April 1966

Stability of Interactional Variables in Family Decision-Making

Author Affiliations

From the Mental Research Institute, Palo Alto, Calif, and San Jose State College, San Jose, Calif (Dr. Ferreira), and San Jose State College (Dr. Winter).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1966;14(4):352-355. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1966.01730100016003

TWO PREVIOUS studies of family decision-making1,2 have disclosed a number of interactional variables of theoretical and practical significance. Of particular interest were the variables designated as spontaneous agreement, decision-time, and choice-fulfillment, which revealed some striking differences between groups of normal and abnormal families. These variables were developed in a testing situation in which the members of a family triad (father, mother, and child) filled out a questionnaire indicating first their individual likes and dislikes in regard to given alternatives to a number of hypothetical situations; upon completion of these individual tasks (the same questionnaire for all family members), the family was brought together with instructions to discuss the questionnaire situations and, as a family group, decide upon the alternatives (liked and disliked) that were assumed to stem from and affect all family members. Briefly defined, the variable Spontaneous Agreement (SA) referred

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