Effectiveness and efficiency of family functioning: An experimental comparison of group dynamics and family dynamics




Sorrels, John Paul

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To give empirical validity to the application of the concepts of group dynamics to family dynamics, entire families performed two tasks: (a) an object assembly task and (b) a family solution task. The process utilized by these families was evaluated by a jury trained · ;n group dynamics and on the criteria used to evaluate non-family group functioning. An experimentally developed paired comparison instrument involving summary characteristics of group functioning, derived from the literature, comprised the instrument used to evaluate family dynamics. Time to completion for task (a) was correlated with group process rankings on the appropriate group dynamics characteristics. A panel of family experts determined a ranking of the family solutions on task (b). This ranking was correlated with group process rankings on the group dynamics characteristics also. Results indicate that no relationship exists between group process used by families and speed of completion on task (a). On task (b), analysis indicates four summary characteristics are unimportant ·or unobservable, two influenced families and groups oppositely, and the remaining characteristics were detrimental to both. Suggestions for future research are included.



Parent-child interaction, Family group functioning, Group problem solving