Exam One

HDFS 511: Family Theory
Fall, 2006


Answer question 1, 2, and either 3a or 3b from the following questions. Be sure that you read each question carefully and respond to each part. I will expect you to use course concepts, including material we discuss in class. Note: each question includes a critical thinking component: extrapolate on an issue using course material that is not explicitly addressed. Your response should be typed, double spaced, and consistent with guidelines from the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (fourth edition).

1. Why should we use theory to inform our research? What are the limitations of theory? What general factors influence scholarship? How is theory influenced by history? Social norms? What criteria should we use to evaluate theory (choose six criteria and discuss in detail)?  Discuss implications for family theory to family policy.

2. Review the major constructs associated with attachment theory. How does parenting and adult attachment influence attachment in children? Distinguish between adult attachment that focuses on (a) nuclear family tradition from (b) peer/romantic partner tradition. Identify aspects of attachment theory which has often been neglected in family studies which can contribute to our understanding of families.


3a. Doherty, Boss, LaRossa, Schumm, and Steinmetz (1993) review six controversies about the goals of social science (e.g., naturalistic-positivistic knowledge versus sensitizing-descriptive knowledge) in chapter one. Evaluate each of these controversies using material from chapters 23 (feminism) and 24 (race and ethnicity).


3b. We will spend the remainder of this class reviewing various theories. How can we use (a) feminist themes and (b) race/ethnicity themes to critically evaluate them? Compare and contrast themes from feminism with themes from race/ethnicity. How are they compatible? How do they complement each other? How are they incompatible?