Handbook of Bowen Family Systems Theory and Research Methods: A Systems Model for Family Research, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Handbook of Bowen Family Systems Theory and Research Methods

A Systems Model for Family Research, 1st Edition

Edited by Mignonette Keller, Robert Noone


456 pages

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Paperback: 9781138478121
pub: 2019-12-18
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The Handbook of Bowen Family Systems Theory and Research Methods presents innovative approaches on a range of issues inherent in family research and discusses the links between theory, data collection, and data analysis based on Bowen family systems theory.

This multi-authored volume discusses core issues within family systems theory, including anxiety, stress, emotional cutoff, differentiation of self, multigenerational transmission process, and nuclear family emotional process. Chapters also examine related constructs in the research literature such as adaptation, resilience, social support, social networks, and intergenerational family relations. Readers will be able to view theoretical and methodological issues from the perspective of Bowen theory, and develop a clearer knowledge of ways to navigate the challenges faced when studying individual, familial and societal problems.

An essential resource for family therapists and other mental health professionals, the Handbook of Bowen Family Systems Theory and Research Methods provides a comprehensive framework for understanding the application of Bowen theory to family practice.


"One of the important contributions of Keller and Noone’s volume of collected studies from the perspective of Bowen Theory is its focus on concepts in family systems theory and related constructs in the wider multidisciplinary research literature. The authors of these studies are deeply conversant with Bowen theory and its potential as an integrative theory to guide research and practice. This is a project that aims to carry forth Bowen’s most ambitious goal for his family systems theory, that of moving towards a science of human behavior."

Laura Havstad, PhD, director, Programs in Bowen Theory, Northern California

"Diverse perspectives of empirical research are necessary to address the complexities of research in family systems. Reciprocal influences of individuals and families, families and communities, and communities and culture require a consistent theoretical grounding for approaching meaningful questions. Launched from Bowen family systems theory, Keller and Noone have assembled a knowledgeable group of scholars and practitioners to address important concerns of family research for an invaluable resource for family systems researchers. It is an important text for those seeking to design and interpret systems research."

David S. Hargrove, PhD., is professor emeritus at the University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, where he served as chairperson of the Department of Psychology, interim chair of the Department of Modern Languages and interim chair of the Department of Exercise Science.

"The Bowen family systems theory field will advance as a natural science when the ideas are applied and systematically researched by many professionals in varying fields of study. This book has collected the research and explorations of seasoned experts in our field, investigating ways of advancing the theory and its applications. The effort to research families as an emotional system is daunting and complex. This collection of works documents how many authors and researchers have undertaken the challenge. It will be a valued resource in my library."

Walter Howard Smith, Jr., PhD., is a trustee of the Casey Family Programs Foundation based in Seattle, WA. He is the retired Deputy Director and Clinical Director at the Allegheny County Department of Human Services in Pittsburgh, PA. where he served as Deputy Director of the Office of Children, Youth, and Family Services. He is a licensed psychologist in private practice.

Table of Contents

Part I. 1. The Role of Theory in Family Research C. Margaret Hall, Mignonette N. Keller 2. The Origins of Family Research John F. Butler 3. Developing a Systems Model for Family Assessment Daniel V. Papero Part II.4. Bowen Theory: A Systems Model for Family Research Mignonette N. Keller 5. Data Collection and Family Research Mignonette N. Keller 6.Data Analysis and Family Research Carrie Collier Part III. 7. Stress, Chronic Anxiety and Symptom Development: A Family Systems Perspective Robert J. Noone 8. Bowen theory in the Study of Physiology and Family Systems Victoria Harrison 9. Human Stress Genomics and Bowen Theory: Potential for Future Research Laurie Lassiter 10. Use of Differentiation of Self in Family Research Randall Frost 11. Emotional Cutoff Anne McKnight 12. Cutoff and Self-Functioning in Three Generations of Families with Substance Abusing Teenagers Anne McKnight 13. Within Family Variability: Intergenerational Cutoff and Family Projection in an Adopted Family Laura Brooks PART VI. 14. Nuclear Family Emotional Process Robert J. Noone 15. The Primary Triangle and Variation in Family Functioning Phillip Klever 16. Family Emotional Functioning and the African American Family Mignonette N. Keller 17. Multigenerational Transmission Process Robert J. Noone 18. The Multigenerational Transmission of Family Unit Functioning Phillip Klever 19. The Multigenerational Transmission Process and Family Functioning Mignonette N. Keller Part V. 20. Anthropological Contributions to the Study of the Human Family Joanne Bowen 21. Nursing: Bowen Theory Integrated into Practice and Research Phyllis Sharps 22. The Family - A Public Health Approach Yvonne Bronner, Paul Archibald, Ian Lindong, & Barbara Laymon 23. Social Support and Academic Achievement from a Systems PerspectiveClancie Wilson Part VI. 24. Extension of Bowen Theory to Include Natural Systems of Human Societies and Their Sustaining Environments Patricia A. Comella 25. Future Directions of Family Research C. Margaret Hall

About the Editors

Mignonette N. Keller, Ph.D., is faculty at the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C. and former assistant professor in the School of Social Work at Howard University, Washington, D.C. She received her doctorate from Howard University, Washington, D.C., master’s from the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, and postgraduate training at Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.

Robert J. Noone, Ph.D., is faculty at the Center for Family Consultation, Evanston, IL, and the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family in Washington, D.C. He is the editor of the journal Family Systems and co-editor of The Family Emotional System (2015). He received his doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago and postgraduate training at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Counseling
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / Couples & Family