Family Psychology: Past and Future Reflections on the Field

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Prominent issues in the field of family psychology during my term as editor (1998–2003) of this journal were briefly noted, including a focus on marital issues, divorce, remarriage and family conflict. Parenting, attachment and parent-child relationships were also significant topics in this period. Special sections of the journal focused on cultural variations, families and the law, families and religion, and family routines and rituals. Several neglected issues that need more attention in the future were noted. These include the need to recognize the embeddedness of families in socioecological contexts, the importance of monitoring the impact of secular changes on families, and the value and limitations of viewing family psychology as a separate field. Other topics for a future agenda include the challenge of defining “family” in the midst of changing family forms, the effects of technological change on families, and the challenges of integrating biological research into the family psychology agenda. A multilevel bio-social approach to family research was recommended.

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