Polly D. Caskie, MMH
The family movement's conceptual development has been influenced by three important systems
theories: cybernetics, general systems theory, and natural systems theory.
Careful examination of the basic assumptions, conceptual origins, and primary
goals of these theories reveal important differences which have
consequences for the future development of theory and research in the field of
Darwin's theory of evolution by means of natural selection, a natural systems
theory, contains the basic premise that, despite our uniqueness, human beings
are a part of nature and subject to the same evolutionary forces as the rest of
the living world. That premise is the bedrock on which Bowen family systems
theory is built and is the vantage point from which Bowen developed a unique
view of the family as a natural system. This view of the family as a natural
system differs from other concepts of systems frequently applied to the family.