This master’s thesis deals with the role of the family in shaping ideas on values, and the attitudes of young people towards the family. The family is perceived as the basic structure within which a person’s psychic structure emerges and develops through relationships, and thus the person’s system of values is shaped. From this perspective values are not inborn, but are acquired. As parents, we thus have to know how to live according to our values, and how to transfer them to our children through their upbringing. Unfortunately, some parents fail in this task. Moreover, a growing number of families are facing difficulties in various areas of life, which can have a strong impact on the development of a child/young person, and consequently on the development of emotional and behavioural problems/disorders that are one of the main reasons why children/young people may be sent to a residential care institution. The theoretical part of this thesis deals with three basic areas: values, family as the first provider of values, and the emotional and behavioural problems/disorders that can arise as a consequence of unfavourable family conditions.
The empirical part of this work, with survey questionnaires for children/young people in the last triad of elementary school who live with their immediate families (N=106), and those who live in a residential care institution (N=71), aims to verify whether there are differences between both groups in terms of their ideas and perceptions of values and family, and whether there are differences in their views of how parents/carers/foster carers respond to their basic needs. I was also interested in how the relationships with parents/carers/foster carers are seen by children/young people who live in residential care institutions compared to those who live with their immediate families, and how children/young people feel in residential care institutions. The research results demonstrate that children/young people who live with their immediate families gave higher ratings to the values of love and positive approach, health, belief in God and respect of laws, while those who live in residential care institutions gave higher ratings to values such as free time, success in career, good food and drink and hygiene and cleanliness. In their estimations of their parents/carers responses to their basic needs, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups. Moreover, both groups had similar responses with regard to how they experience their families and the activities that take place within them. The children/young people who live with their immediate families were more likely to feel that their parents accept them such as they are, that they are satisfied with the relationship they have with their parents, and that their parents would protect them in case of danger, however, they also feel, that parents expect too much from them. In contrast, the children/young people who live in residential care institutions felt that they do not get on well with their parents, that their parents fail to understand them, and that they would prefer to live in a different family, however, they also stated that they have a good relationship with their parents/carers. Although the children/young people living in residential care institutions had unpleasant experiences in their families, and suffered because of neglect and frequent disappointments, the idea of the family remained sacred and very important to them –on average they felt very good at home ( ́x ̅ = 4.6), and after leaving their residential care institutions most (73%) were unwilling to return to them.