Family chosen for this particular assessment was a large family that seemed likely to provide plenty of interesting anomalies and peculiarities. The structural assessment of the family includes three aspects; 1) internal, 2) external, and 3) context. The internal aspect is composed of who is in the family and how they are connected. This family has two parents; a man and a woman (although the father recently passed away). The family is composed of 12 children, eight boys and four girls. The mother is 70 years of age, and the children range in age from 30 -- 54 years old. The children are all married (or have been) and all have produced offspring as well. Additionally, a number of the offspring have attained an age(s) that allows them the capability of reproducing, subsequently there are a number great-grandchildren as well (with additional buns in the oven as the term so appropriately applies). The majority of the offspring are male, but the female gender is not forgotten since approximately 45% of the offspring are of that gender. Many of the offspring are connected by name, all are connected through a sense of family.
The family, of course, believes that all the cousins, nephews and nieces, as well as the children's spouses and any spouses of the children's children are all family members as well. The family also believes that they are connected by their religion and their beliefs. All of the children are members of the same religion (Latter Day Saints) with only one child in a non-active role within the church. The LDS religion which they adhere to is one that requires members to abstain from alcohol, drugs, tobacco and other substances that are addictive. Church members are also expected to be morally clean, and sexual relations outside of marriage are prohibited.
The female role is considered to be on the highest order with motherhood a calling of grave importance. The male role is considered to be the provider and supporter of the family. Together they are to teach the children regarding the church standards and beliefs. This does not mean that women do not work outside the home, many do. It also does not mean that the male is the ultimate leader, although the power of the priesthood does reside on the male side of the ledger. There is a strong belief in family and marriage between a man and a woman is considered a true standard. One recent study determined that "it is families, not isolated individuals that must be the fundamental sources of moral authority" (Erickson, 2010, p. 601) and that is certainly adhered to by this particular family.
The family's sexual orientation closely aligns with their LDS beliefs, with nary a soul among them expressing any orientation other than heterosexuality. There are no members of the family that openly (or privately as far as anyone knows) practices gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender beliefs. This could be due to the strong LDS beliefs with which the family members were raised, since it is impossible for any individual to be a married within the church's teachings to anyone of the same gender, and the belief in marriage is one that is constant among all family members.
The average length of marriage for all the children is over 20 years, and of the 12 children, one is widowed, one has been married twice (and is currently living with a third woman) and one has been married three times. The other nine children have all been married to the same person whom they initially married. This fact could be a harbinger of the low rate of individual disorders amongst the family members.
One study determined that lone mothers "had higher rates of disorder for major depression, mania, panic, and SUD" (Wade, Veldhuizen, Cairney, 2011, p. 569) while the same study showed that lone fathers "had higher rates of major depression, SUD, overall mood disorders, and presence of any mood, anxiety, or SUD" (p. 569). This family has no lone mothers or fathers hence the low rate of disorders.
The ranking system within the family is loosely adhered to with the oldest son (and the first child) usually holding sway within any family councils or meetings, but what is curious is that the second child (also male) seems to be listened to in a manner that the first one is not. This could be due…