Procreation of children is the primary biological function of a family. Children born to a lawfully wedded couple only receive legitimacy from society. Thus, it is the family which ensures the continuity of human race.
Fulfillment of Basic Needs:
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It is the responsibility of a family to provide basic needs to its members. These include food, shelter, clothing, health and education. The head of the family, whether male or female, is expected to provide these to the members till they attain adulthood.
The Hindu marriage makes it obligatory for the husband to provide comforts to his wife. Among the tribals also economic needs along with physical needs are fulfilled by the family.
One very important function of a family is psychological. It provides security to the members of the family. Among the aged in the primitive societies, psychological support is a very strong factor as it provides strength and a measure of safety. The tribals reside in hills and forests. Such a habitation poses great hazards to them.
Mostly, the environment is unfriendly and in such a situation it is only the emotional support which provides succor to the people. Though, these days, the state has come forward to take some measures of security for the older people, the family still does provide psychological protection.
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In the changing times the functions of family are fast getting new dimensions. Even the Trobrianders living in isolated islands are taking to modernization. In our country too, the tribals residing in inaccessible areas have been witnessing a transformation.
Traditional occupations are changing, and education has given a new worldview to these isolated peoples. In such a situation the family has taken up new challenges and new functions.