Improving Family Functioning

Keys to Successful Family Functioning

The family unit is the cornerstone of healthy, vibrant communities. In addition to their impact on the community, families play a critical role in the emotional, physical, and social development of individual family members. Unlike any other social group, families are able to provide the close emotional support needed to produce self-confident and well-adjusted children and adults. Likewise, families that function in a healthy manner are well equipped to deal with the many normal changes and unexpected crises that confront them throughout their lifetime. Therefore, the family’s primary function is to create a healthy environment where family members can successfully grow and develop.

Strong, healthy families exhibit similar characteristics.  Indicators of healthy families include:

  • Effective problem solving
  • Communication skills
  • Clear Family Roles
  • Affective involvement (showing interest in in the vales and activities of other family members)
  • Affective Responsiveness (ability to respond emotionally to other family members in an appropriate manner)
  • Behavior control

Families that do well in each of these areas have fewer problems and are able to deal more effectively with problems as they arise. On the other hand, families that have difficulty in these areas tend to have more problems that remain unresolved.

(Peterson & Green, 2009, Virginia Cooperative Extension).

Burnett County UW-Extension offers Raising a Thinking Child to support family functioning.

For more information about Improving Family Functioning programs available in Burnett County, contact:

4-H/Youth & Family Educator, Beth Rank



Beth Rank

4-H/Youth & Family Educator

University of Wisconsin-Extension

Burnett County

7410 County Road K, #107

Siren WI 54872



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