PSICHOLOGY OF FAMILY RELATION
Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims at fostering the learning of analytical models for the
understanding of different types of family functioning, based on the
following methodological principles: plurality, complexity and multi-
processuality. The course also proposes to show how this knowledge can be applied to a professional reality through the use of survey instruments and development assessment. Finally, the course aims to foster students’ independent judgment with respect to the theoretical issues studied and improve their ability to communicate about the aspects they have investigated and learned.
Advances in Developmental Psychology and Social Psychology
Course contents summary
Is it appropriate talking of "crisis of the family" or should we talk instead
of different ways of "being family"? The contemporary western societies
are characterized by the presence of many different types of families in
which the parental couple may not coincide with the marital couple, the
spacial borders with the affective borders, the gender roles with the
family roles. The relational processes connected to such discontinuities
will constitute the main object of study. The course will be divided in two
parts: Theoretical models for the study of families relationship and
processes; the multiplicity of families diversities.
The course will adress the following issues:
a) Theories and models for the study of families relationships and
1) The analysis of families dynamics: from the mono-dimensional models
to the multi-dimensional, socio-cultural and narrative ones.
2) The families developmental processes: from the family life cycle to the
b) Methods in family studies: self-report, observation and multimethod procedures
c) Families diversity
1) The multiplicity of family forms: from singular (single, divorce,
widowhood) to plural (step-families), same-sex couples and parents,
2) Different forms of parenthood
3) Families as communities: foster houses, co-housing, eco-villages.
Fruggeri, L. (1998). Famiglie. Dinamiche interpersonali e processi psico-
sociali. Roma, Carocci. (1° parte)
Fruggeri, L. (2005). Diverse normalità. Psicologia sociale delle relazioni
familiari. Roma, Carocci.
Fruggeri,L. (2009) Osservare le famiglie, Carocci Editore
Cigala, A., Fruggeri, L., Molinari, L. (a cura di) (2011) Nucleo monotematico “Uno sguardo triadico alla video-analisi dei processi interattivi: teorie, metodi e linee di ricerca", Giornale di psicologia dello sviluppo, n. 99, pp. 69-99.
*Ulteriori indicazioni bibliografiche (anche in lingua inglese) in merito a
specifici ambiti di ricerca e intervento con le famiglie verranno suggerite
durante lo svolgimento del corso.
In order to encourage the acquisition of the ability to apply this knowledge in real life, independent judgment and communication skills, the course will include frontal lessons, group work, vision and analysis of
videos, seminars with experts doing research and working with families in
Assessment methods and criteria
Examinations will be oral in order to assess the knowledge and skills acquired, and the students’ independent judgment, their ability to communicate and to apply those skills to reality