Theoretical Basis for Promoting Family Health
The family as the unit of service has received increasing emphasis in nursing over
the years. Today, family nursing has an important place in nursing practice,
particularly in community health nursing. The community health nurse is reviewing
with the student nurses the key concepts about the theoretical basis for family
health. The students are being asked questions about family characteristics and the
stages of the family life cycle.
1. Families share universal characteristics with every other family. These
characteristics provide an important key to understanding each family’s
uniqueness. What are five of the most important family characteristics that
community health nurses must recognize and consider in their practice?
2. The community health nurse is sitting in a living room talking with a young
mother about her new infant. The community nurse finds it is difficult to keep
in mind that all the other family members are present by way of their
influence. Systems theory offers some insights about how families operate as
social systems. Knowing the attributes of living systems or open systems can
help strengthen understanding of family structure and function. What are five
attributes of open systems that help explain how families function?
3. The community health nurse is sitting in a living room talking with a young
mother about her new infant. There are two broad stages in the family life
cycle. What are the two broad stages in the family life cycle and what stage
is this young mother with a new infant?
4. In US society, certain social institutions help perform some aspects of
traditional family functions. What are the six functions that are typical of
American families today and are essential for the maintenance and promotion
of family health?