The aim of the present research was to study the comparative difference in the perceived family environment of single elderly males living in institutions and at home with their families by using the Family Environment Scale (FES) devised by Moos and Moos, 1986. The participants used in the study were all single elderly males aged 65 years and above (N=30). Fifteen were living at home with their children and their families, and the other fifteen were living in old age homes. The data obtained was subjected to descriptive analysis and t obtained was found significant at .01 levels for three dimensions – Expressiveness (2.87), Independence (2.25) and Control (2.70). Non-institutionalized males were found to be more expressiveness (M=48.1) and independent (M=46.26), whereas, institutionalized males had a higher mean on the dimension on control (M=55.3). Reasons were suggested for the findings.
Literally, family is defined in Random House Webster 's Dictionary as parents and their children considered as a group. It is a group in which persons are together under the same identity.
The family forms the basic unit of social organization and it is difficult to imagine how human society could function without it. The family has been seen as a universal social institution an inevitable part of human society. According to Burgess and Lock the family is a group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption constituting a single household interacting with each other in their respective social role of husband and wife, mother and father, brother and sister creating a common culture. G.P Murdock defines the family as a social group characterized by common residence, economic cooperation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children own or adopted of the sexually co-habiting adults.
Nimkoff says that family is a
References: Murdock, G. P. 1970. Kin Term Patterns and their Distribution. Ethnology 9: 165–207. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/india_probe/68534