Free Fladding Family Analysis Essay Example
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Horace, the patriarch of the family is exhibiting a gambling problem, probably addiction. He grew up in a successful ranching family which had built a dynasty in Alberta. His grandfather had come from Scotland in 1921 and started the ranching business. Within the social context of the community, Horace is a recognized womanizer and gambler. Social context includes the dynamic network of both individual psychological attributes and the interaction with social networks. These networks include intimate relationships, the family unit, work and the community (Westaby, Plaff and Redding 2014). He has managed to gamble away the ranch, the insurance money from his son’s car accident and death but continues to gamble. The casino holds a place for him at the poker table. Excessive gambling is associated with financial problems, neglect of social relationships, difficulty keeping employment, difficulty in familial relationships and high rates of divorce (Rantala and Sulkunen 2012). He is left to watch his great grandchildren often and there is a suspicion of physical and possible sexual abuse which has been reported both at the children’s school and by a neighbor. Horace’s development as a child and into young adulthood, came with wealth and privilege. His gambling problem is outgrowth of this privilege. He has no concept about the value of money and cannot stop gambling, it is now his escape from the problems that family faces. The community may see the decline in his status but because of the historical standing of his family, members of the community are choosing to look the other way.
Robert is Horace’s grandson. It was his parents who were killed in the car accident. His wife has appeared at work with bruises and injuries and it is suspected that he physically abuses her. He works part time doing construction but does not hold a steady job. Socially, he probably gets these odd jobs through connections in the community who know of his family and are trying to help him out. He, like his grandfather grew up with money and prestige in the context of the community. Now that the family has lost the majority of their wealth, he is beginning to frequent the casino with his grandfather. He avoids being at home by going to the casino. He and his wife fight often. It is suspected that he is physically abusing his wife, his daughter’s teacher suspects sexual abuse of the girl and his neighbor has called the authorities suspecting abuse and neglect of his children. According to Levesque, Clement and Chamberland (2007), spousal and child abuse often occur in successive generations of a family if there is no intervention to change the problem. Robert is escaping the problems he has by going to the casino and gambling. He may be physically abusive to his wife and children because he has learned this behavior from other members of his family and/or has psychological issues that are causing his aggressive behavior. Because of his lack of intervention on behalf of his family, it is probably him that is committing the abuse. Levesque, Clement and Chamberland (2007) also cite research that shows higher rates for child abuse in family situations where their mother is also abused.
Susan married into the family and she and Robert now have four children. She has taken on the role of the “martyr” within the family. She is working as a bookkeeper, and selling products in the evening. She and Robert argue often and she has arrived to work with bruises and a missing tooth. Her children are showing signs of neglect through their behaviors at school and home. She is well aware of the family’s social standing in the community despite their huge financial losses recently. She uses this context to get out of trouble with authorities. She exhibits many signs of low self-esteem and possible detachment from the issues plaguing the family. She is working nights not only to make some extra money but it must provide her with some sort of attachments outside of her home where she has no control (Crawford, Liebling-Kalifani and Hill 2009). She is unable to cope with what is happening at home and cannot identify resources in the community to get help instead she hides the problems from authorities. She ignores the fact that her children are running around with no coats, her daughter’s teachers has reported the daughter’s possible abuse and her son who has Asperger’s Syndrome is being bullied at school. The physical and mental abuse that she is receiving from her husband is leaving her empty and insecure. She is obviously overwhelmed and unable to seek help which is typical for women in her position (Crawford, Liebling-Kalifani and Hill 2009). The police have been contacted both by the school and a neighbor, their lack of help to intervene in the situation of this family is inexcusable.
Oliver, the oldest son of Susan and Robert has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is a good student but is being bullied at school. He is also witnessing the abuse that is occurring at home between his father and mother. He must also be aware that the dynamics of the family and the abuse of his siblings. His social skills are an issue due to his Asperger’s and some of his behaviors such as the hand-wringing may be misconstrued as a behavior attributed to his Asperger’s. Zablotsky, Bradshaw, Anderson and Law (2009) report that many children with Asperger’s are victims of bullying but do not have the social or emotional skills to deal with this behavior. Interventions are required by school personnel and family members to help in this situation. The context of his home life make this an impossibility. Sousa et al. (2011) have researched how abuse between parents can adversely affect the children in the family. In addition to often being victims of abuse themselves, these children become withdrawn and antisocial. Oliver’s Asperger’s may conceal many of the emotional problems he is trying to deal with internally. In the context of school, professionals who work with him may not recognize the signs often related to abuse in the home as they have seen in his sister.
Crawford, E., Liebling-Kalifani, H. & Hill, V. (2009). Women’s understanding of the
effects of domestic abuse: The impact on their identity, sense of self and resiliency. A
grounded theory approach. Journal of International Women’s Studies, 11(2), 63-83.
Retrieved from: http://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol11/iss2/5
Levesque, S., Clement, M., & Chamberland, C. (2007). Factors associated with co-occurrence
of spousal and parental violence: Quebec population study. Journal of Family Violence,
22(8), 661-674. Retrieved from: http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?
Rantala, V, & Sulkunen, P. (2012). Is pathological gambling just a big problem or also an
addiction? Addiction Research and Theory, 20(1), 1-10. Retrieved from:
Sousa, C., Heerenkohl, T., Moylan, C., Tajima, E., Klika, J.B., Heerenkohl, R., & Russo, M.
(2011). Longitudinal study on the effects of child abuse and child’s exposure to domestic
violence, parent-child attachments and antisocial behavior in adolescence. Journal of
Interpersonal Violence, 26(1), 111-136. DOI: 10.1177/0886260510362883
Westaby, J., Plaff, D., & Redding, N. (2014). Psychology and social networks: A dynamic
network theory perspective. American Psychologist, 69(3), 269-284. Retrieved from:
Zablotsky, B., Bradshaw, C.P., Anderson, C.M., & Law, P. (2014). Risk factors for bullying
among children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism, 18(4), 419-427.
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