Evidence relating to family issue: family communication difficultiesStable families thrive on proper communication among all family members. When there are communication difficulties, it becomes difficult for an atmosphere of mutual understanding to exist, leading to conflicts. This paper is a review of literature on family-based communication difficulties. The paper assesses different options, points of view and approaches that different scholars have suggested in addressing this family problem. According to Vangelisti (2008) one of the most studied aspects of family communication is conflict. In most cases, this type of communication involves parents and children.
Vangelisti makes the suggestion that conflict has been emphasized so much that it has eclipsed many positive aspects of family and marital interaction (Vangelisti, 2008). Carr (2009) observes that many family communication researches have tended to focus on families that are facing different problems. In most of such researches, most of the attention tends to be put on the role of mothers, fathers and children. Parents and children tend to perceive their role in family communication differently mainly because of generational differences. This is why it is often recommended that each of these groups be research differently (Vangelisti, 2008).
In Vangelisti’s study, findings that were derived at the family level through the use of discriminant analysis showed that a linear relationship exists between child-parent communication and the dimensions of cohesion and adaptability on the one hand and family satisfaction on the other (Vangelisti, 2008). Families that had a good child-parent communication were observed to perceive themselves highly in terms of cohesion and adaptability and family satisfaction. Koesten (2005) observes that conflict theories tend to emphasize that conflicts are always ubiquitous and inherent, especially because of the emotional involvement and interdependence involved in these close relationships.
In Vangelisti’s observation, research in conflict relating to family communication tends to be motivated by interest in improving various family relationships (Vangelisti, 2008). Beardslee (2007) notes that mass communication with an immense interest in family communication have traditionally been assuming that family norms are always shared among all family members. Instead, these researchers tend to hold the view that the apparent disagreement relating to family norms are caused by instrument unreliability.
In a survey of 308 children together with their parents, Beardslee found out evidence of many systematic patterns involving agreement and disagreement between fathers and mothers and between parents and their children. In the research, seventh-grade children were more likely to share views with their mothers with regard to concept-orientation while they share views with their fathers with regard to social orientation (Beardslee, 2007). The suggestion here is that future research on family communication must not ignore the subtle influence of different intrafamilial patterns that affect agreement and disagreement as part of a family‘s heritage.
In a different research paper, Beardslee points out to the recurring consistency in the way Family Communication Pattern scales are interpreted in any given epistemic setting (Beardslee, 2007). This is done through a review of the traditional family linkage, through which Beardslee suggests a more direct interpretation on all the items that are used in the scales (Beardslee, 2007).