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Microtransitions and the dynamics of family functioning

Everri, Marina, Fruggeri, Laura and Molinari, Luisa (2014) Microtransitions and the dynamics of family functioning. Integrative Psychological and Behavioral Science, 48 (1). pp. 61-78. ISSN 1932-4502

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s12124-013-9248-9


This paper presents a qualitative observational study aimed at exploring microtransitions in the relational dynamics of family functioning when the children are adolescents. Three concurrent levels were considered central for family functioning in this period: the acknowledgment of emerging competences, the redefinition of the power structure, and the regulation of interpersonal distances. Twenty-eight non-clinical Italian families with at least one adolescent child were interviewed and video-recorded in their homes. A stance-taking process analysis was carried out on the family interactive sequences arising in the course of the interviews. This analysis was based on the stances taken by all family members in relation to their reciprocal evaluations, positions, and alignments, which allowed us to point out the interlocking of competences, power and distances. Out of all the possible theoretical combinations of these three dimensions, we identified four forms of interaction. In two forms, the emerging changes were not incorporated in the families’ interactive repertoires by either reconfirming family stability or resisting family changes. In these ways of interacting competences, power, and distances were not reorganized. In the other two forms, instead, family microtransitions were observable in the extent to which family members either explored family changes or legitimated family reorganizations. In these processes, they could redefine and readdress their ways of interacting.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2016 11:50
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2024 05:42

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