Development in the family

Annu Rev Psychol. 2004;55:365-99. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.55.090902.141528.


In this chapter we review theoretical conceptual and empirical advances in family research and the implications for children's development. Three interdependent family subsystems are considered: the parent-child subsystem, the marital subsystem, and the sibling subsystem. Recent work on the family as a unit of analysis is reviewed as well. Several determinants of family socialization strategies are noted, including child and parental characteristics and resources and social capital available to families. Ethnicity is considered by reviewing recent advances in our understanding of African American, Asian American, and Hispanic families. Several new directions in family research are highlighted. These include research on the linkage between families and work, gay and lesbian parenting, the new reproductive technologies, and the effect of parental incarcerations on families. Future trends in family research are noted, including the role of genetics, the biological correlates of family processes, the role of intervention and prevention designs in family research, and the importance of process work on ethnicity-oriented family research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Homosexuality / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parenting
  • Parents / psychology
  • Sibling Relations