Advantages of an Extended Family - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-30
Advantages of an Extended Family - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Family Society
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1390 words
12 min read


According to this family, one of the advantages that can clearly be observed is that there is a source of security for family members. This is because, in an extended family, there is always a person left at home or who stays at home, which can act as a source of security because when an intruder visits, they will discover that there is someone at home, especially an adult, making them leave and not cause any type of trouble to the family. This helps to keep the family's property safe when other family members have left for work. Additionally, an extended family ensures the protection of its members in a way that they are always there for each other. For example, members of the extended family usually believe that they have people that they can count on. An instance is a scenario where the Jefferson family had a birthday party for their younger son. During the preparation for this birthday celebration, the couple, Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson, had help from other family members in organizing the party to ensure everything was in order and the party succeeded.

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Secondly, an extended family ensures that unity is engendered within society. This is because the system in an extended family helps to bring unity in the community through the virtue of unity in the family. Within the family, the blood relationship that exists helps bring about peace, which brings unity, extending into society. For example, in the Jefferson family, every member of the family was united in everything that they do to ensure there was a safer environment for everyone. For instance, when they stayed together, got outside in the evening to bask in the sun with their grandmother, it strengthens their bond making them care for each other and live in peace. This can be reflected in how they treat other people in society because they were always kind when speaking to others making their neighbors fall in love with them.

Additionally, what is advantageous about an extended family is that every individual gets support from other members of the family. From the observations, it was clear that members from an extended family can get both emotional and financial support from other family members. A good example is that when Ms. Jackson was done with high school education and needed to join college, Mr. Jefferson managed to step in and help her with that. This piece of information was obtained from a conversation between Ms. Jackson and Mr. Jefferson where she was thanking him for paying his college fees until when she got a job that she used to further her education in nursing so that she could get a master's degree, but despite that, Mr. Jefferson was still paying for part of her college fees. Moreover, during the time her boyfriend dumped her, she managed to get emotional support from Mrs. Jefferson. This shows how important an extended family on an individual's wellbeing.

Lastly, from the observation made on an extended family, for socialization to take place, it is usually accomplished by more people. This is simply because children in an extended family are brought up by both their biological parents and older family members like in this scenario, their aunt and grandmother. This way of raising a child is important because a child is brought up to fit well in the community as the tendency to waywardness is reduced. From the Jefferson family, their grandmother, Mrs. Gladys, is able to teach all three children some life lessons as she is old enough and has a lot of life experiences. She usually performs this task when they are outside during the evening as they enjoy the sun as it sets. Together with Ms. Jackson, they teach these children how to treat others as kindness is an important virtue, teach them to always obey their elders to avoid trouble, and show respect. After learning all this, these children become well moulded to join the community and help in their development.

Disadvantages of an Extended Family

Living in an extended family is not always about the disadvantages or its benefits; it also has some disadvantages, but that does not make it a bad type of family. The first disadvantage of an extended family is that some of the family members might get lazy as they feel that they are always helped or given a shoulder to cry on. This leads some family members to always sit around and wait as they assume that they will inherit wealth from their rich family members. For example, in the Jefferson family, Tony started getting lazy in doing his chores as he assumed that his aunt or sister would perform them. This happened after he realized that he could get home every time he got late from basketball practice and get all his daily chores done by either his sister or aunt. Additionally, he started getting lazy on doing assignments from school because his cousin, Maxwell, was always willing to help him. This is not safe as Tony could start experiencing a drop in his grades because he had reduced his studying rate, focussing more on basketball than education.

Additionally, there is too much pressure on some individuals in an extended family to help raise children. In many extended families globally, the wellness of an individual to perform an act willingly is slowly getting diminished as many people have turned on the rich in the family to help the less fortunate. This has reached a point where it is always so bad for a rich individual in the family to refuse to help a given member of the family. Sadly, in severe cases, it has led to members of the family getting involved in corrupt situations so that they can provide for the family. For example, during the research, it was evident that Mr. Jefferson is being given a lot of responsibilities. For example, he is given the responsibility to provide for the family and take care of his mother-in-law, which is quite challenging as it is expensive to maintain.

Related Articles

Other authors also did previous research on the concept of an extended family. The first article to focus on is Theextended black family by Martin and JM Martin, trying to explain why the black family in America is viewed as weak by some people while others have seen its strength (Martin & Martin, 1980). The article clarifies that people who have viewed black families as weak only focused on nuclear families leaving out the other types of families. Through their study that took eight years, they managed to find out challenges that extended families face, leading to a threat to the extended family's future. For instance, welfare laws, economic pressures due to the high unemployment rate, and the federal tax imposed on people despite the fact that a higher percentage of the general population are unemployed.

Additionally, another article done on the extended family was Occupational mobility and extended family cohesion by Litwak is amazing to work as it analyses Parson's hypothesis on extended family relations being antithetical to democratic industrial societies due to being inconsonant on occupational mobility (Litwak, 1960). According to Litwak, a modified, extended family is concordant with occupational mobility in an economy that is more mature, thereby permitting nuclear families to regain their extended family contacts so that they can be together for development.

Lastly, The Mexican-American extended family is an emotional support system by Keefe et al., who states that, in a Mexican-American extended family, an individual can always find assistance when they need it (Keefe et al., 1979). This shows how an extended family can be used to treat someone's emotions as people in it are caring and are ready to share and help reduce pain. The family always wants the best out of every individual. Lastly, they state that the Anglo family is not that caring as others because when one is faced with an emotional problem, they only have themselves to blame for it.


Keefe, S. E., Padilla, A. M., & Carlos, M. L. (1979). The Mexican-American extended family as an emotional support system. Human Organization, 38(2), 144–152.

Litwak, E. (1960). Occupational mobility and extended family cohesion.American Sociological Review, 25(1), 9–21.

Martin, E. P., & Martin, J. M. (1978).The black extended family.University of Chicago Press.

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