FAMILY FUNCTIONING AND SELF-SILENCING OF STUDENTS

Ivana Janković, Jelisaveta Todorović, Violeta Arnaudova

DOI Number
10.22190/FUPSPH1702151J
First page
151
Last page
161

Abstract


Starting from the main hypothesis of the Circumplex Model that the balanced levels of cohesion and flexibility are the most appropriate for family functioning, and that unbalanced levels of cohesion and flexibility are related to problematic family functioning, in this paper we wanted to investigate in what way these dimensions of family functioning are related to self-silencing. In this model, cohesion is defined as an emotional relationship between family members, and flexibility is defined as a quality and expression of leadership and organization. Self-silencing is related to the cognitive schema of creating and maintaining intimate relations in a way that a person is passive, that he/she suppresses his/her feelings, opinion and actions in order to satisfy the needs of people close to them.

The research was conducted on a sample of 250 Serbian and Macedonian students. The following instruments were used in this research: Silencing the Self Scale and FACES IV, which consists of three scales that measure Cohesion (Disengaged, Balanced Cohesion and Enmeshed), three scales that measure Flexibility (Rigid, Balanced Flexibility and Chaotic), Scale for the Assessment of Family Communication, which is defined as the skill of positive communication and it is considered to be a mitigating dimension and it helps families change their levels of cohesion and flexibility, and the Scale for the Assessment of Family Satisfaction.

Self-silencing is in a positive correlation with unbalanced levels of cohesion, with disengaged family relations (r=.195, p=.002) and with enmeshed (entangled) family relations (r=.332, p=.000). Self-silencing is in a positive correlation with Unbalanced levels of flexibility, with rigid (r=.243, p=.000) and chaotic family relations (r=.217, p=.001).

Balanced Cohesion, as the indicator of healthy family functioning, is related to a lower level of self-silencing of family members, that is, in such families the members can openly speak about their needs, feelings and opinions without fear that it would jeopardize the needs of other family members. The members of families with a very low or very high cohesion and flexibility conceal their needs and desires in order to satisfy the needs of other members.


Keywords

family, cohesion, flexibility, self-silencing, students

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