Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Fred L. Adair


The purpose of this study was to explore and describe certain psychosocial characteristics of family therapists according to different theoretical orientations within the family systems field. The characteristics examined were psychological type preference, personality factors, and the occurrence of loss/transition events in the family of origin.;A review of the literature revealed a lack of research on family therapists. Additionally, there has been very little research done on family of origin experiences of therapists in general, and of family therapists, specifically.;The sample for this study consisted of 77 family therapists from across the United States and Canada representing Satir's Process model, Minuchin's Structural model, and Bowen's Systems model. Ss were chosen by major advocates of the particular models based on their training in and reflection of the principles of that model. All Ss completed an instrument package containing a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, an Adjective Check List, a Nodal Events Survey, and a Client Information Form. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted on the results of four scales of the MBTI (using continuous scores) and ten scales of the Adjective Check List. Data gathered from the Client Information Form and Nodal Events Survey were reported according to descriptive statistics.;Data from the MBTI indicated that 59.2% of the total Ss were Introverted types and 89.9% were Intuitive types. Results from the MBTI revealed that Systems model Ss were significantly different (p. {dollar}<{dollar}.05) from Ss from the Process and Structural models in their strong orientation toward Thinking on the Thinking-Feeling scale. Additionally, Systems model Ss were significantly different (p {dollar}<{dollar}.05) from Process model Ss in their orientation toward Judging on the Judging-Perceiving scale. Statistical significance was not reached on the ten scales from the Adjective Check List. There were few remarkable events or differences in the loss/transition events in family of origin experiences of Ss.;Demographic data indicated that Ss across the three models were primarily from families of 3-5 siblings. Process model Ss were most frequently youngest siblings, while Structural model and Systems model Ss were most frequently oldest siblings.



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