Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Fairness in Couples and Families

  • Rashmi GangammaEmail author
  • Tatiana Glebova
  • Jennifer Coppola
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_416

Name of Concept



Balance of give and take; Relational ethics


Growing evidence in developmental and neuroscience research suggest that an intuitive sense of fairness and concern for others exists in infancy (e.g., Decety and Howard 2013). Fairness in relationships is an important concept and is sometimes described in terms of equity (e.g., Kuperminc et al. 2013). In this chapter we discuss fairness as a central construct of contextual therapy theory (Boszormenyi-Nagy and Krasner 1986) which is the only one that explicitly puts relational fairness or justice as a cornerstone of family relationships and well-being. Contextual therapy theory is an intergenerational, integrative, strengths-based theory whose hallmark feature is relational ethics* or balance of give and take* or fairness in relationships. Emerging research indicates that perceptions of fairness are related to indicators of health and well-being (Grames et al. 2008), as well as symptoms of...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rashmi Gangamma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tatiana Glebova
    • 2
  • Jennifer Coppola
    • 1
  1. 1.Syracuse UniversitySyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Alliant International University – California School of Professional PsychologySacramentoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA