INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGY AND THE FUNCTIONAL FAMILY: IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATMENT GOALS AND OUTCOME RESEARCH.
AuthorNICOLL, WILLIAM GEORGE.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study was designed to investigate parental attitude and family social environment characteristics of functional family systems. Further, through a discriminant analysis of the data, instrumentation for assessing the relative level of functioning of a family system was sought. Observed differences between functional and dysfunctional family systems are examined for their consistency with the theoretical assumptions of Adler's Individual Psychology. Finally, implications of the obtained results for treatment goals and outcome research in family therapy and parent education programs are discussed. School counselors from junior high schools in one southwestern United States city were utilized to identify families meeting the established criteria for inclusion in each of the criterion groups, functional and dysfunctional families. Forty-nine, two-parent households with at least one child between twelve and fifteen years of age agreed to participate in the study. This included thirty-five functional and fourteen dysfunctional families. Similarity between the groups was established on the basis of ethnicity, religion, education and age of parents and, length of marriage. Three dependent measures were employed: the Parental Attitude Research Instrument-Q4 (Schludermann & Schludermann, 1979), the Family Environment Scale (Moos, 1974) and, the Marlowe-Crowne Social Disirability Scale: short form (Reynolds, 1982). Separate but identical analyses of the data were conducted by sample groupings of: total family, parents, fathers, mothers and, early adolescents. No significant differences between the criterion groups were obtained on Social Desirability nor the PARI-Q4 factors of democratic attitudes, paternal attachment or, family disharmony. Some questions arose from the data as to the validity of the PARI-Q4 factors. On the Family Environment Scale, statistically significant differences were obtained on several of the subscales. A discriminant analysis of the data resulted in identifying several Family Environment Scale subscales which in combination were able to successfully discriminate 78.91% of the sample (n = 147). The discriminant function was better able to identify functional than dysfunctional family members. The observed results are largely consistent with the theoretical principles of Adler's Individual Psychology regarding functional family systems.
Degree ProgramCounseling and Guidance