Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Norms in Couples and Families

  • Lindsey M. WeilerEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_542

Name of Concept

Norms in couples and families


Norms in couples and families include both social expectations and behavior. Family norms, broadly speaking, are social guidelines, expectations, and commonly held rules for the behavior of members of the family (Rodgers and White 2004). Norms also encompass family relationship rules, such that the way in which family members interact with one another is influenced by social expectations and one’s social position. Family norms prescribe preferable and objectionable behavior based on one’s culture and position in the family; norms can be healthy and functional or destructive. Understanding family norms has important clinical implications within case conceptualization and clinical intervention.

Theoretical Context for Concept

Systemic and developmental perspectives provide the theoretical context for norms within couples and families. Through homeostatic mechanisms, ecological influences, and multigenerational processes, commonly...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sean Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International UniversitySacramentoUSA