Why A Family Assessment?
The whole family is not equivalent to the sum of its individual and dyadic parts. Adults in intimate relationships may consider each other as their "whole" family. But with the birth of a child, a mother-father-child triad transforms the adult dyad into a larger family system with new and multiple role demands. For even young children, being with both parents together means coping with the dynamics of the marital relationship, and family (including marital) life after the birth of a second child may change even more profoundly. Further, family cohesiveness, warmth, and flexibility may be essential for optimal child as well as adult development, and serve as resources and buffers against stressful life events. Assessment of the many family subsystems may be necessary but each may be understood best only in the context of the family as a whole.