Family Values And The Benefits Of Being A Part Of An Extended Family

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All around the world families are a major part of society and shape how companies and countries operate. Families are the center of many people’s lives and are what dictates how things are done. Also, the religion and ethnicity of families play a major role in how people and families are shaped. A family’s religion and ethnicity give them beliefs that will shape how they raise and teach their children what is right and what is wrong. While their ethnicity will give them support and acceptance in what they are doing as others will be there to help guide them on their journey. Therefore, one does not take only one of these aspects and leave the other two without any thought on them. A nurse has to take into account a patient’s ethnicity, religion, and culture when caring for the patient, as these aspects are what defines a patient and their views on everything, along with how their families view things and how they will take to certain operations (Spector, 2017). This is true for the Olaleye family, as their family has a different religion and culture than the ones that health-care providers typically see. The Olaleye family composed of a married couple David (61) and Olanike (50) and their three kids: Damilare (27), Mary (25), and Damola (21). All of the Olaleye kids are in college with Damola attending Wright State University, Mary at Apollo college for culinary, and Damilare finishing at Bowling Greene for computer science. Damilare and Damola live on campus at their university of choice, but Mary lives at home with their parents, but Damilare and Damola go home every weekend or so. Although the extended family of the Olaleyes is not close to them they still visit the ones close to them every month or so but they still try to go visit when they can, but they include Olanike’s siblings Adekule (41), Dasola (44), Bolanle (47), as well as the nieces and nephews that the family has. On David’s side of the family, only one of his siblings is still alive that being Akanmu (67), while his other two siblings, Oluleke (68) and Bolagade (54) are no longer living. This is also the case for David’s parents, Adenike and Olajide both dying at 68 years old and 75 years old respectfully, while with Olanike, only her father is still alive, Olaniyi who is 86 years old but her mother, Victoria, passed away at 70 years old (see Appendix A).

In health care families usually end up becoming involved with the matters of other family members, and this rings true with the Olaleye family as it does with any others. The Olaleye family are constantly involved in one another’s affairs, this includes their health care, helping to relieve any stress that any one member of the family may be feeling upon becoming ill (Kaakinen, Coehlo, Steele, & Robinson 2018). As a result, family in the health care setting should be seen as a unit of care, this would provide the nurse with a better assessment of the influence the family has on the individual member of the family (Kaakinen & Hanson, 2015). Families that have immigrated from another part of the world would have specific foods that they would not be allowed to eat or they may have certain medical practices that they will not allow like having blood transfusions, but the Olaleye have does not have either of these restrictions on them.

In African, the Yoruba cultural group, which is one of the three primary cultural groups in Nigeria, has an extensive impact on how the family identifies themselves and the family interprets the medical care that they receive. The Olaleye family identifies themselves as still being a part of the Yoruba group even though they no longer live in Nigeria and have started to acculture themselves to the Anglo-Saxon culture that is dominating in the United States (Spector, 2017). Though the Olaleye family does participate in morning prayer and fasting as they practice Catholicism, and the family still eats traditional African foods like Jollof rice and Ogbono soup.

History and Cultural Views

In the medical world, nurses and other health care providers gather information about their patients to better understand the patient and how they can help them while still being culturally competent. Information like this can be gathered through tools like a family assessment, in this case, the Olaleye family assessment, that would include segments of the Giger and Davidhizar Transcultural Assessment Model and a few other models. Models like these hold information that provides insight on how different cultural aspects shape an individual, along with how they will react to different medical procedures (Fatma, 2015).

The Olaleye family is an immigrant family that has been living in the United States for about four years, as they are originally from Oyo Ibadan Nigeria. Nigeria got its independence in 1960 from British control, after this many Nigerians moved to other countries, the United States included, to pursue a better life. As a result, the Olaleye family began their immigration to the United States, but not everyone immigrated at the same time. The first one to make the journey to the U.S. was David, who was now 43 years old in 2007, who had to find a job and a place for his family to stay when they come to the country. The next to come in 2010 was Damilare, 16 years old then and once he came to the U.S., he had to help his father with earning money to help get the rest of their family over. A few years later David and Damilare had earned enough money to bring both Damola and Mary over to them in Dayton, Ohio in 2016. This left Damola’s mother Olanike alone in Nigeria by herself for the next two years while David, Damilare, and Damola try to earn enough money to bring her over to this country, and them. In Nigeria, though life is different from what it is in the U.S., healthcare is a primary example of this difference (see Appendix B).

Most people from Nigeria do not go seek healthcare either because they simply cannot afford to see a doctor, or they are too scared that the doctor may find something wrong with them. If the doctor were to find something wrong, then the men of the family will have to work even more and a lot harder than they have been to secure the money to get treatment for the family member if that member is female. If the member that is ill is a male, then the family has just lost the member that works to get the money to support the family. While in the United States it is common for people to pay for their medical expenses after getting the care that they need, in Nigeria, it is the opposite. In Nigeria, one has to pay before the doctor will see someone, and everyone is poor in the country and there are not any loans that one can take out to pay the doctor. With the lack of money that most people in Nigeria have to deal with no one can afford to seek medical care. Most of the time the Nigerian people will just pray that they illness, give the ill member some herbs that the shaman gave the family, or allowing the family member to rest until they have enough strength to continue to do their role in the family.

Communication in the Olaleye family is very tight and close as everyone is there to help each other and relies on each other, even when Damola’s mother was in Nigeria by herself. When Olanike was in Nigeria by herself her family still made the effort to call and talk to her every weekend and see how she was doing there and what was happening with them in the States. Now that everyone is in the same county everyone is still close to each other and talks to each other daily. Olaleyes communication is spoken more in their first language which is Yoruba, the language that is used in Nigeria, when they are talking to one another at home, in public, or on the phone. Although everyone in the family can speak English, they mostly speak English when talking to coworkers, classmates, and friends that cannot speak their native language. Either speaking in their native tongue or talking in English the Olaleyes still keeps a good track of conveying their messages to each other through the use of cell phones and directly telling the individual. They keep this track up to ensure that everyone is taken care of and that all members of the family are aware of what is happening in work and the family dynamic.

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Space, time and biological factors of any family affect how they interact with the world around them and what they are predisposed to with certain illnesses and diseases, as it does with everyone in the world but is on a scale to only include the Olaleye family. Personal space with any household is a major key in any family relationship. Personal space is important to many people as it allows them to deal with personal issues without family adding to their problems. Giving people the space that they need can help them to relieve any stress that they may have built up while going about their daily lives. Time, as it stands, reflects how a family sees the world and how they interpret the daily consequences of their actions. The Olaleye family sees their life in the constant motion of having to figure things out ahead of time and making sure that they are on time to meetings, appointments, and important events. When it comes to the factors that predispose every family to different illnesses and diseases depend on the race of the family, their location, and the history of diseases that the family has (Spector, 2017). As in Nigeria, where the Olaleye family originates from, there are many diseases that the people there are more inclined to contract. Certain diseases like lower respiratory infections, neonatal disorders, HIV/AIDS, malaria, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis, meningitis, ischemic heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis, and measles (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 2017). The family does have a history of malaria and measles running in the Olaleye family and the members of the community that the Olaleyes had in Nigeria.

In Nigeria, it is a common belief that when someone falls ill it is the action of God wanting this to happen and the people have no control over this fate. The Olaleye family believes in this rational and thus often will seek aid from a shaman, who have links to the spirit realm that aid in expelling and healing an individual with herbal remedies.

Socialization within families comes in many different forms from face-to-face talking, phone calls, texting, all the way to video chatting. The Olaleye family partakes in all of these forms to communicate the events that are happening within the family. Socialization also helps each member of the family to stay connected with friends and other family members that are not near them. The stress that socialization helps to relieve is another major influencer on how the family handles the events that life throws at them along with personal problems that they may be facing.

The aspects of gender and social organization in the Olaleye family shape how each member develops their identity and learns their role in the family. The idea of gender having an impact on what a person will be allowed to do and how they will be raised is different depending on where you are in the world. In Nigeria, it is common for the males to be the ones that work and earn the money, while the women are the ones that will take care of the house, raise the children, and cook for the family. This cultural practice is present with the Olaleye family as David, Damilare, and Damola are the ones that work while Olanike and Mary do the housework. Even at college the kids still do what they were raised to always do and are making careers in the roles that they were raised to do, Damilare and Damola are working while taking their classes and in the careers that would provide more for the family, and Mary is living at home, helping with the chores there and in the culinary field at her college of choice.

The matter of continuing the family legacy via procreating with another is an important aspect of Yoruba culture. Before this process commences the two individuals must be married, this is a major topic in the culture as some have been shunned for having a child before they were married. This ties into the spirituality of the group, like those in the Yoruba group, are more catholic, thus following those traditional beliefs on the religion. Granted the typical family size is around five people in Nigeria and the extended family size is usually around the same size (United Nations, 2019). While the death of a family member also has roots in the catholic religion. In Nigeria it is common for those deceased to have a funeral and be buried, the men facing east and the women facing west so they can cook dinner for their husband once they meet after God has passed judgment on them to determine where they go in the afterlife. Also, the ritual for burying the individual can last from several days to several weeks and the family member must have their body covered in black earth and not red earth, so they do not get blemished on their skin. The Olaleye family has gone through this process for burying five those in their extended family, and each one took a toll on the family in their own way (Goldade, 2018).

Stress and Problems

No matter where anyone is in the world everyone experiences stress and certain problems that have an impact on the family. There is no escaping stress and problems as they come in many different faces and appearances. The Olaleye family is no exception to this aspect of life. While the Olaleyes were still living in Nigeria they experienced quite a few different and unique stressful situations. Starting with Damola, when he was younger, around the age of ten years old, he almost died of unknown reasons. They remain unknown to this day as when he went to see the doctor he was turned away as his family was unable to pay to see the doctor upfront. Later that night after the visit to the doctor Damola stopped breathing and turned a pale color and when this happened Damola’s mother turned to the one thing that she believed would work, prayer. Soon thereafter her son was better and breathing again and this was one mother who was thankful to God that day. This event was a major stressor to the Olaleye family as they were able to do anything more than sit there and watch one of their own fight a battle by themselves with no help.

Three years prior to this event happening another stressful and problematic event occurred for the Olaleye family, Victoria, Damola’s grandmother on his mother’s side suffered from a rectal prolapse. The grandmother suffered from this rectal prolapse by herself as she did not tell anyone including her husband since she did not want to be a bother to anyone. She suffered from this for a few years before eventually, someone found out from Victoria’s new and weird behaviors of refusing to sit. The person that caught onto these new behaviors was Damola’s mother, Olanike, who let the rest of the family know what was happening. This brought much stress upon the families as they all had to work together to scrounge up the money to help pay her way to see a doctor and get the treatment needed. Once all the families were able to gain the money needed to see the doctor, they were given the news that the prolapse was infected and that she was going to die soon. Starting with that news the family subsequently had to start working to save the money for a funeral and a burial. The families also spent these difficult time cherishing their beloved family member, Victoria.

Apart from, the stressors that the Olaleye family faced in Nigeria, they also face some stressors in their normal life here in the United States. Starting with the head of the house, David, who has a strong relationship with everything he is involved in such as his finances, work, and extended family. Moving onto the mother of the family, Olanike, seeing as she has the family role of being at the house cooking and cleaning, she has a weak relationship with work, but a very strong relationship with church that she shares with her daughter Mary. Mary the middle child not only has a strong relationship with church but also with her school life. Damilare the oldest has a strong relationship with both his hobbies and physical health and has a direct flow of energy into his social life just like Damola. Damola the youngest has a tense relationship with school but has his main energy coming from his social life. The Olaleye family mainly uses church as a family-wide coping strategy when dealing with stressful situations (see Appendix C 

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