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Family Science

Substance Areas Comprising The Discipline

There have been various attempts to identify the content areas typically falling under the rubric of family science. The preface to the text, Family Science, distinguishes family science from related disciplines by noting that it emphasizes concepts such as "generational alliances, differentiation of self, emotional triangles, developmental tasks, analogic messages, boundaries, emotional distance, family paradigms and experiential aspects of mothering" (Burr, Day, and Bahr 1993, p. iii).

The essential concepts most widely recognized are the ten substantive areas required for CFLE status with NCFR. Between 1985 and 2001, the CFLE program has credentialed 1,200 family professionals. Family scientists seeking CFLE certification are required to demonstrate basic competency in the following areas (Powell and Cassidy 2001):

  1. Families in Society;
  2. Internal Dynamics of Families;
  3. Human Growth and Development over the Life Span;
  4. Human Sexuality;
  5. Interpersonal Relations;
  6. Family Resource Management;
  7. Parent Education and Guidance;
  8. Family Law and Public Policy;
  9. Ethics;
  10. Family Life Education Methodology.

The above areas of concentration in family science fall into the broad categories of family research, policy, practice, and education (Hogan 1995). Many are also distinguished according to whether their focus is primarily preventative or remedial in nature (Mace and Mace 1974).


Additional topics

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaFamily Theory & Types of FamiliesFamily Science - Historical Background, The Developing Discipline Of Family Science, Academic Programs In Family Science, Substance Areas Comprising The Discipline