This paper summarizes research findings about family strengths as reported in the literature from the fields of psychiatry, sociology, psychology, and family counseling. Conclusions about the definition of strong families, characteristics of strong families, operationalization of characteristics, and research methodology are highlighted. The most common constructs of successful families are related to communication, encouragement of individuals, family commitment, religion, social relationships, adaptability, and role definition. Researchers identify families as strong by the absence of dysfunction or by the presence of the characteristics being studied. Types of measures include observation, inventories, and self-report instruments. The paper proposes that future studies examine whether strengths are causative or symptomatic and whether characteristics of strong families can be developed in other families. 30 references. Document Scanned.
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Identifying Successful Families: An Overview of Constructs and Selected Measures.