Lesson 5 of 7 - evolve a high-nurturance family

Quiz: What do You
Know About Families?

Learn What You
 Need to Learn

By Peter K. Gerlach, MSW
Member NSRC Experts Council

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The Web address of this quiz is http://sfhelp.org/fam/quiz5.htm.

Updated  03-22-2015

      Clicking underlined links here will open a new window. Other links will open  an informational popup, so please turn off your browser's popup blocker or allow popups from this nonprofit Web site. If your playback device doesn't support Javascript, the popups may not display. Follow underlined links after finishing this article to avoid getting lost.  

      This is one of a series of articles on evolving and enjoying high-nurturance (functional) families (Lesson 5). The series exists because the wide range of current social problems suggests that many (most?) families (like yours?) don't fill the primary needs of (nurture) their members very well. That suggests the epidemic effects of the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle proposed in this Web site .

  Why Learn about Families?

      From 36 years' professional research, I propose that one of five reasons for widespread family stress and divorce is general unawareness of key personal, relationship, and family topics - like what it takes to evolve a functional (high-nurturance) family. Many lay and professional adults don't know what they don't know, so they're not motivated to learn and apply these basics. Could this describe you?

      This quiz invites you to assess how much you know about families - in general, and your own. It links you with practical answers you can tailor to fit your knowledge and situation. "Scoring" this quiz is less important than what you know, your motivation to learn, and how you use your family knowledge...

      This quiz assumes you're familiar with...

  • the intro to this site and the premises underlying it;

  • self-improvement Lessons 1 thru 4

  • these Q&A items about families, and...

  • this overview of the [wounds + unawareness] cycle  


Check to see if your true Self is guiding you now. If not, expect skewed results from this quiz, and study Lesson 1. 

Print this quiz and have something to write with and blank paper for notes;

Find a quiet place and reserve at least 45-60" to respond to these items;

Adopt the unbiased curiosity of a student, and expect to learn something useful here;

Take your time. Check each main item below ( __ ) only if you can confidently check each sub-item ( _ ).

As you answer these items, imagine how other family members (like each of your living or dead) parents and grandparents) would respond to (a) each item, and (b) to taking and discussing this quiz. Will your grown kids be able to "pass" this quiz?

Links below will take you to the answers in this Web site. To stay focused, consider finishing this quiz before you click on any underlined links of interest.

Reassure yourself - you don't need to be a Ph.D. to learn the answers here!

For fun, guess which of these you'll feel when you finish this quiz:

_  I knew little about families

_  I know less than I thought I did

_  I know about what I thought I did

_  I know more than I realized

_  Now I know all I need to know

_  I want to learn more about my family


  • try answering these items out loud to someone you trust, or to an imaginary group of high-school seniors.

  • avoid vague generalities -  be specific in your answers.

  • think of several families you know well as you consider each item.

  • remind yourself that "I don't know" is a valid answer!

     Recall - underlined inks below will take you to a new page.


   What I Know About Families

__ 1)  Define "a family," ("a family is...")

__ 2)  Explain why families exist in every animal species, age, and culture - i.e. define the main purposes of any family (like yours).

__ 3)  Describe what would probably happen to a society of there were no families.

__ 4)  Describe:

_ a psychological family,

_ specifically how it differs from a genetic (biological) family, and...

_ how and _ why psychological families form.

__ 5)  Define and illustrate...

_ what a need is, and...

_ the difference between surface needs and primary needs;

__ 6)  Name at least eight developmental needs that typical minor kids depend on family adults to fill well.

__ 7)  Define how _ members' and _ society's needs affect any family's 'functioning.'

__ 8)  Define what nurturing means in the context of a family.

__ 9Describe...

_ what a family's nurturance level  is, and...

_ how it relates to the family's "functioning."

__ 10)  Define and give examples of a _ high-nurturance (functional) and _ low-nurturance (dysfunctional) nuclear biological family, and _ name at least 15 of the ~30 traits of a high-nurturance family

__ 11)  Define at least four major effects on a child of growing up in a low-nurturance (dysfunctional) family environment,

__ 12)  Define _ "a relationship" and _ at least seven requisites for a mutually-satisfying relationship. 

__ 13)  _ Name at least three ways that family relationships differ from other relationships, and _ explain what that usually means.

__ 14)  Define

human bonding,

pseudo bonding

_  how bonding differs from dependence (needing),

_  how bonds develop, and...

_  why some wounded adults and kids are unable to bond.

__ 15)  Explain _ what it means to belong to a family, and _ who usually determines a typical family's membership (inclusion and exclusion).

__ 16)  Describe the people who comprise...

_ a nuclear family and

_ an extended family, and

_ why these adjectives can be useful in discussing family problems.

__ 17)  Name...

_ at least four common types of family,

_ identify which is the most complex, and...

_ explain why.

__ 18)  Describe...

_ what a stepfamily is, and...

_ who comprises (belongs to) a nuclear stepfamily.

__ 19)  Describe

_ a family mission statement and...

_ how such a statement may affect a family's long-term nurturance level.

__ 20)  Describe...

_ what interpersonal and family boundaries are,

_ what's required for effective boundaries, and...

_ how boundaries can strengthen or degrade a family's nurturance level.

__ 21)  Describe...

_ what a family's structure is, and

_ how adults can benefit from diagramming _ who belongs to their family and _ their family's structure, in troubled times.

- after finishing this quiz, try mapping your childhood and current nuclear families and see what you learn.

__ 22)  Define...

 _ family roles and

 _ role titles, and...

_ give at least 8 common examples.

__ 23)  Describe and illustrate family

_  role conflicts;

role confusion, and...

role strain,

_  how each of these relates to a family's nurturance level.

__ 24)  _ Define and _ give examples of family rules and...

 _ explain the difference between effective and ineffective family rules.

__ 25)  Describe...

_ the main elements of a family system, and...

_ explain how family adults can use this knowledge to spot and solve family role, relationship, boundary, and structural problems.

__ 26)  Describe...

_ when a family begins, and...

_ the main developmental stages of any family that includes children.

__ 27)  Explain...

_ what spirituality is,

_ how it relates to religion, and...

_ how spirituality and religion may affect a family's nurturance level.

__ 28)  Describe...

_ family identity and...

_ how it relates to a family's nurturance level.

__ 29)  Define and give examples of a...

_ loyalty conflict and a...

_ relationship triangle, and

_ outline an effective strategy for avoiding or resolving each of these common family stressors.

__ 30)  Describe...

_ how family changes relate to losses, and...

_ what "effective grieving" is.

__ 31)  _ Explain the difference between anger and frustration, and _ define and illustrate a healthy family 'anger policy'.

__ 32)  Describe and illustrate...

_ a family "grieving policy," and...

_ a 'pro-grief' home.

__ 33)  Describe...

_ what an "addiction" is;

_ the four kinds of common addictions; and...

_ why any addiction is a symptom of family dysfunction, not an individual "disease."

why addictions are a family-system problem,  

__ 34)  Describe...

_ the five needs that cause all kids and adults to communicate, and...

_ the two requisites for effective communication.

__ 35)  Define the most critical factor that determines the outcome of any communication, and significantly affects the quality of most family (and other) relationships.

__ 36)  Define...

_ effective assertion and...

_ "effective child discipline;" and... 

__ 37)  Describe how informed adults can...

_ effectively analyze and...

_ resolve most family relationship, role, membership, values, and loyalty conflicts.

__ 38)  Define...

_ effective parenting and...

_ toxic (harmful) parenting.

__ 39)  Describe at least three things high-nurturance families contribute to their community and society.

+ + +

      Note your thoughts and feelings as you finish this quiz. What are you aware of now? Is there anything special you want to research or remember from these 39 items? Do you want to show this quiz to anyone and/or discuss it?

      Now compare how you feel about your family-knowledge level to what you thought before taking the quiz...

_  I knew little about families

_  I know less than I thought I did

_  I know about what I thought I did

_  I know more than I realized

_  Now I know all I need to know

_  I want to learn more about my family

      How do you think other average adults - specially parents and grandparent4s - would answer this?

      Recall: This is one of several basic topics that typical adults need know to evolve a high-nurturance family and break the crippling [wounds + unawareness] cycle. Test your knowledge of them with these other quizzes.

 Now What?

      Use options like these to benefit from what you just learned:

If you haven't recently, study the [wounds + unawareness] cycle that may be stressing you and your family. This will help you benefit from these quizzes and lessons.

Practice noticing whether your true Self is guiding you in calm and stressful times. You'll get the most from using these quizzes and options when s/he is in charge.

If there are terms in this quiz you're unclear on, see this glossary.

If you want to ask other people to take and discuss this quiz, _ who are they, and _ why do you want this?

Note how motivated you are (little > highly) to invest time studying the answers to these items. Doing this with one or more people (like your mate) can be more fun, and will probably be more productive for all of you.

Try using the terms and concepts in this quiz in conversations with other family members. See if over time they help you all raise your awareness, cooperation, and nurturance level. 

If you're in a co-parent support group, consider using the quizzes in this Web site as a framework for study and discussion topics. Note that Lesson 6 in this Web course is about effective  parenting.

      More options for using this quiz...

Scan these "Questions Family Adults Should Ask." They offer specific answers to most of the items in these quizzes.

Use these topics as a framework for educating the young people in your life about their family. They don't know what they need to know, and probably have confusions they can't articulate.

Give a copy of this quiz (or all seven of them) to your kids' teachers, school counselors,  and coaches to help raise their awareness of their own kids and students.

Commit to studying this vital self-improvement course. Then use what you learn to help break the lethal [wounds + unawareness] cycle in your family, community, region, or nation.

If you're a human-service professional, use these quizzes to (a) help design in-service training programs for your co-workers and supervisors, and (b) educate and empower your clients and patients.

      If a false self controls your other personality subselves, you'll probably ignore your quiz results and options like these or postpone acting on them - and rationalize this as being "OK."

Right now I feel....


and I'm aware of...


and something I want to do now is...



      This is one of seven basic-knowledge quizzes in this nonprofit self-education Web site. They exist to improve adults' awareness, relationships, and family nurturance levels. From 36 years' experience as a family  therapist, this quiz offers 39 multi-part questions to help you self-assess your knowledge on families.

      Few high-school seniors or average parents can answer all these questions accurately because our ancestors and schools haven't taught them. This knowledge can help you identify and reduce harmful psychological wounds and unawareness you may not be aware of, and to teach and prepare the youngsters in your life.

      All other articles in this Web site use these family concepts to help you avoid and lower family stress and conflicts, and raise the nurturance level of your home and extended family. For more perspective, see these Q&A topics and these essential Lessons..

      Recall why you took this quiz. Did you get what you needed? If you did, what do you need now? If you didn't, what do you need? Who's answering these questions - your wise resident true Self, or 'someone else'?

      Option - see this related quiz about stepfamily knowledge.

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