What Are the Main Functions of the Family?

December 12, 2019
The duties, purposes, and functions of a family are many and varied. It creates the basis for future relationships with other groups. In addition to that, they're the closest people to you and give meaning to your life.

The family is the union that exists between several people who share blood, housing and emotional ties. It’s considered to be the main nucleus where individuals express their experiences and feelings. Because of this, we need to know what the functions of the family are in order to assign rules and responsibilities to each family member and enable the interaction to be a satisfactory one.

Families have undergone great changes in their structure in recent years. This has mainly been due to technological advances and the incorporation of women into the workplace and how that has changed their social roles. However, the effort to preserve and fulfill family functions is vital, since it’s here that the process of educating individuals begins.

Main functions of the family

The weakening of the family structure and its roles has a serious impact on society because the family is responsible for imparting culture and values. Therefore, all members must fulfill a series of roles in order to strengthen the family as a whole.

Economic function

Within a family, the economic function is of paramount importance, since it needs to have the capacity to generate income in order to sustain all the members, in addition to paying bills, managing savings and for other material needs.

Parents must work to accelerate their purchasing power in order to cover the household’s main expenses. However, in some families today, children can also contribute to the family’s income, and in some cases they need to. The economic prosperity of the family depends on the efforts of all its members.

Biological function

This is the function aimed at ensuring the procreation of the offspring. It also involves meeting the basic needs of individuals, such as housing and medical care. This function also includes satisfying the sexual desires of the couple.

What Are the Main Functions of the Family?

Roles of care and cooperation

The security and protection of the family are central to this function, and other social institutions also collaborate. Members must fulfill their protective roles, and give care to those who need it. This function is carried out jointly, especially among parents, older siblings, and grandparents, although in this role the mother plays a fundamental role.

Emotional function

The center of a united and happy family is unconditional love and dedication under all circumstances. Every person should feel loved, especially children, because it’s important for them to achieve their self-realization. All family members are responsible for this function in order to avoid a clash of personalities. However, generally, the mother is the pillar that represents and transmits love and affection to a greater degree.

We should also point out that it’s at home where each person learns to communicate, express, or hold back their feelings. However, each person, and each generation, has different ways of reacting to affection and expressing emotions.

Recreational function

Did you know that playing with your child boosts his or her self-esteem and social skills? Recreation is often considered to be one of the least important family functions. However, it’s indispensable in order for the members to be united. Some examples of how recreation strengthens family bonds are the celebration of important dates and accomplishments, sharing experiences together, traveling, and playing together.

Educational and social role

This is the task of introducing children into the community. You must teach them the correct values and appropriate behavior in order to live together in harmony. The support of parents regarding behavior and emotions is fundamental for children. In other words, the educational function includes helping them to find their own identity and to grow. The basic education of children begins when they’re very young, and is then reinforced at school.

What Are the Main Functions of the Family?

The family is a fundamental element in society. Its nature and contributions are vital for the integral development of humanity. Because of this, fulfilling the functions of the family generates stability, transcendence, success, and happiness.

  • Amor Pérez, N., & Díaz, M. V. (2013). La familia. Mendive, ISSN-e 1815-7696, Vol. 11, No. 3, 2013 (Ejemplar Dedicado a: Julio-Sept.), Págs. 291-307.
  • Enciclopedia. (2019). La familia: concepto, tipos y evolución. Enciclopedia Británica En Español.