The definition of a family has been slowly changing in the past 40 years. Modern families can consist of members who are related by blood or other significant bonds, such as residential arrangements. Family systems theory provides a foundation for exploring and analyzing family structures in the modern world. Therefore, to understand contemporary family structures, it is necessary to review the insights from the family systems theory (FST) and acknowledge nontraditional family structures.
A family may refer to people who help each other and have a collective goal of preserving the values and integrity of their union. According to the FST, a family is a complex system with social organization and members who attempt to change each other’s behavior (Popovic, 2019). A modern family is not necessarily a traditional group of relatives who support each other. Business organizations, parties, or even groups of people who pursue common goals may classify themselves as families.
Non-traditional family structures can consist of parents of the same gender. According to the FST theory, all families possess certain traits that define them, such as emotional systems and triangles (Popovic, 2019). According to the theory, interactions among family members originate, sustain, and promote both harmful and nonproblematic activities (Popovic, 2019). As a result, all families, including modern families, engage in anti-integrity behaviors during social interaction (Popovic, 2019). Therefore, non-traditional families require the same acknowledgment and acceptance from society since they possess the same traits and values as their traditional counterparts.
Modern non-traditional families possess similar traits to the traditional families described in the theory. In addition, it is possible to conclude that interactions among family members can be explained by the desire to influence each other’s behavior. Moreover, the acknowledgment of non-traditional families and their interactions requires a more profound analysis of the FST theory, which investigates emotional systems and their influence on people’s behavior.
Popovic, M. (2019). Bowen family systems theory. In Metcalf. L. (Ed.), Marriage and family therapy: A practice-oriented approach (pp. 43-69). Springer Publishing Company.