FAMILIES

Contemporary Family Issues

Contemporary Family Issues

A number of issues relating to the family have made headlines in recent years. Examples of these include:

Arranged marriages: In some cultures, for example in Sri Lanka or Indian, it is customary for the parents to arrange their child’s marriage. A suitable partner will be chosen on a financial and social basis. Conflict occurs when the child finds his new Western values clashing with those of his parents. Such a conflict can lead to family discord or even violence and murder.

Parenting: Parents have a huge responsibility for the welfare and development of their children. Poor or neglectful parenting, either through ignorance or abuse, can have a hugely damaging impact on the child. Children of abusive or neglectful parents are more likely to develop mental health, drink or drug problems or to commit crime.

Teenagers verses adults: Female teenagers brought up in neglectful households are more likely to become pregnant early, to become part of a one-parent family and to be dependent on the state. Teenage boys from disadvantaged backgrounds may find themselves peer-pressured into becoming part of a street gang. Gang culture is extremely anti-social and often violent and results in negative attitudes, often undeserved, towards young people.

Care of the disabled and elderly: With medical advances come an ageing population and a higher survival rate of the mentally or physically disabled. Caring for an elderly or disabled family member can be very costly and extremely stressful. A full time carer often has to sacrifice his/her career and cope with a range of physical and mental challenges.