Psychology Final Term Paper

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Heidi Conover

Psychology – Final Paper

This research paper will be discussing the topic of “Dysfunctional Relationships”. A dysfunctional relationship is where two people make a commitment to care for each other, but it has self-destructive ways. This kind of relationship does not perform in a functional manner; it lacks emotional support and effective communication. Whether it is money, sex, jealousy, infidelity or any number of other issues, to some degree or another, the theme is the same for them in the current relationship as those in the past. The basic goal is to review the cause and effect on these relationships, how they become dysfunctional, changing the dysfunction, and people thought pattern on relationships.

Some variable that will be considered are a lack of communication, trust issues, and finances. If we look at where the dysfunction started, how it affected the individual, we can begin to work effectively to change the dysfunction and thought pattern of those individuals.

This research conducted will study independent variables such as money, sex, infidelity, violence, substance abuse, and mental illness. It will also discuss dependent variables, such as whether we can change faulty issues that are brought over from past relationships into new relationships. There are numerous avenues to research on this issue; focusing on a few relevant ones will assist in evaluating whether we can effectively help individuals change their thought pattern and ideology. This hypothesis will assess how lack of communication, trust issues, and finances play a major role on the effect it has on people and how this effect turns into a dysfunctional relationship.

Dysfunctional relationships are relationships that do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, encourage communication, challenge them, or prepare them for life on the outside world. The degree of dysfunction, in relationships can vary. One partner in the relationship may become a little dependent, and are only dysfunctional from time to time, this will occur when the person is stressed, tired, or overloaded. On the other hand the other partner may be dysfunctional all the time and looks to blame someone other than themselves for the problems that are occurring within the relationship. This leads to an unhealthy relationship where there is little interaction and this does not effectively enhance the lives of the people involved. Often the people involved do not recognize the dysfunction until harm has been done, be it physical, emotional, or psychologically. Dysfunctional participants have common behavior patterns within the family and enable the dysfunction, this can lead to the family being affected by varies factors and it becomes chronic.

Where does it start? The first relationship we have is with our parents. This relationship is supposed to nurture and focus on the needs of the child. Parents may place their needs on the child, and expect the child to sacrifice his/her own needs in order to make their parents happy. Some parent’s under-function, leaving their children to thrive for themselves, this could lead to abandonment issues later in their adulthood. This kind of behavior experienced can leave a child with feeling that their biological and social needs are not being meet; the child may act out in order to get attention from the parent. Other parents over-function, never allowing their children to grow up and be on their own, this may also lead to attachment issues. This foundation encourages unhealthy, dysfunctional relationships, which can be carried into adulthood. This is viewed under the Cognitive Learning Theory where an individual learns new responses by observing the behavior of another. This mental process involves attention, memory, observing, imitating, and modeling. (Unit 2 Notes). Dysfunctional environments play a role too, if the participant grew up...
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