Are more likely to function at a higher level and

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are more likely to function at a higher level and have higher levels of cohesion and flexibility. The Circumplex Model serves as a framework to assess families in that it identifies three dimensions of marital and family systems that are crucial to the overall health and balance of the system itself. If a marriage or family system can identify and change the unbalanced areas associated with the three dimensions, the individuals can function at a higher level and together be a more successful system as a whole. The Cortez Family In the case of the Cortez family, the family has lower levels of cohesion in that all members fall within the separated range. While Paula feels that her strongest social connections are to her son and ex-husband, there is a large amount of independence between all family members, very little closeness, and some loyalty. Being that Paula’s son is an adult and she no longer lives with her ex-husband, the family’s level of flexibility ranges from chaotic to flexible. While there is no “leader” in this family and there have been dramatic changes, there is also a flexibility to the overall family system. According to Olson 2000 “family communication is measured by focusing on the family as a group with regard to their listening skills, speaking skills, self- disclosure, clarity, continuity tracking, and respect and regard” (p. 149). While the Cortez family

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