Individual and Marital Development

Entropy or Synergy
  • Joseph W. Newirth


The purpose of this chapter is twofold; first, to explore aspects of adult development in relationship to marriage and individual growth and, second, to attempt to integrate the conceptual perspectives of psychoanalytic object relations theory and a systems approach to family and marital therapy. In exploring aspects of adult development, it is important to emphasize the evolving life stages as a critical dimension in adult personality development, psychopathology, and family functioning. It is this new awareness of a developmental continuum (Carter & McGoldrick, 1980) extending from birth to death that has helped us to conceptualize family pathology, as well as individual disorders of the self, in which problems of intimacy and self-esteem regulation are the central dimensions. In looking at both professional and popular literature, it would seem that we are living in a time in which marriage and marital dissolution and failure have become a central concern of both professionals and lay people alike. On the professional level, one aspect of this crisis in family relations is our lack of models that can both describe and explain successful marital and family relations and the causes of failure in these relationships.


Family Therapy Object Relation Marital Relationship Marital Dissolution Adult Development 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph W. Newirth
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Advanced Psychological StudiesAdelphi UniversityGarden CityUSA

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