Family disorganization can be caused by parental overburdening, loss of significant others who served as role models for children and loss of support systems for family members. Family disorganization contributes to the collapse of a family and its ability to impose order on its members.
A disorganized family can be caused by parents placing too much responsibility on their children. When parents overburden their children the parents reduce their role in the family as a support system for the child. This upsets the balance of the family unit and leads to family disorganization. With less support coming from the parents, the highest level of organization becomes the individual.
When a family loses a significant member like a spouse, the family can also become disorganized. The loss of a family member creates a vacuum in the support structure of the family. That loss creates disorganization because other family members now must take up the burden of the missing person. When a mother dies, the father then has to take over the responsibilities the mother took on. In a typical nuclear family this includes spending a greater amount of time with the children, time the father may not have due to his work schedule.
Family disorganization can also be caused by violent or abusive habits: physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse. These abusive behaviors break down the family's ability to remain organized and function as a whole.