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Family of Orientation: Definition & Example

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  • 0:04 Family of Orientation Defined
  • 1:16 The Impact of Family…
  • 2:00 Family of Procreation
  • 2:25 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Yolanda Williams

Yolanda has taught college Psychology and Ethics, and has a doctorate of philosophy in counselor education and supervision.

Family of orientation refers to the family that we are born into. Learn more about family of orientation, why it is important, and how it differs from family of procreation.

Family of Orientation Defined

Kerry and Pam are a married couple who met on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. They both come from households with two working parents who focused on saving and building their net worth. It was no surprise to their families when Kerry and Pam decided that they would both pursue their career goals, even after they had children. Kerry and Pam had two children, a boy named Bob and a daughter named Jillian.

Both Bob and Jillian obtained jobs their freshman year in high school, were hard workers, and saved as much money as they could. Bob and Jillian's parents taught them to always try their best, always be kind to strangers, and the importance of giving back to the community. Kerry and Pam also taught their children about socially appropriate behaviors, i.e. to refer to their elders as 'Mr.' or 'Mrs.' and to cover their mouths when they sneeze. Once Bob became an adult and married his wife Susan, they taught the same values to their three children. In this example, we have just described Bob and Jillian's family of orientation.

Our family of orientation is the family that we are born into. This image shows the family of orientation of Bob and Jillian, which includes their parents.
family of orientation

So what is family of orientation? Simply put, family of orientation refers to the family that you were born and raised in. In the example, Bob's family of orientation consisted of hard working, financially savvy parents Kerry and Pam, and a sister named Jillian.

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