Family Research: Streams of Influence
In order to appreciate the potential value of family variables in studies of psychopathology, it is important to understand the development of family research as a major and formal area of study and the contributions that this field has made to studies of disordered behavior. In this chapter, four major influences will be identified— family sociology, systems/communications theory, child and developmental psychology, and social learning theory. Although these areas of study will be described sequentially, implying that the contributions of each tradition have been made independent of knowledge development in other areas, this is certainly not the case. In many instances, cross-fertilization between domains has been clear, whereby concepts originating in one field have been translated into models and language systems associated with another area of inquiry. In other cases, a larger social or intellectual Zeitgeist can be seen to have provided a common background and motivation for similar theoretical developments occurring in seemingly distinct disciplines. The format we have selected, then, is an aide to expository clarity and not necessarily a reflection of actual independence among the various sources of influence.
KeywordsSocial Learning Theory Family Interaction Child Temperament Family Research Family Theory
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