Dependence on Family Support

Dependence on family support, both economic and emotional, changes as children get older – with a diminishing influence on behaviour

Family influence changes with the age of the child:

●  Babies are utterly dependent on their parents for support, and they unconsciously pick up habits of behaviour from those around them – as described earlier (4.2.1).

●  As described by the jrank entry on childhood conformity, children’s obedience to their parents gradually diminishes with age.  Peer groups can become more important for adolescents.

●  The financial dependence of children gives parents leverage over them, until they leave home.  Economic support can continue after that point, though, and may be needed if other sources are not available (3.4.6).

Marriage is an important transition point.  It can be seen as a contract not only between two people but between two families.  That is relevant in the thorny question of arranged marriages, for example.

●  Marriage was seen as an alliance between dynasties in European royal families, and affected political control.

●  Supporters of arranged marriages argue that they ensure the couple’s compatibility, as argued in a Times of India article Facts about arranged marriages you never noticed, and they are traditional in many other countries.

●  The practice conflicts with current western values, where a marriage is seen as an exercise of personal love.

●  Forced marriage is illegal in most countries.  The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses.” (Appendix 1, Article 16.2)

Family pressure can be very strong, though, particularly for young women who don’t want to leave their families and who may not have financial independence.  The expression “free and full consent” might in practice mean a reluctant decision to choose family over affection.

Dependence on family support, both economic and emotional, continues throughout people’s lives.



This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/4321.htm.