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77 Cards in this Set

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Individuals who perceive family trends as either good or making no difference in society.

Affiliated kin

unrelated individuals who are treated as if they were related.


These people share aspects of both conservative and liberal positions.


A group of families related along matrilineal or patrilineal lines, regarded as the basic family unit in some cultures.

Conjugal relationship

A relationship formed by marriage.

Consanguineous relationship

A relationship formed by common blood ties.


People who tend to believe that cultural values have shifted from individual self-sacrifice for their families toward personal self-fulfillment.

Extended family

The family unit of parents, children, and other kin, such as grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.


A unit of two or more people, of which one or more may be children who are related by blood, marriage, or affiliation and who cooperate economically and may share a common dwelling place.

Family of cohabitation

The family formed by two people living together whether married or unmarried; may include children or stepchildren.

Family of orientation

The family in which a person is reared as a child.

Family of procreation

The family formed by a couple and their children.


As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, one or more people; everyone living in a housing unit makes up a household.

Kinship system

The social organization of the family conferring rights and obligations based on an individual's status.


People who tend to believe that the changes in family patterns are products of and adaptions to wider social and economic changes rather than a shift in cultural values.


The legally recognized union between a man and woman in which economic cooperation, legitimate sexual interactions, and the rearing of children may take place.

Modified polyngamy

an alternative term for serial monogamy.


The practice of having only hone husband or wife at a time; Sexual exclusiveness

Nuclear family

The basic family building block, consisting of a mother, father, and at least one child.


The practice of having more than one husband at a time.


The practice of having more than one husband or wife at the same time.


The practice of having more than one wife at the same time.


Individuals who perceive changing family patterns as bad for society.

Serial monogamy

A practice in which one person may have several spouses over his or her lifetime although no more than one at any given time.


Individuals who are relatively tolerant of changes in family lifestyles but are somewhat concerned about their impact on society.


The shaping of individual behavior to conform to social or cultural norms.

Traditional family

In popular usage, an intact, married two-parents family with at least one child, which adheres to conservative family values.


In ecological theory, the processes of responding to the circumstances imposed by the physical, social, cultural, and economic environments within which we live.

Ambiguous loss

A situation of uncertainty and unclear loss, resulting from confusion about a family's boundaries, and from not knowing who is in or out of a particular family.


A state or condition requiring that no one, including the researcher, can connect particular responses to the individuals who provided them.

Applied research

The focus of such research is more practical than theoretical. It tends to be less concerned with formulating theories, generating concepts, or testing hypotheses. Data are gathered in an effort to solve problems, evaluate policies or programs, or estimate the outcome of some proposed future change in policy.


A personal learning inclination.

Case-study method

In clinical research, the in-depth examination of an individual or small group in some form of psychological treatment in order to gather data and formulate hypotheses.


abstract ideas that we use to represent the reality in which we are interested, and to focus our research and organize our data.


The specification and definition of concepts used by the researcher.


An ethical rule according to which the researcher knows the identities of participants and can connect what was said to who said it but promises not to reveal such information publicly.

Conflict theory

A social theory that views individuals and groups as being basically in competition with one another. Power is seen as the decisive factor in interactions.

Deductive research

Research designed to test hypotheses and examine casual relationships between variables.

egocentric fallacy

The mistaken belief that one's own personal experience and values are those of others in general.


A central concept in ecological theory, referring to the physical, social, cultural, and economic situations and circumstances within which individuals and families live.

Environmental influences

The wider context and external influences on families that are the focus of family ecological theory.


In social exchange theory, the result of exchanges that are fair and balanced.

Ethical guidelines

Standards agreed upon by professional researchers.

Ethnocentric fallacy (ethnocentrism)

The belief that one's own ethnic group, nation, or culture is inherently superior to others.

Family development theory

A micro-level perspective that emphasizes the patterned changes that occur in families through stages and across time.

Family ecology theory

A macro-level theory, emphasizing how families are influenced by and in turn influence the wider environment.

Family systems theory

A theory viewing family structure as created by the pattern of interactions between its various subsystems, and individual actions as being strongly influenced by the family context.

Feminist perspectives

A variety of perspectives that stress the importance of gender and gender inequality in shaping social and familial experience.


The division into male and female, often in social sense; sex.

Grounded theory

Theory that emerges from inductive research and is rooted in repeated observations.


A social group's tendency to maintain internal stability or balance and to resist change.

Inductive research

Unlike deductive research, inductive research does not begin with hypotheses to test. Research begins with a topic of interest and some concepts that the researcher explores, as data are collected, concepts are refined, patterns are identified, and hypotheses are generated.


In communication, a reciprocal act that takes place between at least two people.

Intervening variable

A variable that is affected by the independent variable and in turn affects the dependent variable.

Linked lives

Concept central to the developmental/life course perspective, emphasizing how the shape of one's life course is influenced by the shape of the life courses of others.

Macro-level theories

Theories that focus on the family as a social institution.

Micro-level theories

Theories tat emphasize what happens within families.

Normative age-graded influences

Biological or social influences on family experience that are correlated with age.

Normative history-graded influences

Influences that are common to a particular generation, such as the political and economic influences of wars and economic depressions, and that are similar for individuals in a particular age group.

Objective statement

A factual statement presenting information based on scientifically measured findings, not on opinions or personal values.


Suspending the beliefs, biases, or prejudices we have about a subject until we have really understood what is being said.

Observational research

Research method using unobtrusive, direct observation.


The identification and/or development of research strategies to observe or measure concepts.

Qualitative research

Small groups or individuals are studied in an in-depth fashion.

Quantitative research

Samples taken from a large number of subjects.

Scientific method

A method of investigation in which a hypothesis is formed on the basis of impartially gathered data and is then tested empirically.

Secondary data analysis

Use of research gathered by public sources of information.

Social exchange theory

A theory that emphasized the process of mutual giving and receiving of rewards in social relationships, such as love or sexual intimacy, calculated by the equation reward. Cost=Outcome

Social institution

The organized pattern of statuses and structures, roles, and rules by which a society attempts to meet certain of its most basic needs.

Social role

A socially established pattern of behavior that exists independently of any particular person, such as the husband or wife role or the stepparent role.

Structural functionalism theory

A sociological theory that examines how society is organized and maintained by examining the functions performed by its different structures. In marriage and family studies, structural functionalism examine the functions the family performs for society, the functions the individual performs for the family, and the functions the family performs for its members.


A system that is part of a larger system, such as family; for example, religious and economic systems are subsystems of society, and the parent/child system is a subsystem of the family.

Survey research

A research method using questionnaires or interviews to gather information from small, representative groups and to infer conclusions that are valid for larger populations.

Symbolic interaction theory

A theory that focuses on the subjective meanings of acts and how these meanings are communicated through interactions and roles to give shared meaning.

Time use survey/ time use diary

Self-administered survey in which people record their activities at designated points in time and/or report how much time they spend in various activities.


The use of multiple data collection techniques in a single study.

Value judgement

An evaluation based on ethics or morality rather than on objective observation.