was observed when the mother heard the last baby crying, she hurriedly rush to the scene to see what went wrong. Household chores responsibility: Household chores mainly domestic in nature rest primarily on the mom. But husband agreed to help whenever he is home. The children are also very helpful especially when their dad is gone. Caregiver- Shared or primary: Mother is the primary caregiver. Division of tasks: Mother is the one mainly doing chores in the house, when the husband is around he does not do much because he is “always tired”, mother’s statement.

The mother sometimes feels unappreciated because she is taking care of the home and the kids while husband is away and wishes the husband would recognize how tough of a task this is. She feels like the house is not always clean and she loves to keep her house clean and neat but also understands that the baby is priority now. She gained 50 pounds with the pregnancy and she wants to lose it fast, she worries with her age she might never look the same again. The children are very well mannered and they understand that there is time for everything. They will follow instructions on when to go to bed and when to turn off all their gadgets (I-pod).Father hates his job but is willing to do it for as long as he can support his family. He realizes that it’s the sacrifice he has to make. Their financial situation is a big stress.

The whole family has had to cut back on a lot of things and become very frugal in their spending. They would love to get ahead with the bills and be able to afford some holiday, but that is not going to happen soon so they try to do fun things in order to forget about their situation. Rn being gone is also a stressor for all the other family members and him. The baby is a joy but also a stressor since they have to make a lot of changes to take care of him. Their main strength is spirituality and lots of patience with one another.

They get their strength from having good communication techniques. Clinging together unto their marriage is one of the big strengths in this family. Most families break up during situational crises that bring so much stress until couples can’t put up together any longer. Mom stated “it is and has been very difficult but out we won’t fall apart.” So much patience was expressed.

Thinking in Action journal
This assignment was one of the most complex and challenging one so far in this semester. When we were given the instructions during clinical orientation, as well as in the 2381 lab, I thought it was going to be a simple assignment of which it wasn’t. However, at first I had more fun preparing for the interview, going up and meeting the family. Setting up the interview appointment was itself very exciting to me and this really incited me to looking forward to that scheduled day of 02/11/12. Before I knew it, the day of the interview was here and I arrived at the interviewee family home right on time so that do not interrupt with any of their plans. Amazingly they were all set in their living room ready for me. It started all well with open ended question since I had given them all the information prior and had verbally consented the interview at the time of scheduling. All went well with therapeutic communication and I gathered as much information as possible.

I observed all their non-verbal in congruent with verbal communication. I demonstrated active listening a lot which of course enabled them to provide more information. I was amazed with how much they opened up for me. They answered all my questions in details without any signs of hesitation. This confidently revealed to me the big strength of my therapeutic communication giving me the feeling of empowerment and trust winning as a student nurse. At the end of the interview I was glad that I answered their all questions and gave them all the information as needed. I enjoyed this day and I will always remember it!!. As I started writing my paper, it was a little more challenging to organize all the data I collected appropriately, but eventually I managed. Although it was time consuming, it also was a very good learning experience.

Works Cited
Ackley, J. B., & Ladwig, B. G. (2011). Nursing Diagnosis Handbook. St. Louis: Elsevier Mosby, St. Louis. Varcarolis, E. M., & Halter, M. J. (2010). Foundations of Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing. St.Louis, MO: Saunders Elsevier. Varvogli, L., & Darviri, C. (2011). Stress Management Techniques: evidence-based procedures that reduce stress and promote health. Health Science Journal,

Child Care Assistance for postsecondary Students.


            Recently, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to interview someone very close to me about their perspectives and views on family life.  This was an assignment for my Religions of the World class, in which I am learning about views about the family in various world religions.  Currently studying Christian views of the family, I interviewed my uncle Bob to get his perspective on his Christian beliefs and views about family life.  My uncle Bob is 62 years old and was born and raised a Roman Catholic in LaMotte, IA, and has continued with his catholic faith throughout his life, now residing in Davenport, IA.  Bob has been happily married for 38 years and is the father of three boys.   For my interview, I asked my uncle Bob numerous questions about the expectations of husbands and wives and also troubled marriages, therefore my interview will emphasize the husband, wife and their marriage.  For this assignment, I was not only interested in learning the needed information for my project, but also learning more about my own family, and in particular my uncle, and his views on ideas that I may have never learned if I hadn’t been assigned this project. 

            Before beginning my questioning with my uncle, I asked him which emphasis that he would prefer to talk about, husband and wife, or parent and child.  Looking over the questions that I would be asking him, right away he said husband and wife.  The reason I asked him which focus he would rather discuss is because I wanted to get the best possible interview that I could on a subject that he would be comfortable talking about.  The first question I asked Bob was what he thought made someone a good husband or wife.   His first response to the question and a response that he repeatedly stressed throughout the interview was that it is crucial to understand what is important in your partner’s life.  Equally important is that once you find out what is important to your partner, through communication, you need to accommodate to their needs.   Bob told me a personal story about when his marriage was encountering some problems, they went to see a counselor and the marriage counselor recommended a book which was a series of questions to help you better understand what is important to each other, titled, Getting the Love You Want.  Bob said this book helped their marriage so much because it teaches you that the ways your partner feels loved might not be the same ways that you do, but it is important to figure this out and work together to make each other feel loved.  Bob told me, “An example of this is when Maggie (his wife) and I used to go to Hardees every morning for breakfast and they had a refill cup that you could bring back with you everyday and the refill cost was only $0.10.  Well, Maggie insisted that she always bring her cup with her and I never saw the importance in this until one day I realized how important that this was to her and so it started becoming that important to me because I wanted her to be happy and feel loved.”  This is an example of understanding what is important in your partner’s life, even if it’s not that important to you, and showing them how much you care and love them. 

            My second and third questions that I asked Bob go together; they were do husbands have any responsibilities in a marriage not shared by wives and do wives have any responsibilities in a marriage not shared by husbands.  Bob’s overall answer for both questions was that he did not see anything in a marriage that should be done independently.  However, he went on to say that personally there was one thing that he took on to be a responsibility for himself.  After working at John Deere for 25 years not only were you covered by insurance for life, but so too was your wife.  This was so important to Bob to make sure that his wife was taken care of if something were to ever happen to him.  He also said he felt that it was his responsibility to set the financial matters up so that his wife and children would be taken care of if something ever happened to him. 

            I found it very interesting that my uncle Bob didn’t always think that he would marry.  This was my fourth question and his response was something that I did not expect to hear.  He told me that in grade school he decided that he wanted to be a priest and in high school he was an alter boy.  After his senior year in high school he decided to go to college for a year before attending the seminary and after he spent a year at college he said he never again wanted to become a priest. 

            The fifth question I asked my uncle was what he thought was the purpose of marriage.  He told me he felt that the purpose of marriage was for the husband and wife to help each other get to heaven.  He continued that children were a byproduct of the marriage and if a couple did have children that it was their responsibility to educate and teach them so that they could also get into heaven.  Bob said that he thought that marriage was part of God’s plan.  Bob replied, “If God wouldn’t have had a husband and wife in mind then he would have created humans otherwise.”

            The sixth question I asked Bob was about his views on persons who marry someone from a different faith.  He said that when he was growing up a person would have never even imagined marrying someone of a different faith. Living in LaMotte, the town was composed of all Catholics except for one family, who was Protestant.  He remembers that family being treated differently than the rest of the town, and people frowned upon children who were even friends with the family.  Bob also added, “Growing up the first question my parents would ask me and my siblings if we told them we had a girlfriend or boyfriend was is he/she Catholic.  Now, Bob has decided that it would not bother him if his wife were a different denomination as long as neither of them forced their religion upon each other.  He said if that were the case he could see himself attending his religion one Sunday and his wife’s religion the next Sunday.  However, both Bob and Maggie were born and raised Catholic. With this change in views of marrying someone from a different faith, Bob said he didn’t think it had anything to do with his religious beliefs, just that people tend to grow mellower about things after they have been around them for awhile.  He concludes that in his eyes it is more important to get along than to have the same religion.

            The next focus of my interview was on marriages in trouble.  I asked Bob the question, how can one tell when a marriage is in trouble.  He said that usually one little infraction will set the spouse off and what they are flaring up about is not the problem, so it becomes important to figure out what the actual problem in the marriage is.  Bob states, “Fighting fairly in a marriage is healthy and good.  It gets opinions and beliefs out in the open and gives partners a better understanding of what their spouse thinks is important.”  Bob thinks it is so important for husband and wife to try and fix things, should the marriage be in trouble.  He says that when couples get married they are in love with each other and he doesn’t believe that should ever fade or change.  He believes that a person has to work on their marriage every single day, whether troublesome or not.  He adds, “Sometimes it is important to talk to someone outside of the marriage, like a counselor.  I believe in counselors because sometimes you are oblivious to really important things when you are in the situation, but to outsiders the problem is obvious.”  Bob doesn’t really see divorce as an option unless you have both have put forth a lot of effort to try to save the marriage, and still nothing can get solved.  Bob quickly added, “It is so crucial to try to give marriage a shot and not just walk away, like a lot of people now -a -days do.”  Bob says his perspective on divorce has changed so much over time.  His biggest reason for this change is that living in the situation and being married is so different than just talking about divorce. Bob remembers, “In my generation people didn’t get divorced.  Schools even taught marriage courses.  If people did get divorced, they were segregated against in the town and in the church.  Divorced people were not even allowed to go to communion and it was unacceptable to even date a divorcee.”  

 Single parents were not ok when Bob was growing up but he says today it seems to be a necessity because of certain situations.  Bob stressed a serious problem that he sees with single parents and says that he does not condemn them but he does not like it.  Bob tells me, “Children need both a mother and father figure.  Without both figures, I think that children raised by a single parent are missing out on a very important part of their life.”  Bob says he doesn’t think that his beliefs on this have changed over time, or been influenced by religious beliefs, but rather by his own personal beliefs. 

Comparing my interview to the Catholic chapter in the essay, “Faith Traditions and the Family,” it becomes apparent to me that there are both similarities and differences between my interview and the essay.  In the essay it is stated that having children is the primary purpose of marriage.  In my interview, Bob didn’t necessarily think that this was the primary of purpose; he saw the marriage’s primary purpose to be to help each other get into heaven. However, the essay agreed with my interview on the aspect of the family and church relationship.  The essay states that pre WWII, all Roman Catholics did not go to public schools because they went to Catholic schools.   Also pre-Vatican II, the essay says that religious education was in school, five days a week.  Post Vatican II, religious education was separated from the school day and made into a religious education class outside of the school day.  Bob agreed on this topic and said that not only was the Catholic religion stressed in the home but also very much so at school. 

In the essay, it also states that Pre-Vatican II church attendance was mandatory and all neighbors were Catholic.  However, after Vatican II there was a decline in church attendance.  I think Bob illustrated this point well with his example of the one Protestant family in his town that was segregated against because they did not attend the Catholic Church.  Now Bob claims he has no idea which of his neighbors are Catholic and which are not, and either way it does not make any difference, so this definitely agrees with the author’s opinion of changes after Vatican II.  Another big similarity is that the Catholic Church is still against divorce; however divorced persons have the support of ministries. The Catholic Church has tried to maintain commitment of not having divorce but realizes the realties, just like Bob has also realized the realities, although he doesn’t see divorce as a good solution to a troubled marriage. 

There has also been another change noted in the essay and also by Bob by Vatican II.  Pre-Vatican II intermarriage was traditionally frowned upon and Catholics were not allowed to attend a non-Catholic wedding.  Post- Vatican II, views on intermarriage vary between families and churches.  Like Bob pointed out, growing up the first question his parents would ask his siblings and himself were is he/she Catholic?  However, today Bob doesn’t even see any problem behind intermarriage. For he sees the most important thing to be to get along and love each other, no matter what religion.

One big difference is the typical family mentioned in the essay as the father as the head of the home and the bread winner and the mother the heart of the home who doesn’t work outside of home and is a source of comfort.  Bob didn’t really mention anything about this and when asked different responsibilities of husbands and wives he thought about this for a few minutes and couldn’t come up with any differences that he thought were important in a marriage. 

I found it somewhat difficult to try and pick a denomination out of the two other choices -Southern Baptist, and Presbyterians that was least like my interviewee because there were certain aspects in both essays that were different and similar to my interviewee’s responses.  However, I chose to compare my interviewee to the Presbyterians because of one major difference.  After the 1960’s Presbyterians were open to all types of families- single, gay and lesbian, single parents, childless families and divorced families.  I think this is a big difference because my uncle Bob really stressed the fact that he did not think single parents were appropriate because of children needing both mother and father figures.  I think this is also a big difference from the Catholic Church, which is still not to keen on the issue of divorce, unlike Presbyterians who, according to the essay, are open to all types of families.  I think another big difference in the Presbyterian religion according to the essays is that the church was not imposed on family life.  In the Catholic religion, the family was the church of the home.  Church was extremely important to the Catholics and their family life and both the essay and my interview do a good job of illustrating this concept. 

The third and final difference between the two religions is that in the Presbyterian religion, only about 52% of Presbyterians go to church regularly.  The main reason that people go to church is because the children’s religious education is important, and parents take their children to church so that they can be educated.  This differs with the Catholic religion because religious education was extremely important but was not the reason that people went to church.  Pre-Vatican II religious education was not only in the mass but also included in the schooling. Attending the Catholic mass was very important as Bob was growing up and again we see the example of the one Presbyterian family, who didn’t attend Catholic Church and was highly segregated against, illustrating this concept very well.

I hope that this report will give you a better understanding of what traditional Catholics views on family life are and what actual families believe today.  As you can see, my uncle Bob places a very high importance on marriage and the relationship between the husband and the wife, just like the Catholic religion does.  Through this project, I have learned more about my uncle and more about the Catholic religion and its views on family life.  After reading this paper, I hope that you too will be more knowledgeable on the Catholic Religion and areas where it has changed and/or remained the same over time.  Personally, I found that the most important part about this project to be listening to other people’s views and opinions and then their reasoning behind those views and then critically thinking about your own views and opinions and how they may differ because of your age and experiences that you have dealt with.  I also think that it is important to learn what your religion actually believes and thinks is important, which can also help a person figure out what is important in their life and in people that they love and care about.  I hope that through my interview, quotes, examples, comparisons and contrasts you now have a better understanding on the Catholic view of family life, especially the relationship between the husband and the wife.



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