Some thoughts for the modern family and its future
Psychiatrist-Child Psychiatrist, Former Director, Finchley Cildn & Family Psychiatric Centre & The London Centre for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Humans are biological, psychological and social beings. The biological side and the psychological needs are very difficult to change (and require centuries of darwinian evolution). What constantly changes are the social conditions.

After a brief historical review of the institution of marriage the writer expresses the opinion that modern marriage and family are not in a general crisis but in a better shape than in the past. Nevertheless some of the contemporary social conditions create very serious problems in the family especially in the upbringing of the children.

The fact that most women pursue a career and work outside home has created what the writer calls a "neo-extended" family with extremely important consequences for children and their psychological development. These consequences are visible throughout childhood but culminate in adolescence.

Young people tend to develop either a pathological introversion (depression, suicidal attempts and other nevrotic symptoms) or a pathological extroversion (antisocial tendencies, generalised aggressivity, indifference for their lives and their future).

In between fall substance abuse, alcool and other dependencies).

Some thoughts are offered about possible future developments and also some propositions. Encephalos 2009, 46(4):164-169.