Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.

Family Systems

Family systems


The notion of family systems draws on the idea of system as used in engineering, to describe the family as a whole entity, in which all the parts are seen as closely interconnected.


In family systems theory, a family is seen as an interconnecting unit. Family members are understood to influence each other continuously and in a reciprocal manner, even if they may subjectively experience themselves as distant from their families. This makes their behaviours and functioning interdependent, such that a change in one person's functioning will necessarily lead to changes in the functioning of others. Although families may differ with regard to the degree to which they are interdependent, such interdependence is always seen to be present.

This approach to looking at families ...

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