Dysfunctional Family Roles

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functional Family RolesDysfunctional Family Roles A dysfunctional family occurs when the family unit is torn apart and emotional needs are not met. This can occur when temporary situations arise. However some chronic issues can cause long term issues, which include: * Mental illness * Alcoholism * Substance abuse * Abusive Spouses * Controlling and abusive parents Families learn to adapt to these situations by taking on various roles. The roles include the following: Scapegoat- In many families the scape goat is the oldest child among the family. This child may feel that he or she is the cause of the family problems. The scapegoat takes on the role of distracting the family from the central issue. In doing so, the parents begin to focus their attention on the scapegoat’s bad behavior rather than the central issue that started the problem. The scapegoat generally receives negative attention, resulting in making poor life decisions, thus making more negative decisions. Eventually, if other children are in the home, these children will resume the role of the scapegoat once the oldest child leaves home (Strehlow, 2012) Hero- The hero has a role in the family to distract from the central issue by telling the outside world that everything in the family is normal. By doing so the hero gives a false impression of what the family unit really is. Furthermore, the hero becomes very self-critical as he or she receives a positive image from people in the community. The hero begins to seek perfection, setting him or herself up for failure and rejection (Strehlow, 2012) The Clown The clown is one who tries to bring humor to the family dysfunction by lightning the mood in a bad situation. The clown hides his or her emotions behind humor so that he or she does have to deal with the real core issue. At times the clown can be immature when serious

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