Meaning and measurement of family: Comment on Gorman-Smith et al. (1996)

Gayle A. Dakof

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


D. Gorman-Smith, P. H. Tolan, A. Zelli, & L. R. Huesmann (1996) highlight important issues for the treatment of conduct problems. Their results suggest that the concept of family and the family treatment of serious delinquency should target two dimensions: parenting practices and family characteristics. Additionally, they raise important questions about the meaning, and hence the measurement, of family. The debate articulated in this comment focuses on whether the family is considered to be a collection of individuals with unique perspectives, a unique whole with its own beliefs and emotions, or both a collection of individuals and a whole. In this article, the author argues that family research can be improved if researchers specify three components of the measurement of family: (a) target of the assessment, (b) method of the assessment, and (c) method of aggregation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)142-146
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Meaning and measurement of family: Comment on Gorman-Smith et al. (1996)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this