, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 3-10

The truncated nuclear family

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The truncated nuclear family is defined: it is the garden-variety family “pathology” found. The critical role of polarized continuity and discontinuity values in producing the truncated nuclear family is discussed. There is a brief review of factors in American society which, over the decades since the Second World War, have evolved the nuclear family as a dominant family unit, and of how those and other factors in society have produced the large numbers of truncated nuclear families seen in clinics, particularly in the past decade. Family therapy is the treatment of choice for the truncated nuclear family, provided there is a readiness of the family to undertake the stress of therapy.

Dr. Zuk is family therapy consultant to agencies in New Orleans and elsewhere, and clinical professor (psychology) in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurology at Tulane University Medical School.
This paper is a chapter in the forthcoming 2nd edition ofProcess and Practice in Family Therapy, to be published by Human Sciences Press of New York City in 1985.