What Does Family Mean?
an article in American Demographics by Norval D. Glenn
(our site's article review)
Most people have strong family values but their actions do not support these values very well, which means their values represent what they wish they were like. Fifty-four percent of Americans rated family life in general as “only fair” or “poor.” People tend to deny the extent of problems in their own families. Indeed, other evidence on the prevalence of family problems suggests that the survey respondents’ negative perception of other families may be more accurate than their reported positive feelings about their own family life.” In other words, their coping mechanisms are working and they repress and deny as needed in order to feel good about their lives, even if the feelings that often threaten to surface contradict this. There is a huge gap between what Americans say and do to support families.
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