Family members' unique perspectives of the family: Examining their scope, size, and relations to individual adjustment

Justin Jager, Marc H. Bornstein, Diane L. Putnick, Charlene Hendricks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Using the McMaster Family Assessment Device (Epstein, Baldwin, & Bishop, 1983) and incorporating the perspectives of adolescent, mother, and father, this study examined each family member's "unique perspective" or nonshared, idiosyncratic view of the family. We used a modified multitrait-multimethod confirmatory factor analysis that (a) isolated for each family member's 6 reports of family dysfunction the nonshared variance (a combination of variance idiosyncratic to the individual and measurement error) from variance shared by 1 or more family members and (b) extracted common variance across each family member's set of nonshared variances. The sample included 128 families from a U.S. East Coast metropolitan area. Each family member's unique perspective generalized across his or her different reports of family dysfunction and accounted for a sizable proportion of his or her own variance in reports of family dysfunction. In addition, after holding level of dysfunction constant across families and controlling for a family's shared variance (agreement regarding family dysfunction), each family member's unique perspective was associated with his or her own adjustment. Future applications and competing alternatives for what these "unique perspectives" reflect about the family are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-410
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescence
  • Family system
  • Multiple perspectives
  • Multitrait-multimethod
  • Unique perspectives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Family members' unique perspectives of the family: Examining their scope, size, and relations to individual adjustment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this