Family Systems Worksheet

Part 1: Chart

Directions: Complete the chart below about boundaries in families. Include a minimum of two to three scholarly references in the table and as a reference at the bottom of the worksheet.

  Open Boundaries Closed Boundaries
Definition of boundaries An open family is considered to be absorbent and imprecise in terms of boundaries (Becvar & Becvar, 2017)   . A closed family boundary is impermeable and vivid   .
Description of how the boundary can be observed within the family system. Open boundary systems permit essential circumstances from external sources to influence it. It can permit external influences Closed boundary systems disassociate its affiliates from the environment and appear segregated and self-contained.
Without violating confidentiality, provide specific examples that support conclusions. Open family systems tend to be healthy. In other words, members of such families are close to each other and handle the rest with dignity, respect and decorum. There is a high level of concern among members of such family. Individuals also feel free to either interact or work closely with family members. There is a universal sense of community spirit (Guillot & Lecuit, 2013). Moreover, members can and will always feel endowed and are a party to the family. There is an enduring approval among members of an open family system. External pressures, opinions and societal patterns and perceptions hardly change the direction the family has taken. Closed families often separate members of the family. They appear as if self-contained although not all is working well or smoothly (Becvar & Becvar, 2017). They are also ‘close’ differently in such a way that they hold the philosophy that control and uniformity are healthy elements in family unity. Disapproval is common in such family system. Everyone is required to toe the line or less he or she will be disapproved.

Part 2: Short Answer Questions

Directions: Provide short answers of 100-150 words each for the following questions. Do not exceed 200 words for your response. Use the textbook, and any other scholarly resources to support your responses. Include at least one to two scholarly sources in your response.

  1. What are the basic components of a family system? 

From the diagram below, one of the basic components of a family structure is the family structure. The latter refers to the descriptive features of a family system. The ideological and cultural practices of a family also fall under structure (Fiese et al., 2017). Next, the hub of the entire family is the family interaction structure. Governance rules are derived from the nature of interaction of a family. The interaction system yields the family function structure. It is out of the interaction that a family understands and meets its needs. Finally, the family life cycle is a crucial change factor. All developmental changes are initiated and sustained by the component of the life cycle.

2. What is homeostasis and what is the connection between homeostasis and boundaries?

Homeostasis refers to the condition of a stable or balanced intrinsic state sustained by living things. The active state of balance is “the condition of optimal functioning for the organism and includes many variables, such as body temperature and fluid balance, being kept within certain pre-set limits” (Ferguson et al., 2016, p. 520). Usually, the functioning and customary organization is maintained by the process of homeostasis. However, resistance to any form of change is inevitable. The latter explains why given family symptoms tend to appear at certain times and the explanation behind why a particular member assumes the position of an IP. The probable events that may take place after change can also be explained using this relationship.


Becvar, R. J., & Becvar, D. S. (2017). Systems theory and family therapy: A primer. Rowman & Littlefield.

Ferguson, M., Carlson, D., Boswell, W., Whitten, D., Butts, M. M., & Kacmar, K. M. (2016). Tethered to work: A family systems approach linking mobile device use to turnover     intentions. Journal of Applied Psychology101(4), 520.

Fiese, B. H., Connell, A., Doss, B., Kaugars, A. S., Rhoades, G. K., & Trentacosta, C. J. (2017). Introduction to the special issue: Advances in methods and measurement in family psychology. Journal of Family Psychology31(8), 969.

Guillot, C., & Lecuit, T. (2013). Mechanics of epithelial tissue homeostasis and morphogenesis. Science340(6137), 1185-1189.

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