Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

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

Extended Family

  • Bertranna A. MuruthiEmail author
  • Megan McCoy
  • Andrea Leigh Farnham
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_477


Extended kinships*

Psychological family* (this is more for non-biological)

Fictive kin* (non-blood related friends who are seen as family) (Hall & Green 2003)

Secondary family*

Family networks*


Surrogate kin network*

Families of choice* (Weston 1991)


Extended family refers to the extended kinship system outside of the nuclear family. This system can include biological relatives, relatives by marriage, and the functional kinship system of neighbors, friends, and associates (Pattison et al. 1975). According to Nichols and Schwartz (1998), some of the first therapists who take the extended family into consideration were Murray Bowen and Ross Speck. Bowen stressed the role of the extended family in the transmission of family patterns, rules, beliefs, and values, and the role those play in the current problems. Speck mobilized the patient’s network of family and friends to aid in treatment and saw the extended family as a resource that could be accessed...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bertranna A. Muruthi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Megan McCoy
    • 2
  • Andrea Leigh Farnham
    • 3
  1. 1.Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Virginia Tech - Northern Virginia CenterFalls ChurchUSA
  2. 2.Firm Foundations CounselingColumbiaUSA
  3. 3.The University of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Mudita Rastogi
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois School of Professional Psychology, Argosy UniversitySchaumburgUSA