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April 1966

Stability of Interactional Variables in Family Decision-Making

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