This research examined an aspect of family communica tionsthe incorporation by a formerly childless couple of a child into the family system. In this introductory chapter, prior research on the topic is reviewed, and the specific objective of this current study is stated. The following chapter describes and explains the research methodology employed in this current study, while the results of the research performed are presented in the third chapter, and those results are discussed and conclusions drawn in the final chapter.
Communication is defined as the process linking discontinuous living entities with one another (Kaplan, & Sadock, 1985). Communication is made possible by the combined effects of perception, evaluation, and expression (Kaplan, & Sadock, 1985).
The social process of interpersonal communication involves three sets of determinantssensory, environmental, and psychological. This study was concerned with the latter two sets of determinants. Environmental determinants are the people and the social systems with which an individual is associated,
1 2while psychological determinants are the ways in which an individual's experiences affects her or his knowledge, skills, and methods of adaptation (Kaplan, & Sadock, 1985).
This study was concerned with the impact on family communications of the incorporation by a formerly childless couple of a child into the family system. The introduction of a child into such a system requires a modification of the marital coalition upon which the family is based. A person is an individual behavioral system (Fawcett, 1989), which, in turn, is a component of the larger family behavioral system. For individuals and for families, the external environment includes all forces (object, events, and situations) which are capable of impinging on either the individual or the family. For individuals, the internal environ ment involves the psychological and p...