Lanz, M., Scabini, E., Tagliabue, S., & Morgano, A.
How should family interdependence be studied? The methodological issues of non-independence
One of the principal features of the family is the interdependence among its members and among relationships. This complexity challenges family researchers from a methodological point of view: they have to find and implement the most suitable research strategy to preserve the family’s relational specificity. How do researchers handle this complexity? What research designs have been devised? What unit of analysis has been used? How many and which types of family relationships have been investigated? In order to answer these questions, we conducted a systematic review of recently published studies (2003-2013) on the family, and we analyzed two special issues on methodology. The results show that there is a general increase in interest on family topics and on methodological-relational issues. However, most of the studies adopt an individual perspective and do not take interdependence into account. Suggestions for future research are discussed.Back