Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research

2014 Edition
| Editors: Alex C. Michalos

Family Conflicts

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-0753-5_997


Family conflict refers to active opposition between family members. Because of the nature of family relationships, it can take a wide variety of forms, including verbal, physical, sexual, financial, or psychological. Conflicts may involve different combinations of family members: it can be conflict within the couple or between parents and children or, again, between siblings.

All interpersonal conflicts, whether they occur between family members, romantic partners, or groups, have certain elements in common. One of the popular definitions of conflict offered by Coser (1956) asserts that conflict is a “struggle over values and claims to scarce status, power, and resources in which the aims of the opponents are to neutralize, injure or eliminate the rival” (p. 8).

In 1973, Deutsch maintained that conflict “exists whenever incompatible activities occur… an action which prevents, obstructs, interferes with, injures or in some way makes (resolution) less likely or less...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversitá Catolica Del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly