Beyond the Systems Paradigm

Emerging Constructs in Family and Personality Psychology

  • Luciano L'Abate

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Psychology book series (BRIEFSPSYCHOL)

About this book


Mother, father, children together in a household. The number of U.S. families fitting that profile is declining steadily. And yet this arrangement is still the basis of so much of family systems theory and therapy--while the disconnect between theory and therapy is widening. 

In response, Beyond the Systems Paradigm argues for the critical place of the individual in family psychology, and for the ties between family and personality psychologies as a key to modernizing systems theory and practice. The latest offering from Luciano L'Abate builds on his earlier work by analyzing the intricate relationships between conceptual ideas and clinical reality, and how this knowledge can translate into more robust theory, useful research, and effective assessment and therapy with families. The author adds new constructs of identity and intimacy to refine his Relational Competence Theory, and his new models update--and find common ground between--traditional family and personality constructs. A perspective-building tool for organizing how one understands theory and does therapy, this timely volume: 

  • Clarifies the links between paradigms, theories, constructs, models, and dimensions.
  • Details the shortcomings of family and personality psychologies in not informing one another.
  • Critically reviews the evolution of family systems and personality theory.
  • Analyzes the central role of constructs in theory building and clinical process.
  • Contributes new ideas to the classification of human relationships.
  • Situates identity as an overarching construct in Relational Competence Theory.

For family therapists and clinicians as well as personality theorists, Beyond the Systems Paradigm provides the structure to make theory relevant, and the flexibility to make it practical.


a systems paradigm attachment theory communication and relationship science emerging constructs family psychologies family psychology hierarchy identity theory personality psychologies relational competence theory theories of human relationships theory development traditional family

Authors and affiliations

  • Luciano L'Abate
    • 1
  1. 1., Department of PsychologyGeorgia State UniversityDecaturUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Author(s) 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Behavioral Science
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4614-7443-2
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4614-7444-9
  • Series Print ISSN 2192-8363
  • Series Online ISSN 2192-8371
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