Can we all get along? Many people simultaneously love and hate their families. The interaction between family members is at the core of family dynamics. Each member must co-exist with every other member. Culture, the number of members, the number of children, and other elements all play a part in the overall ecosystem. Family therapists often use a genogram to better understand the family—a diagram that maps each member’s relationship to others.
We joke about the woes of family disharmony—the obnoxious uncle, the ne'er-do-well son-in-law, the histrionic aunt, the little sister who always steals the show. Yet having close familial relationships may afford a person higher life satisfaction as well as lower rates of depression and disease. There are so many things to consider when thinking about family networks: birth order, the only child, rivalries; these are just a few factors that come up when studying the family.