Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Power in Family Systems Theory

  • Markie L. C. TwistEmail author
  • Megan J. Murphy
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_302

Name of Concept

Power in Family Systems Theory.


Decision-Making; Dominance; Empower; Hierarchy; Influence


Individuals exercise a certain degree of power to have control of their lives, as well as to have influence and a share in the decision-making within their relational systems. Power is a multifaceted concept which can refer to qualities an individual may have, features of a relationship, or larger sociocultural concepts that impact groups in society. Most definitions are concerned with the degree of influence one has over another through the use of resources and/or the ability to get someone to do or believe something that they would not have necessarily done or believed on their own (French and Raven 1959; Johnson 1976). These definitions typically emphasize situations in which one person dominates over another through demonstrations of influence, or the ability of the person to make decisions for each of the individuals involved in a relationship. Through...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Wisconsin-StoutMenomonieUSA
  2. 2.Purdue University NorthwestHammondUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Eli Karam
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA