Louise Rauseo, RN, MS
Individual physiology is regulated by factors in the relationship system.
While most studies address relationship factors in concepts such as "social support" or "stress," knowledge of the relationship system is central to understanding changes in the physiology of an individual. This paper proposes that, under certain conditions, all aspects of human physiology can be sensitive to and regulated in the relationship system.
A selected review of human and mammal literature illustrates ways in which physiology varies with factors in the social unit or family group. The physiological mechanisms underpinning this process are described. Bowen family systems theory is proposed as a framework broad enough for conceptualizing the various findings by defining the conditions under which physiology is regulated more by relationships than by autonomous factors.