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Family Issues Information

A dysfunctional family is a family in which conflict, misbehaviour and even abuse on the part of individual members of the family occur continually, leading other members to accommodate such actions. Children sometimes grow up in such families with the understanding that such an arrangement is normal. Dysfunctional family members have common symptoms and behavior patterns as a result of their common experiences within the family structure. This tends to reinforce the dysfunctional behavior, either through enabling or perpetuation. The family unit can be affected by a variety of factors.

There are common prototypes for dysfunction. Family heads under-function, providing few boundaries and little guidance. Their children are left to fend for themselves. Others are inconsistent or violate basic boundaries of appropriate behavior. Family members may then have profound difficulties both with their own conduct, and their ability to deal with others.

Frequently, the dysfunctional family stems from alcoholism. The problems created tend to be chronic, and are passed down generation to generation. Even if abuse of alcohol ends, the family system created may continue in the children of the children.

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