Multicultural family functioning and attitudes toward family counseling
Despite the rapid increase in the number of multicultural persons in the United States (Hardy & Laszloffy, 1992), there is relatively little research with multicultural families in the family therapy literature. A related problem has been the underutilization of family therapy among multicultural families.^ There are four aspects to the present study: (1) to determine if the factor structure of the Family Functioning Scale (FFS) obtained in previous studies using non-minority families is replicated on a multicultural sample; (2) to determine if there are any differences on the FFS subscales between a multicultural and non-multicultural sample; (3) to determine if within-family agreement on the FFS can be replicated on a multicultural sample; and (4) to examine attitudes toward family counseling/therapy among multicultural families.^ Results indicated that construct validity of the FFS was demonstrated insofar as the general component structure of the FFS was replicated using a multicultural sample. When compared to a previous sample of non-minority subjects, the present sample differed on the FFS in a number of understandable ways. The sample of non-minority triads scored higher on the following scales: Family Rituals, Communication, and Positive Family Affect. The multicultural sample scored higher on the Worries subscale. The two samples did not differ on the Conflict subscale.^ A replication of a previous study (Lubiner, 1989) which found high within-family agreement on the FFS using a non-minority sample yielded similar results for the present sample. Although multivariate analyses showed significant differences on family members' scores due to gender and generation, there were high levels of within family agreement for multicultural populations. Thus, one family member can adequately represent family consensus on the FFS.^ The "Attitudes Toward Family Counseling Questionnaire" qualitatively explored possible obstacles to seeking treatment. Most participants had not been in family therapy (92.3%). Of these individuals, 36.5% indicated that they have had family problems which might have been helped by family counseling. While families recognized difficulties, they tended to seek culturally sanctioned ways of coping. Other barriers dealt with the practicality of counseling such as financing and finding the time for counseling. ^
Psychology, Clinical|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies
Susan Alison Levin,
"Multicultural family functioning and attitudes toward family counseling"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).