chapter  4
10 Pages

Family Roles

Family roles have been defined by Epstein, Bishop, and Baldwin (1982, p.124) as “the repetitive patterns of behavior by which fam­ ily members fulfill family functions.” Epstein and associates have further outlined the necessary functions that are the basis for family roles as provision of resources, nurturance and support, adult sexual gratification, personal development, and maintenance and manage­ ment of the family system. Role is a transactional concept; it is a set of behaviors which are based on expectations, obligations, and prescriptions which are expressed in a relationship. Further, these roles in families are tied to status or position in a family (Hartman and Laird, 1983).