What Causes Family Conflict?

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A number of factors can cause conflict to arise between family members, including differing opinions, finances, changes in the family structure and sibling rivalry. Both trivial matters and significant circumstances have the power to cause problems between relatives.

According to the Better Health Channel, family conflict often occurs when family members have varying beliefs and opinions that clash with one another. Relatives may argue with one another to defend themselves or a point of view. Misunderstandings also cause unnecessary arguments when family members do not communicate well.

Another major source of family conflict is finances. Many people squabble about the lack of money or poor spending habits. The loss of employment causes financial trouble, which breeds family conflicts when resources become scarce.

Sibling rivalry is another source of conflict that is escalated when siblings are close to the same age or are the same gender. Children and teens who rebel against the will of their parents can cause family discord. Some other sources of family conflict include a new addition to the family, child discipline, household rules, chores and even extramarital affairs. Spouses who are in the process of divorcing can upset the balance of the home and cause family conflict. A death in the family may cause even the closest relatives to argue over a will, possessions and funeral arrangements. A family can seek counseling to talk over a problem in a neutral setting to resolve family conflicts and restore harmony.