PSYC 235 - Structure and Dynamics of the Family

This course introduces students to the work of major systems theorists who have observed the family and attempted to understand its nature as a total organism.


Credits: 3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 3)


Total Weeks: 15



PSYC 101 and PSYC 102
OR permission of instructor


Non-Course Prerequisites:






Course Content:

This course will address the psychology of families, family dynamics and family functioning within a contemporary Canadian context, focusing on the changing dynamics of the family, exploring issues of family history and contemporary issues that families in today’s society deal with. Students will be encouraged to look at their own definition of what family means to them, and the psychology of families living together in the 21st century. Through weekly self-assessments, students will also develop self-awareness regarding functions, dynamics and concepts, giving them the ability to better analyze other’s roles in families, including their own. Examination of current psychoanalytical methods will be applied to family issues. With a critical eye, students will be encouraged to assess the activities in the workbook from both a personal and professional point of view. Group work and the analysis of various theories will assist in the student’s learning process regarding families today.


Learning Outcomes:

Students completing this course should have an awareness of the current theoretical and methodologies within the psychology of family as well as becoming familiar current research influencing family therapy today.

Identifies and recognizes methodologies, compare and demonstrate learned outcomes


Actively participates in a range of activities relating to family psychology topics

Can analyze and apply different theories to various situations


Performs both written and oral demonstration of learning adequate for subject and course number


Grading System: Letters


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Percentage of Individual Work: 80


Percentage of Group Work: 20


Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.