What Are the Social Forces That Affect Families?


Your family's ability to withstand social forces such as religion, economy and family laws can contribute to your kids' development and well-being. Although it is your duty to establish suitable strategies to help you build a family, these social factors can influence your parenting style, affecting the quality of life you give your kids. Parents must learn to resist or adapt to these social forces to build a family that sticks to its values and beliefs.

Family Laws

  • The federal and state governments make and implement laws on social policy, which regulate the role of the family and its place in the modern society. These policies can influence your choice of spouse and regulate the conduct of couples within the family. For instance, if you would like to marry a partner of your sex, you have ensure it is legal in your state. According to a 2013 article by MSN News, same-sex marriage is not legally recognized in 25 states within the United States. If you wish to terminate your marriage, laws provide guidelines on how to file for separation or divorce, alimony, child custody, visitation and support. Family laws will often affect how your family is structured, and how you relate with your partner and children. Ensure you are informed about your state's family policies, and understood how they can affect your family.

Changes in the Economy

  • Most households are affected by changes in the economy. When it is doing well, basic commodities and services are available at a lower price. It is easier to find a job with a good income, which empowers your family and enables you to improve your child's quality of life. However, when the economy is performing badly, most parents have to work harder to provide for their families. The cost of living increases, making it more difficult for families to sustain their domestic budgets. According to a 1998 study at Ariplex.com, kids in families that are vulnerable to changes in the economy are deprived of parental care from both parents because the parents have to stay out working for longer hours. Strive to make a saving for a rainy day and educate your kids to enhance their chances of securing good jobs in the future.


  • Your religious values can influence your views on family matters. In a 2003 article, Loren Marks of Brigham Young University, Provo, asserts that marriage and family are sacred and central to most world religions. Although there are many religions, Christianity, Islam and Hindu are the most common. Each of these religions has unique teachings that touch on the family as a social institution. If you are a Christian, for instance, the Bible prohibits you from polygamy even though federal or state laws may allow it. The Bible also provides Christians with solutions to marital problems such as infertility and domestic violence. According to Islamcan.com, the Qur’an permits Muslim men to marry up to four wives, as long as they can provide for their needs. Embrace your religious values, as long as they do not affect your family's well-being in today's modern society.

Mass Media

  • The media interacts with families through television and radio programs, newspapers and magazines and the Internet. What your kids see on TV can influence their thinking and shape their personality. The parenting magazines you read can influence your style of parenting, affecting the way you are raising your kids. In a 1980 report, the University of Pennsylvania affirms that the mass media have absorbed many socializing functions of the family. Today, instead of going out to make new friends, kids remain indoors glued to TV screens, learning concepts that might not be appropriate for their development. The mass media can be useful when used appropriately; encourage your kids to watch educational programs, listen to inspirational music and read children's magazines.


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