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Karl Ludwig von
(September 19, 1901 June 12, 1972)
General system theory, therefore, is a general
science of wholeness... The meaning of the
somewhat mystical expression, The whole is
more that the sum of its parts is simply that
constitutive characteristics are not explainable
from the characteristics of the isolated parts.
The characteristics of the complex, therefore,
appear as new or emergent- Ludwig von
born on September 19,
1901 and grew up in the
little village of now Liesing
near Vienna.

was an Austrian biologist

known as one of the
founders of general
systems theory (GST)

His contributions went beyond

biology, and extended into
cybernetics, education, history,
philosophy, psychiatry, psychology
and sociology.
General System Theory Ludwig
von Bertalanffy
-Bertalanffy argued that a variety of human experiences and
social and scientific problems could be thought of as if they
were systems.

-as physicists studying the atom, Bertalanffy noted, realized

they could not really understand atomic processes simply by
examining smaller and smaller bits of matter in isolation, but
must consider the interplay between atomic elements- how
they are ordered and organized not just what they were made

-Social scientists, he said, had likewise moved from thinking of

communities and cultures as no more than the sum of the
individual citizens who comprised them, and instead had
begun to look at how societies as a whole were organized and
functioned as more than just a sum of separate human parts.
General System Theory
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Bertallanfy held that psychologists in the 20th Century had moved
beyond poring over isolated mental phenomenon- psychological
atoms as it were to developing concepts such as gestalt
(german word as whole) or client centered psychology, which
arguably took account of the wholeness of personality, not just
random feelings or behaviors.

it is necessary to study as bertallanfy stated not only parts and

processes in isolation, but also to solve the decisive problems
found in the organization and order unifying them.

Problems to the realization that individuals in fact were part of a

larger systems
(couples and families) thus therapists needed to actually meet
together with the members of a system (the marital partners or
the children and parents) in order to understand and help them.
General System Theory
Ludwig von Bertalanffy
Bertallanfys ideas suggest that many of the problems individuals
encounter in their lives are often not matters of individual
pathology, but of the structure of their relationships

For him, general system theory was not about seeing individuals
as members of larger structures like couples, or thinking of
children and parents as elements of a larger dynamic order,but
was simply a way to avoid seeing people as mere collections of
separate impulses man as a robot as Bertallanfy stated.

Instead, general system theory allowed us to view each person as

an active personality system a living,breathing,loving, hating,
working,resting, dreaming , thinking, feeling human
Murray Bowen
(31 January 1913 9 October 1990)
-was an American
psychiatrist and a
- formulated the professor in
eight interlocking psychiatry at the
concepts. Georgetown

From 1941 to 1946,

he had his military
training followed by
- Bowen was among five years of active
the pioneers of duty with Army in
family therapy and the United States
founders of systemic and Europe.

- During the war,

while working with
soldiers, his interest
changed from
surgery to
1) Differentiation of Self
2) Triangles
3) Nuclear Family Emotional Process
4) Family Projection Process
5) Cutoff
6) Multigenerational Transmission
7) Sibling Position
8) Societal Emotional Process
1. Differentiation of Self
- describes how people cope with life's demands and pursue their goals on
a continuum from most adaptive to least. A person with a well-differentiated
self recognizes his realistic dependence on others, but he can stay calm
and clear headed enough in the face of conflict, criticism, and rejection to
distinguish thinking rooted in a careful assessment of the facts from
thinking clouded by emotionality.The less developed a persons self, the
more impact others have on his functioning and the more he tries to
control, actively or passively, the functioning of others.
1. Differentiation of Self

Un-differentiated person
Members of healthy family can unable to distinguish between
differentiate between own intellectual processes and the
thoughts and feelings and feeling process he or she is
those of others;
A person with a well-differentiated
The less developed a persons
self recognizes his realistic
self, the more impact
dependence on others, but he can
stay calm and clear headed enough others have on his
in the face of conflict, criticism, and functioning and the more he
rejection to distinguish thinking tries to control, actively or
rooted in a careful assessment of passively, the functioning of
the facts from thinking clouded by others.
2. Triangles

Two members experience stress, and

bring in another family member to
relieve the tension, and a Triangle is

During intense stress, the triangle gets

bigger and will bring in interlocking
relationships with other triangles

A two-person dyad becomes unstable

once anxiety increases. Then, one or
both members of the dyad usually pulls
in a third person to relieve some of the
pressure. In a three-person system,
anxiety has more places to go, and the
relationship where it originated
experiences some relief.
3.Nuclear Family Emotional System

Dysfunction of partner
can take a number of Fusion in Partner Relationship
forms, including
physical, emotional or
social dysfunction and
can include substance Dysfunction of a Partner
abuse or other acting
out behaviours.
Couple Conflict
The other partner is
often unaware of the
problem, and becomes
Projection to one or
stronger as the other more children
4) Family Projection Process
-describes the primary way parents transmit their emotional problems to
a child.

-The projection process can impair the functioning of one or more

children and increase their vulnerability to clinical symptoms.

-Children inherit many types of problems most affect their lives are
relationship sensitivities such as : heightened needs for attention and
approval, difficulty dealing with expectations, the tendency to blame
oneself or others, feeling responsible for the happiness of others or that
others are responsible for ones own happiness, and acting impulsively
to relieve the anxiety of the moment rather than tolerating anxiety and
acting thoughtfully. If the projection process is fairly intense, the child
develops stronger relationship sensitivities than his parents.
5) Emotional Cutoff

-describes people managing their unresolved emotional issues with

parents, siblings, and other family members by reducing or totally cutting
off emotional contact with them.

- Emotional contact can be reduced by people moving away from their

families and rarely going home, or it can be reduced by people staying in
physical contact with their families but avoiding sensitive issues.

- Relationships may look better if people cutoff to manage them, but the
problems are dormant and not resolved. People who are cut off may try
to stabilize their intimate relationships by creating substitute families
with social and work relationships.
6) Multigenerational Transmission Process

-describes how small differences in the levels of differentiation between

parents and their offspring lead over many generations to marked
differences in differentiation among the members of a multigenerational

-The next step in the multigenerational transmission process is people

predictably selecting mates with levels of differentiation of self that match
their own.

-The highly differentiated people have unusually stable nuclear families

and contribute much to society; the poorly differentiated people have
chaotic personal lives and depend heavily on others to sustain them.
7) Sibling Position

-The basic idea is that people who grow up in the same sibling position
predictably have important common characteristics.

-The characteristics of one position are not better than those of another
position, but are complementary. however, the rank positions are not
complementary and neither spouse grew up with a member of the opposite

-An older brother of a brother and an older sister of a sister are prone to
battle over who is in charge; two youngest children are prone to struggle
over who gets to lean on whom. The sibling positions of a persons parents
are also important to consider. An oldest child whose parents are both
youngests encounters a different set of parental expectations than an
oldest child whose parents are both oldests.
8) Societal Emotional Process

It refers to the tendency of people within a society to be more anxious and

unstable at certain times than others. Environmental stressors like
overpopulation, scarcity of natural resources, epidemics, economic forces,
and lack of skills for living in a diverse world are all potential stressors that
contribute to a regression in society.

Nathan W. Ackerman
(November 22, 1908 June 12, 1971)
Family as a system of interacting
personalities and each individual is an
important subsystem within the family
just as the family as a subsystem within
the community. --- Ackerman
- an American psychiatrist, psych
-child psychiatrist and later Grandfather of oanalyst, and one of the most
became an exclusive family family therapy important pioneers of the field
therapist. of family therapy.

-an expert in marriage

He studied how counselling.
families impacted the -a psychoanalytically
development of trained child psychiatrist
psychological in the child guidance
disorders in their movement

Psychodynamic theory focuses a

great deal on past unconscious
conflicts and therefore, the goal of
treatment was to make the
unconscious conscious.
-One of his theories was that family members were
complimentary to each other and problems were
caused by a "failure of complimentarity.

-"In other words, the family

members became so rigid and
entrenched in their roles that A failure of
they were no longer fit complementarity,
together well --Ackerman characterizes the roles
played by various family
-professed that healthy members with respect
families were flexible and to each other. Change
and growth within the
adapted to fluctuating roles as system become
children grew to maturity. constricted. Roles
-family as a dynamic become rigid, narrowly
defined, or stereotyped
psychosocial unit- Ackerman or shift rapidly,
causing confusion.
-For a familys behavior to be stable: flexibility
and adaptability of roles are essential; roles
within the family, which change over time, must
allow for maturing children to gain an
appropriate degree of autonomy.
-Conflict comes when one individual who is
noticeably different from the others becomes the
family scapegoat.As that individual is singled out
and punished for causing family disunity, various
realignments of roles follow within the family. One
member becomes persecutor, while another may
take the role of healer or rescuer of the victim
of such prejudicial scapegoating.
-In this case, Ackermans therapeutic mission was to
shift a familys concern from the scapegoated
persons behavior to the basic disorder of the marital
relationship.He presented a conceptual model of
interlocking pathology in family relationships.
A Situation in which all members of the family are locked
together psychologically and one or more of its members are
not individuating.

e.g Example of interlocking pathology

In disturbed families the central conflict is between the parents who
use scapegoating as both a diversion and a defense. Scapegoating
means that the parents displace their distress and conflict on another
family member, that is, they find a convenient victim and dump their
burdens on him. This is a common dynamic when the identified patient
is an adolescent or young adult substance abuser. On a conscious
levelm the parents are passionately and genuinely invested in halting
the adolescents substance abuse yet on an unconscious level they
need the adolescent to continue to use and to a problem so he can be
available for scapegoating and so the parents dont have to look at the
disturbance in theirthat
It is not surprising ownunder
this approach, a patients improvement
was viewed as a threat to other family members who might proceed to
subtly undermine the therapeutic progress.

It was not until the practice of conjoint family therapy began that all of
the persons involved in a family were treated together.

Ackerman was always interested in how people define their own

roles (What does it mean to you to be a father?) and what
they expect from other family members (How would you like
your daughter to react to this situation?).

When all members delineate their roles clearly, family

interactions proceed more smoothly.

Members can rework alignments, engage in new family

transactions, and cultivate new levels of complementarity in
their role relationships.

Ackerman believed the family therapists principal job is that of

a catalyst who, moving into the living space of the family,
stirs up interaction, helps the family have a meaningful
emotional exchange, and at the same time nurtures and
encourages the members to understand themselves better
through their contact with the therapist.
As a catalyst, the therapist must play a wide range of roles
from activator, challenger, and confronter to supporter and

By tickling the defenses (gently provoking participants to

openly and honestly express what they feel), he caught
members off guard and exposed their self-justifying

In due course, he was able to trace significant connections

between the family dysfunction and the intrapsychic
anxieties of various family members.

Finally, when the members were more in touch with what

they were feeling, thinking, and doing individually, Ackerman
helped them expand their awareness of alternate patterns of
family relationships through which they might discover new
levels of intimacy, sharing, and identification.

Family Theory

Stuart Lieberman
1. Inheritance
2. Moulding
3. Constitutive features
4. Transgenerational passage
5. Sibling positions and family constellation
6. Bonds and bonding
7. Family patterns
8. Family collision and marital choice
9. Family losses replacements
11. Family secrets
12.Family evolution
1. Inheritance ---Human beings enter the world with inherited
tendencies, traits and physical make-up. This inheritance
includes characteristics such as height, sex, eye colour and
potential intelligence.

2. Moulding--- Acquired characteristics are moulded into the

child at an early age during critical periods of development ;
they are relatively fixed. In humans the moulding process ends
between the 8-14 years old

At age 10= Most areas of the brain are fully developed

At age 14 = the human brain reaches its maximum physical

Association learning (emotional, experiential and cognitive)

occurs throughout the remaining life of the individual.
3. Constitutive features--- A person reacts to others around him and
they to him. The interaction is determined by the individual acquired and
inherited traits of all those present.

---are only activated when an individual is in contact with others. The

strength, quality and direction of the constitutive feature is determined by
the relationship field.

Four Languages:

Emotional Language- our earliest language which bonds us to our

caretakers in infancy
--These are the facial and bodily position with vocal rather than verbal

Behaviour 2nd language. We learn to do by watching others. We teach our

children by example before they can be taught by words.

Spoken language -the 3rd language by which we are instructed

and acquire our characteristics.
Each of these three languages is used simultaneously.
When these means of communication are integrated and
convey the same message they are highly effective.
Conflicts between these communications convey mixed
meanings and a model of mixed communication itself.

Written language is the last to be learned and is capable of

teaching concepts of great complexity as well as maintaining
continuity between generations. Written language has preserved
and transmitted cultural concepts for over four thousand years.
4. Transgenerational passage--- Transgenerational passage
incorporates the transmission of the entire scope of family-related
traditions, beliefs and behaviours.
---racial and ethnic values
---religious and national tradition
---attitudes towards life, death and sexuality
---Choice of occupation, educational aspirations
---attitudes towards money and politics are also transmitted.
---Family attitudes, such as what fathers do, what mothers do, how close
grandparents are to their grandchildren, whether extended family bonds
are loose or tight are passed on.
--Family conflict may also be passed on as a result of existing actual
clashes between two or more of the older generation.
5. Sibling positions and family constellation-
Sibling positions
---are important markers of the type and quality of bond formed between
older and younger generations.
--- In analysing a family, the parents sibling position in their own family of
origin, is as important as that of their children. If father was the oldest brother of
brothers he will tend to form a special bond with his oldest son, both of whom
share unique experiences conveyed by the sibling position.
---Finally, sibling position can predict the likely problems to be encountered in
a marriage.
Family constellation
--- Lieberman defined the family constellation as an individuals parents,
siblings and also his parents parents and siblings. He started with the observation
that oldest siblings have much in common with each other, as do youngest
siblings, only siblings and soon.
There is also a continuum of relationship skills determined by the total
number of siblings present in the family. In this continuum, larger numbers of
siblings in a family tend to produce a greater range of skills. Self-reliance and
leadership skills are also subject to influences of sibling position.
6. Bonds and bonding

--- Bonds are the emotional attachment between two or more individuals.
Bonded individuals remain emotionally close despite geographic distance.

---Our strongest emotions arise during the formation, maintenance, renewal

and disruption of bonds.

--- Bond formation is learned in the family of origin and the extended family
by experiencing and observing existing bonds. The quality of those bonds
serve as a model for future quality of bond formation.
7. Family patterns

--- When examining a family tree certain patterns stand out. The most
prominent is the repetition of family constellations. If I was raised as a middle child,
and my mother was raised similarly then there is an interlocking shared experience
between my mother, myself, my parents and my mothers parents.

---Repetitive patterns occur. If there are spinsters in each of several

succeeding generations, or successions of pre-marital pregnancies, family pattern
is apparent.

---One variation in family patterns is the tendency for an event to occur in one
generation, skip the next generation and occur in the third.
8. Family collision and marital choice

Family collision
--- is more obvious when children are born. Each of the parents have been
moulded in a unique family culture and there are bound to be large numbers of
differences in parenting practices and beliefs.

Marital choice
---may be assortative or complementary. In assortative mating, a person seeks
in his spouse the same features of personality as he possesses himself. A man
who is happy, carefree and irresponsible would seek a woman with similar
characteristics. In complementary mating, a person seeks features which he lacks
and desires. A happy, carefree, irresponsible man might seek a woman who was
sober, careful and responsible.
9. Family losses, family replacements

--- The death of a family member is ranked as the most stressful of life events
that individuals must face. Grieving seems to be an inherited reaction pattern.
Replacements can occur when marriages or births coincide with the loss of
family members. The pressures on an individual entering a family to become a
replacement are due to the constant interactive family relationships which
attempt to mould into the new member the features and characteristics
possessed by the absent family member.
10. Family secrets
---Family secrets are those behaviours, beliefs, traditions, or feelings which
cannot be openly communicated between family members.

---No secrets can develop out of fear, guilt or shame related to the presumed
consequences of the revelation of a secret which might mean the destruction
of the family unit or the expulsion of the member who dared to start the
communication process.

---There are secrets which are kept within generational boundaries. If children
are kept ignorant of the content of a secret, they suffer the consequences
without knowing why.

John, a sixteen-year-old boy, was the eldest child of a marriage forced as a
result of a premarital pregnancy. The parents hide the premarital pregnancy as
well as the existence and death of the stillborn child whom John later replace.
John was required to replace the idealized, perfect image of a sister whose
existence was unknown to him.
11. Family evolution

--- refers to the change in family culture as it is passed down from generation
to generation. Family beliefs, practices and traditions which have been handed
down through the generations alter and change. Family evolution provides a
broad perspective in which the differentiation of children from their parents is

(e.g. Couple migrates to other country)

Structural Famil

Salvador Minuchin
Salvador Minuchin on Family Therapy

In all cultures, the family imprints

its members with selfhood. Human
experience of identity
has two elements; a sense of
belonging and a sense of being
separate. The laboratory in
which these ingredients are mixed
and dispensed is the family, the
matrix of identity.
Salvador Minuchin
Origins and Social Context

-developed structural family therapy (SFT). This

approach is considered to be the most influential
approach to family therapy worldwide
- Minuchin was born in Argentina in1921, and was
trained in child psychiatry and psychoanalysis.
- Structural family therapy was developed out of work
with people from the lower socioeconomic
-In the 1960s he began to develop structural family
therapy through his work at Wiltwyck School in New
York, a school for boys who were troubled. He
recognized that he needed to see the boys parents for
effective treatment of their problems
Structural Famil
is a model of treatment that was developed primarily at the
Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic under
the leadership of Salvador Minuchin.

The models distinctive features are its emphases on

structural change as the main goal of therapy and on the
therapist as an active agent in the process of restructuring
the family.
1. Underlying assumptions of STRUCTURAL FAMILY
Underlying Assumptions
-a family is functional or dysfunctional based upon its
ability to adapt to various stressors (extra-familial,
idiosyncratic, developmental), which, in turn, rests
upon the clarity and appropriateness of its subsystem

-Healthy families are comprised of parent-children

boundaries that are both clear and semi-diffuse,
allowing the parents to interact together with some
degree of authority in negotiating between themselves
the methods and goals of parenting.
Underlying Assumptions

Families (people) are competent and capable of

solving their own problems -- an attitude derived from
the existential-humanistic tradition
Rigidity of transactional patterns and boundaries
prevents the exploration of alternatives.
Symptoms are a by-product of a structural system that
is failing
The system fails to nurture growth or deal with crisis of
its members.
Underlying Assumptions
Dysfunctional families exhibit mixed subsystems (i.e.,
coalitions) and improper power hierarchies, as in the
example of an older child being brought in to the parental
subsystem to replace a physically or emotionally absent
Underlying Assumptions

A family system is therefore stabilized by each

members contribution.
Subsystems are organized hierarchically : power is
distributed appropriately within individuals and
between subsystems, making reliance on some
members more expected than on others.
All family systems desire homeostasis: each
individual member desires to stabilize the system
and contributes their part to balance the system so
that they can continue to be satisfied by the system
(Minuchin, 1974)
Underlying Assumptions

Therapists work collaboratively with

families, not as experts who can solve
problems, but as consultants and coaches
who work to bring the familys dormant
capacities to the surface.

Therapists respect the familys unique

culture. The question should be, not
Whats ideal? but Does it work for them?
2. Core Concepts of Structural Family
Therapy (SFT)
Core Concepts of Structural Family Therapy

Family structure is the invisible set of

functional demands that organize the ways
in which family members interact
(Minuchin, 1974, p. 51).
The three essential concepts in SFT
are: structure subsystems
Family Structure
-an organized pattern in which families interact, not
deterministic or prescriptive, only descriptive
-partly universal, partly specific
-Can only be seen when a family is in action, because
verbal descriptions rarely convey the true structure. (Haley
once said that if you ask a family member what the
problem is, what they describe is not the problem.
Family Subsystems
-are subgroupings within the family based on age (or
generation), gender and interest (or function)
e.g parenting ,spousal, sibling
-are invisible barriers that regulate contact between
e.g Diffuse, too weak, or enmeshed Rigid, too
fortified, or disengaged

-That means that a weak boundary in one relationship

usually means that the same person is disengaged from
someone else.
e.g wife who is involed with child and disengaged from
e.g father who is very close and involed with older son
who hunts with him, and disengaged with daughter
who is quietly depressed and cutting herself.
Examples of subsystems
Concepts, continued

Boundaries are given

That means that a weak boundary involved in one
relationship usually means that the same person is
disengaged from someone else.
Example is wife who is involved with child and
disengaged from husband
Example is father who is very close and involved
with older son who hunts with him, and disengaged
with daughter who is quietly depressed and doesnt
speak up.
Power and Hierarchy

the person with the most power makes all of the final
decisions and takes responsibility for the outcome of
the family dynamics.
Appropriate persons to have power in families are
the parents.
For example, when a father tells his child not to play
video games, the child obeys because the father has
consistently shown the child that he expects
compliance in his child. This interaction defines the
relationship between them as well as creates the
appropriate hierarchy.
Power and Hierarchy

In dysfunctional families children may be given more

attention than the couple gives each other, and the
child is therefore given control.
This leaves the child insecure as they are not mature
enough to have such power and cause parents to
continue their conflict over the child rather than deal
with their own issues. The child acts out as a result.
The therapist strives to place parents in their proper
hierarchical role above the children, helping the
children feel safe and secure and creating a natural
boundary between parents and children.
A Couples Challenge: Forming
a Healthy Spousal Subsystem
Must develop complementary patterns of
mutual support, or accommodation
Must develop a boundary that separates
couple from children, parents and
Must claim authority in a hierarchical
Core concepts: Alignments,
Coalitions and triangulations
Alignment indicates that two or more share
reciprocal benefits, and team up. It usually refers to
a positive bond between family members. Eg two
parents working together, providing a secure life for
their children.
misalignments especially cross-generational can
undermine families eg grand parent and acting out
Coalitions refer to an alliance of some family
members against other family members. This can
be positive or negative. Can result in scapegoating.
Core concepts:
Triangulation occurs when one member of a two-
member system who are against one another attempts
to distract from the conflict by bringing in a third
person to focus on.
For example : two parents who are fighting; one
member may attempt to win the child over to his or her
puts the child in a no-win position: child allies with one
parent, experiences betrayal of the other parent, and
the original conflict is never resolved.
3. Conceptualisation of problems in SFT
How Problems Develop

Inflexible response to maturational (or

developmental) and environmental challenges
leads to conflict avoidance through
disengagement or enmeshment
Disengagement and enmeshment tend to be
compensatory (Im close here to make up for
my distance elsewhere.)
This leads to what is called the cross-
generational coalition, which is a triangular
The Nature of
Problems And Change

Power Imbalances
Subsystem Boundaries too rigid or too diffuse
Disengaged Members
Involved Members
Extensive Conflict
Failure of the System to Realign
Member Resistance
Action Precedes Understanding
How change occurs

SFT believe that when the structure of the family

changes, the positions of members in the group change,
and vice versa.
There must be a proper hierarchy in place, with the
caretakers or parents in charge, in a healthy coalition.
In terms of healthy and unhealthy functioning, symptoms
in an individual are rooted in the context of family
transaction patterns, and family restructuring must occur
before an individuals symptoms are relieved (Minuchin,
How change occurs

Structural changes must first occur within the

family because how a family functions has a
direct effect on how an individual functions
within, only then will individual symptoms be
limited, reduced, or resolved.
As family members experience changes as
the family functions differently, then
symptomatic distress will decrease. Therefore,
the therapist focuses on changing the
experience of family members.
4. Therapeutic goals in SFT
Therapeutic Goals

Therapy is directed at altering the family structure

and Creation of an effective hierarchy
Structural problems are usually viewed simply as
failure to adjust to changes.
Therapist doesnt solve problems, thats the familys
Boundaries must be strengthened in enmeshed
relationships, and weakened (or opened up) in
disengaged ones.
Therapeutic Goals

Not a matter of creating new structures, but reforming

existing ones
What distinguishes SFT from other forms of family
therapy is the emphasis on modifying family structure
in the immediate context of the therapy setting.
When new patterns are repeated and result in
improvement of family relationships, they will stabilize
and replace old patterns and symptoms of dysfunction
will be reduced or disappear.


Melvin Kohn Carmi Schooler

Melvin Kohn
- Born October 19, 1928
- Academy Professor and Professor Emeritus, Sociology
-American sociologist and past president of the American
Sociological Association.
-Primary Research Interests on Social structure and

Carmi Schooler
-Senior Scientist in the Department of Sociology at the
University of Maryland in
College Park.
-attended college at Hamilton College and received Ph.D.
in Psychology
from New York University.
Why does social class
matter for parents
relationships with their
children? What are the
processes by which a
persons position in
social structure molds
his or her behavior?

Social stratification as the hierarchical ordering of society--a single

dimension reflecting power, privilege, and prestige. We measured
social-stratification position with second-order confirmatory factor-
analytic models, the first-order dimensions being educational
attainment, occupational status, and job income.

Class and Conformity- clearly established that parents of different

social classes held different values and engaged in different
behaviors toward their children and one another.

Men and fathers from higher social classes placed greater emphasis
on self-directedness behavior and thought patters, while lower social
classes placed greater emphasis on conformity, obedience to external
authority and external appearances.

Social classes was conceptualized and measured in terms of multiple

hierarchical dimensions of education, occupational position and
But education and occupation received most attention, particularly in
comparisons that used the Hollingshead index, which generated 5 classes
based on weighting of occupation and education (occupation being the
most important)
Hollingshead index
But Hollingshead index was dropped along with working and
middle class designations, conceptualized and measured class in
terms of correlated dimensions of stratification system:

1. Education
2. Occupational status
3. Income

The most important demonstration showed that the correlation

between class and values was appreciably reduced by controlling for
structural conditions of work, in particular, components of
Occupational Self Direction.

The assertion and evidence that structural conditions of work

mediated the effects of social stratification position on values and
behaviors would become a central premise of the model

The series of models and extensions by Kohn, Schooler and

colleagues contain several features in the core versions.

The model feature multiple dimensions of personality:

1. Intellectual flexibility
2. Self directedness of orientation
3. Sense of well being or distress

Among the sub dimensions of organizing dimensions are:

1. Authoritarian-conservatism
2. Personally responsible standards of morality
3. Trustfulness
4.Self confidence
5. Self-deprecation
6. Fatalism
7. Anxiety
8. idea- conformity
Additional measures includes :

1. Multiple components of alienation

2. Job satisfaction
3. Occupational commitment

In short, Kohn-Schooler approach features multiple dimensions of

work and personality cast in a larger theoretical framework that
links social stratification position to structural imperatives of jobs
which in turn linked to components of personality

Men in self directed jobs become less authoritarian, less self

deprecatory, less fatalistic and less conformist in their ideas while
becoming more self confident and more responsible to standards of

Kohn &Schooler interpret the effects of work conditions on

personality in terms of the logic of learning generalization, in
which people learn from their jobs in direct fashion and generalize
the lessons to off-job realities.
Relationships and personality dimensions to work history variables
(involuntary job shifts, durations unemployed and working fulltime)
differed by gender

Other extensions of the basic Kohn-Schooler interpretation involve

educational self direction, housework and leisure activities.