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In the United States, the modern nuclear family is commonly associated with a lot of stresses because it strains to engage in health activities. The time constraints in such families make the parents feel self-rewarded but personally drained. The family chosen for this interview involved an African American father and an Italian-American mother, the father is a Hotel Manager, and the mother is a Nurse. The family has two boys (16 years and 12 years) and a girl (10 years). The interview was conducted with the mother where she expressed all the information from her perspective.

Summary of the interview

The respondent explains her family health values and risks as average; here, she referenced the history of her family with depression and diabetes. She said that the health pattern of her family doesn’t match a good lifestyle, but they mainly view this as a sacrifice to do those things that they need in life. Each family member visits the physician at least twice per year for illness responses and preventive care.

The respondent also admitted to lacking preventive care areas exercise, nutrition and sleep. The nutrition questions were designed in a manner that the interviewer will know more about the eating habits, and if there is a calculation of meals to prevent overeating. The respondent, however, said that the meals are mainly eaten “on the go.”  Here, she said that the meals are eaten once per day and the snacks account for the rest of the meals consumed. On the exercise case, the respondent stated that she usually doesn’t engage in exercise but the male family members participate in football, and the girl attends some dancing classes. The adults in the family admitted to receiving less than 8 hours of sleep while the children sleep around 8 hours.

The respondents knew very little about the family elimination habits; she, however, admitted to eliminating the waste material once per day. She couldn’t, however, estimate the elimination rates for the rest of the family members. The interviewee also said that she frequently constipates. She couldn’t appropriately examine the amount of fiber in the family diet because she didn’t know how to check this information.

The cognitive and emotional functioning of the family seemed to be within the bound. The respondent recorded no sign of depression in the family despite having a family history of depression where both parents committed suicide. She also said that her self esteem is very low, but she is working on it through working hard to become more successful. The respondent also recorded no need for coping skills or emotional trauma experience because her grandparents died while she was very young. Cognitively, the family appears normal to average with all the family members receiving A’s in their school time. ADHD was the only cognitive struggle identified, but the respondent said that this is regulated through symptoms management and treatment with medication.

The respondent recorded no existence of impairments of the sensory or perception systems. No family member had experienced neurological dysfunction; only ADHD and depression were encountered in the family. She also said that no sexual dysfunction was ever evidenced in the family; the low sex drive was only as a result of time constraint and common effects of stress. The respondent also said that the person who could be sexually active is the eldest son although she could fully attest on this. She also said that she and her husbandher were faithful to each other for 15 years. She also said that her son doesn’t have many partners although he is sexually active.

The roles in the family seemed to be those within the standard American nuclear family. The respondent said that she is the primary provider in the family because she has a higher income than her husband. She said that after marriage they were both equally providing. The interviewee also said that the children are always obedient to the parents. She also described the home responsibilities and chores as “chaotic,” there was no explicit delegation of the tasks existing. The interviewee also admitted to having a good relationship with the extended family; they mostly meet during the holidays, and the family doesn’t rely on them as a source of income. She said that her parent used to watch the children while they were young, but this is no more needed.

Functional health pattern strengths and problems.

Health pattern strengths; the family is well educated, and the respondent expressed understanding of some nutritional ideologies such as saturated fat and cholesterol. This is important because it increased the capability and awareness to learn more about nutrient in readiness to improve health problems such as constipation and bowel elimination. The other strength is the lack of impairments of the sensory or perception systems. This is essential in the family because there is no time a sexual or neurological dysfunction will ever be experienced in the family.

Health problems; despite the strengths, there are various health problems in the family. The respondent described her self-esteem as low but working on it. This is one of the issues that could lead to depression, she is, therefore, supposed to improve on this at all cost. The other health problem reported was ADHD; The respondent admitted that her family members had difficulties with homework. The family is supposed to work on this instance by managing the symptoms and regular treatment with medication. The other problem is that the respondent doesn’t engage in exercises although the other family members to participate in activities. She should take a quick response on this to improve her health condition.

Application of family system theory to solicit change in the family.

The family system theory is a behavioral approach that views the family members as an emotional unit where each member plays a specific role in the family and must follow certain guidelines. Based on the system rules, the interviewed family members can interact with and respond to one another in a certain way; the patterns can be developed where one family member impacts the other family member. Families profoundly influence their members’ actions, feeling and thoughts as if they are living under the same “emotional skin” (Saunders, 2015). The interviewed family can, therefore, solicit each member support, approval, attention and reacts to each other upsets, expectations, and needs. This reactivity and connectedness in the family members enhance interdependence. The family systems theory can, therefore, be applied in this family to solicit changes in family members that, in turn, initiate positive changes to the overall family functions over time.





Dahrouge, S., Seale, E., Hogg, W., Russell, G., Younger, J., Muggah, E., … & Mercer, J. (2016). A comprehensive assessment of family physician gender and quality of care. Medical care54(3), 277-286.

Jarvis, C. (2015). Physical examination and health assessment. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Saunders, H., Kraus, A., Barone, L., & Biringen, Z. (2015). Emotional availability: theory, research, and intervention. Frontiers in psychology6, 1069.












The interview questionnaires used in the family-focused functional assessment

Values/health perception questions

  1. Where can you rank the values and health risks in your family?
  2. Does your lifestyle match the health pattern of living? Explain.
  3. How often does your family members visit a physician?

Nutrition questions

  1. Are meals calculated to avoid overnutrition in your family?
  2. How many meals do you take in a day?
  3. If you take the meals once or twice per day, what accounts for the rest of your meals?

Sleep/rest questions

  1. How long do the adults in the family sleep each night?
  2. If you sleep less that than 8 hours a day, what are the causes of this limited sleep?
  3. How long do children sleep in this family?

Elimination questions

  1. Do you have an idea about your family elimination habits?
  2. How many times do you eliminate solid waste per day?
  3. Can you estimate the amount of fiber taken in your family diet?


Activity/exercise questions

  1. Do you personally engage in body exercises?
  2. Do the other members of the family engage in exercises?
  3. What are the family activities that you engage in?

Cognitive questions

  1. Where can you rank the emotional and cognitive functioning of the family?
  2. What are the cognitive struggles that your family suffers from?
  3. How does your family deals with the cognitive struggles you named above?

Sensory perception questions

  1. Is there any existence of sensory impairments in your family?
  2. Do the perception systems exist in your family?
  3. Have you ever experienced neurological dysfunction in your family?

Self-perception questions

  1. Explain about the history of the family you come from?
  2. Is your self-esteem low, medium or high? Describe.
  3. If your self-esteem is low, what are you doing to improve it?

Role relationship questions

  1. Who is the primary income provider in the family?
  2. Do your children respect you?
  3. How is your family relationship with the extended family?

Sexuality questions

  1. Is there any sexual dysfunction in your family?
  2. Where can you rank your sex drive, low, medium or high?
  3. What leads to the sex drive you stated above?

Coping questions

  1. Do you have any experience of emotional trauma?
  2. If any, give an account of the trauma?
  3. Are you exercising any coping skills in this experience?