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Dealing With Diversity in Extended Family Relationships

Life-long mutual support relationships

Susan M. Mumm, MA

This article is a transcript from my lecture series presented on Community Access Television (CTN) in Ann Arbor, Michigan

I’m Susan Mumm and this is Lecture #1 in the lecture series “Asking New Questions, Finding New Answers Contemporary Issues in Psychology.” I am a licensed professional counselor in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This lecture series is a non-profit endeavor; these tapes may be reproduced and distributed for any non-profit purpose. Tonight’s lecture is entitled “Dealing With Diversity in Extended Family Relationships”. This is a companion lecture to my “Dealing With a Dysfunctional Extended Family” lecture.

In trying to write a lecture about extended families, I found that I needed to be able to give two distinct kinds of suggestions and guidelines; one kind for what I would classify as basically healthy families, and a different set of guidelines for dysfunctional families. This lecture about diversity is geared towards reasonably healthy families. In my “Dealing with a Dysfunctional Extended Family” lecture I deal with the various mental health issues that come up in dysfunctional families. For those listeners who aren’t sure where their family falls on the continuum of mental health, it might be helpful to listen to both lectures and determine which information seems most helpful and relevant.

So---let me try to tackle this issue of diversity. I believe that diversity has become a very troubling issue for the majority of American families. Extended families have been impacted by many sociological changes in the past sixty years and these changes have increased the diversity within extended families astronomically.

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