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Family Relationships

Informacje ogólne

Kod przedmiotu: 2500-EN-F-141 Kod Erasmus / ISCED: 14.4 / (0313) Psychologia
Nazwa przedmiotu: Family Relationships
Jednostka: Wydział Psychologii
Grupy: Elective courses
electives for 2 and 3 year
Interdisciplinary Courses basket
Punkty ECTS i inne: (brak)
zobacz reguły punktacji
Język prowadzenia: angielski
Rodzaj przedmiotu:


Skrócony opis: (tylko po angielsku)

The course is designed to provide students with a fundamental understanding of how science approaches the study of families, and the changing role and function of families across time.

Pełny opis: (tylko po angielsku)

This course will focus upon the family as a dynamic, interactive, changing force in contemporary life. How families respond to and influence change will be examined. Social changes that have occurred and continue to occur in Western culture will be studied and their influences upon familial relationships will be explored. Such influences will be considered within the context of fundamental theories applied to the study of family life. This course will also study the nature of family relationships across the life-span, paying particular attention to the fluctuating nature and meaning of those relationships as they occur at various stages of familial and individual development. The course will begin with an introduction to the major theoretical perspectives governing the study of family relationships. This information will provide the student with a fundamental understanding and appreciation of the various ways in which science approaches the study of families and family relationships. In addition to lectures students will be responsible for participating in discussions of assigned readings and for generating reaction papers related to topical films or articles presented in class.

Literatura: (tylko po angielsku)

Lecture topics will include but are not limited to:

Introduction and review of the syllabus

Searching for definitions of family and relationships. What do we mean?

The Family in History and Culture

The Family Life Cycle

Developments in Family Theory

Symbolic Interactionism and Role Theory

Biosocial Theory

Social Exchange Theory

The Ecological Perspective

Feminist Theory

Family Systems Theory

S Skolnick, A.S., & Skolnick, J.H., (2010) Family In Transition (16th ed.) Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc.

** Students will not be required to purchase text. Readings will be made available by Instructor. **

Efekty uczenia się: (tylko po angielsku)

Students will gain insight and understanding of the robust nature of family dynamics and how such relationships shape the developing individual, and how such relationships adapt to the changing needs of the familial structure over time. Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of societal (political, religious, economic, historic) factors that define family function, as well demonstrate understanding of the consequences of intraindividual communication within families.

Metody i kryteria oceniania: (tylko po angielsku)

Essay exam, paper, two reaction papers, class participation and oral presentation.

Grades and Grading:

Grades for this course will be generated from a combination of one examination, one paper, two reaction papers, one presentation, and class participation. All assignments are expected to be completed as scheduled. Exceptions may be allowed ONLY with a verifiable excuse.

Grading: Points:

Examination 50

Presentation 40

Paper 40

Reaction Paper (2) 25 (per paper)

Participation 20

Total Points: 200

Grade Distribution:

Translated to:

190-200 = 5!

177-189 = 5

165-176 = 4.5

153-164 = 4

140-152 = 3.5

120-139 = 3

119 and less = Fail


There is one exam composed of short answer and essay questions covering materials presented during class. There will not be any “make-up exams”. The only acceptable excuse for missing an exam will be a verifiable excuse. See following comments regarding “verifiable excuses”.


There will be three writing assignments for this course; one major paper and two brief reaction papers. All written assignments are expected to be completed and submitted at the beginning of class on the scheduled date. Assignments turned in at the end of class or later in the same day will be considered one day late.

All papers must adhere to current APA guidelines and must be submitted on the time and date given in this syllabus. All late papers will have one letter grade deducted for each day late. Papers placed in the instructor’s mailbox or under his door will similarly be considered late and will have grades deducted dependent upon when the instructor actually finds the paper. The only excuses considered for a late paper will be a verifiable excuse (refer again to verifiable excuses). Plagiarism is cheating and can result in immediate dismissal from this University.

Reaction Papers:

There will be two reaction papers required for this course. Each paper will be in response to a film presented during class. The student will be required to provide a thoughtful response to the film that includes his or her perception of the central theme of the film. This should not be a review of the film but rather an explanation of the message of the film. The student’s subjective reaction to that message should include an explanation of the merits of the film in terms of broadening understanding of family relationships. The reaction paper must be a minimum of three full typed pages.

Major Paper:

For your major paper you will be required to examine your own family. You will do so in a very specific fashion utilizing theories and perspectives mastered in this course. You will use Family Systems Theory and the Ecological Perspective to describe the homeostatic mechanisms of your family and two different junctures of the Family Life Cycle. These two periods of the cycle will coincide with when you were first entering school, and when you entered puberty. Both periods obviously mark episodes of significant biological, social, and emotional change and you will have to rely upon thoughtful introspection and rigorous familial research in order to accomplish this task. While the specifics of the theories and perspectives to be incorporated will be reflected in how well you articulate your understanding of each, the details of how they fit your familial experience will be unique to you. Now that you have read all this and felt your anxiety level go up, relax and take my word for it; this is not as grim as it sounds. (It is actually fun.) I will give you more details and guidance in class.

Group Presentation:

Each student will be assigned to a small group. Each group will have two responsibilities. First, each group will be responsible for leading class discussion of assigned readings provided by the Instructor from the text, Family In Transition. Second, each group will be responsible for preparing discussion questions for the presenting group as well as designing two short answer examination questions from each assigned reading.

Presentations: Presentations will of course be in class and each group is allowed total freedom in terms of how the material will be presented and how discussion will be generated. General rules of decorum and mutual respect will be expected but aside from such modest constraints, students are permitted and encouraged to use their imaginations and talents to the fullest. Presentations must include a brief overview of the topic, a subjective reaction(s), identification of the theoretical perspective, an alternative perspective, and implications if any for social policy and research. Presentations should not exceed ten minutes in order to allow time for response and discussion. Two presentations will be made on each day of presentations.

Questions: Groups not presenting on a given day will be responsible for submitting two thoughtful questions from the scheduled readings. These questions will be reviewed by the instructor for possible incorporation into your second examination. These questions will be considered in your participation grade. Sooo, in order to earn credit make sure you generate an intelligent question that would warrant a thoughtful response. Students not attending presentations will have their participation graded halved.


This is an advanced level course and as such, each student is expected to be fully prepared to discuss material on a daily basis. While lecturing will certainly be a regular feature of the course students are encouraged to add insights, opinions, and questions. Classes will occasionally be devoted to discussion of prepared topics. Such prepared topics are listed as group presentations on the syllabus. Students not presenting on an assigned day will still be required to participate by preparing questions in writing from the assigned readings. In addition each group member will provide an evaluation of his or her group members based upon their respective levels of participation.

Films: Films are not selected for this course as a break or source of entertainment and attendance at scheduled films is expected but missing films does have implications for participation. Information presented in films will be considered testable material. In addition, as indicated on the syllabus certain films will be used to generate reaction papers. Absence from a film cannot be “made-up” and if it happens to be a personally owned film I do not loan them to anyone.

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