Family Interaction: A Multigenerational Developmental Perspective, 5th edition

  • Stephen A. Anderson
  • Ronald M. Sabatelli

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Examines families - their challenges and successes - as they move through the life course.


Family Interaction takes a family systems and a multigenerational, developmental framework. This text looks at the major conceptual models used to understand the patterns and interactional dynamics that operate in families. It provides readers with an overview of the basic tasks that all families must execute regardless of their particular composition or living situation and, at the same time, offers readers an appreciation of the variety and uniqueness in the ways in which each family develops its patterns of interaction.

Table of contents







PART I.  Defining Families

1.  The Family as a System

2.  Family Strategies


PART II.  Models of Family Functioning

3.  Structural Models

4.  Intergenerational Models

5.  Contextual Models: Family Diversity


PART III. Family Developmental Stages

Section 1.  Early Adulthood and Marriage

6.  The Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

7.  Mate Selection and Family Development

8.  The Transition to Marriage: The New Marital System

9.  Communication and Intimacy

10.  Conflict in Marriage

Section II The Parenting Years

11.  Families with Young Children: The Transition to Parenthood

12.  The Parent-Child Relationship System

 Section III The Middle and Later Years of Family Development

13.  Family Tasks during Middle Adulthood

14.  The Family in Later Life


PART IV.  Alternative Family Developmental Pathways

15.  Death, Loss, and Bereavement

16.  Divorce

17.  The Single-Parent Household

18.  Remarriage and Step-Parenting


*All chapters begin with “Chapter Overview” and conclude with “Conclusions” and “Key Terms.”

Part I Defining Families

Chapter 1 The Family as a System

The Family as a System

The Difficulty of Defining the Family

The Characteristics of Family Systems

Structural Properties of Families

Strategies and Rules

The Tasks That Families Must Execute

First-Order Tasks

Second-Order Tasks

The Politics of the Family

Chapter 2 Family Strategies

Family Strategies

Identity Strategies

Boundary Strategies

Maintenance Strategies

Strategies for Managing the Family's Emotional Environment

Strategies for Managing Stress: Adaptability as a Second-Order Task

Part II Models of Family Functioning

Chapter 3 Structural Models

Structural Models of Family Functioning

The Structural Model

Mapping the Family Structure

Chapter 4 Intergenerational Models

Intergenerational Models of Family Functioning

Core Concepts in the Bowen Model

Managing Unresolved Issues with the Family of Origin

The Genogram: Insight into Intergenerational Processes

Chapter 5 Contextual Models: Family Diversity


A Metaperspective on Cultural Diversity

The Broader Racial and Ethnic Context

Class, Socioeconomic Status, and Family Diversity

Poverty, Racism, and Family Life

Acculturation and Family Diversity

Ethnicity, Race, and Family Strategies

Part III Family Developmental Stages

Section I Early Adulthood and Marriage

Chapter 6 The Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

The Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood

The Individuation Process

The Individuation Process and Subsequent Development and Adjustment

Individuation Difficulties and the Problems of Youth

Problems of Forced Individuation

Chapter 7 Mate Selection and Family Development

Mate Selection and Family Development

Selecting a Lifetime Companion

Comparison Levels: The Uniqueness of Our Filters

The Impact of Family of Origin Experiences on Mate Selection

Mate Selection and Relationship Dynamics

Chapter 8 The Transition to Marriage: The New Marital System

A Post-Modern Perspective on Marriage

The Tasks of the Newly Married Couple

Chapter 9 Communication and Intimacy

Communication and Intimacy

Defining Communication

Conversational Styles

Communication and Intimacy within Marriage

Chapter 10 Conflict in Marriage

Conflict in Marriage

Areas of Conflict

The Underlying Sources of Conflict in Marriage

The Dynamics of Managing Conflict

Interactional Patterns Leading to Marital Success and Failure

Marital Violence

Section II The Parenting Years

Chapter 11 Families with Young Children: The Transition to Parenthood

Parenthood as Just One Developmental Pathway

The Changing Context of Parenthood

The Structural Diversity Found Within Families with Children

The Challenges Confronted by the Family with Young Children

Chapter 12 The Parent-Child Relationship System

The Parent-Child Relationship System

Dimensions of Parenting Style

Determinants of Parenting Style

Gender and Parenting Styles

Ethnic and Minority Parenting

The Effectiveness of Parenting Styles: Child Abuse and Neglect

Section III The Middle and Later Years of Family Development

Chapter 13 Family Tasks During Middle Adulthood

Family Tasks During Middle Adulthood

The Marriage Relationship During the Middle-Adult Years

Parent-Child Dynamics During Middle Adulthood

The Demands of Being in the Middle

Chapter 14 The Family in Later Life

The Family in Later Life

Marriage During the Later-Adult Years

Intergenerational Dynamics During the Later Years

Family System Dynamics and the Caregiving/Care-Receiving Relationship

Part IV Alternative Family Developmental Pathways

Chapter 15 Death, Loss, and Bereavement

Death, Loss, and Bereavement

Death Within the Family System

Factors Mediating the Family System's Response to Death

A Multigenerational, Developmental Perspective on Death

Unresolved Grief and Family Strategies

Chapter 16 Divorce


Divorce as a Family Process

Adaptation Following Divorce

An Intergenerational Systems Perspective on Divorce

Chapter 17 The Single-Parent Household

The Single-Parent Household

Diversity within Single-Parent Systems

Single-Parent Family Systems: Prevalence and Challenges

Challenges in Meeting Basic Tasks within Single-Parent Systems

Adaptation to Single-Parenthood: Sources of Social Support

Chapter 18 Remarriage and Step-Parenting

Remarriage and Step-Parenting

A Developmental Model for Remarried Family Systems

Problematic Family System Dynamics in Remarried Step-Families

Published by Pearson (August 10th 2010) - Copyright © 2011