Family Assessment

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Family Assessment

The health behavior of an individual is primarily influenced by the interactions within their family system.  The family relationship across generations set precedent in an individual’s health behavior as well as that of the family (Fadlon and Nielsen). It is with this in mind that I created a questionnaire to carry out a family health assessment on my neighbors and try to identify functional health patternsin the family and suggest any areas for positive changes in the family health.

My neighbors are an upper-middle class African- American family of five. Their eldest daughter and I attended the same high school and she is currently pursuing a legal degree to follow in her father’s footsteps as a lawyer. Her mum is a lecturer at the local university teaching literature. The younger siblings, Anne and Mike, are in high school. The family, though Christians, rarely attend church services. They have a subscription at the local country club where they frequent to socialize with their friends. Mike is athletic and plays football for the school team while Anne is in the school’s orchestra where she plays the violin.

Family Health Pattern Analysis

The family health analysis seeks the views of the family in eleven areas associated to health to rate the overall health of the family unit (Ortiz et. al, 2017).

After interviewing the Brown’s family I realized that they have a strong nutritional health pattern. The family uses a chef who prepares fresh food as part of their meals. They indulge in a balanced diet and take out or junk good is limited to Sunday grill and pizza. The family also uses low fat milk and some of the members are on vitamins and iron supplements. The female members of the family are careful to choose skin care products that are free of harmful inputs.

Another strength is their roles and relationships health pattern. The family agrees that even though their parents make the decisions for the family, it is done in a consultative manner with the children. The parents are also supportive of the children and whatever they decide to pursue in life is their choice. The role of the parents in the family is to provide for the family and the children are expected to perform well in school and to help out in certain chores around the house.

Some problems were also noted in the family especially in relation to the activity and exercise health pattern. With the exception of Mike, the rest of the family members do not have an exercise regimen all claiming to be too busy to exercise. Both parents complain of fatigue and poor sleep patterns which sometimes make them easily irritable.

The health perception and health management pattern of the family could be improved. Ashley, the eldest daughter is currently on some medication for the flu but has no idea about the medicines. The family admitted to rarely researching on medication or the effect of medication. They have also skipped their annual health check-up for two years now.

The Brown’s do not have a proper coping and stress tolerance patterns. The parents are often stressed with work and parenthood activities and Mike, a senior in high school is currently studying to graduate high school this year. Ashley is constantly stressed out with school work and Anne has to juggle, classes and her music activities. Even with the subscription to the country club, the family only uses the facility once a month and on holidays.

Family Health Systems Theory

The family systems theory draws a link between the behavior of a person and their patterns of interaction between with family members. The connection in the theory is based on the idea that the family unit is also an emotional unit and therefore a person is inseparable from their family network. The aim of the theory is to identify the pattern in the behavioral exchanges within the family so as to interrupt any behavioral problems in an individual and the family as a whole (Johnson and Ray, 2016). The theory is used in practice to help family members reach greater levels of differentiation where an individual is able to be responsible of their emotions within the family system.

The theory can be used to help the Brown’s family with how to increase their individuality especially with the collaborative decision making and how they perceive activities within the family unit. The first way is to identity the family projection process. Seeing as Mr. and Mrs. Brown have been successful in their careers, there is a chance that they project the need to succeed to their children. This is turn can be stressful to the children as they try to achieve or outdo their parents. From the theory, the parents should manage their own expectations of great performance in school.

The family theory would also help to create differentiation of self and make more independent children who still maintain emotional contact with the group. The Browns identify as a unit as seen with their collective religious practices and only Mike seems to have a routine of independence especially with exercise.  By creating a differentiation of self, the children may fully explore stress management and teach the same to other family members.





Nielsen, I. F. (2019). Family Health Behaviors. American Economic Review. 109(9), 3162-3191.

Ray, B. E. (2016). Family Systems Theory. In S. Smith, The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies (pp. 782-787). New York: Wiley Blackwell Publishing.

Yeis Miguel Borré Ortiz, M. S.-V. (2017). Importance and recognition of the family in health care: a reflection for nursing. Nursing & Care Open Access Journal. 3(5), 307-309.