This reading is about the psychological study of the family with a cross-cultural comparative orientation. It attempts to provide answers to some basic questions regarding the family in context - whether there are systematic global changes in the family, what might be some of the important factors that characterize family and family change, and how they function. A model of family change is proposed to address these questions and to shed light on the variations in family patterns in different socio-cultural-economic contexts. These patterns also help understand the development of the self in family and society. It is proposed that the modernization hypothesis of 'converging on the Western pattern' with socio-economic development around the globe is not being supported by the research results from various countries. Instead, a synthetic family pattern of emotional/psychological interdependence is emerging across different contexts, as it best satisfies the two basic human needs for autonomy and relatedness.
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