Family Stress


Family can be a loving and supportive environment you can always return to, or it can be a poisonous nest you look forward to escape. Hopefully it's more of the first than of the second.

In western societies it is expected that a young adult breaks off the parental yoke in his or her adolescent years, forms an individual identity and is ready to become a person on his or her own. Western traditions hold that the primary role of family, that of bringing up a child, has been served.

In eastern societies the family unit is a more integral part of society, with its own hierarchy that has to be observed at all times. The idea here is not that the young person grows up and makes it on his own, but that he fits into his proper place in society.

In both types of society family stress is strongest in one's adolescent years, when personal individuality and social identity trouble a young person most. In western societies it's expected that this type of family stress reaches an amicable breaking point in young adulthood, while in the east it's expected that the pressure should be endured throughout life with proper show of respect.

A sensible approach for a person to take steps towards resolving family stress is to treat is as a relationship issue rather than a social structure issue.


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