Bowen Center Store Front | Search | Your Account | Product List | Basket Contents | Check Out
Sign In

Family Systems Journal
   Current Issue
   Subscribe to the Journal
   Current Subscribers
   Journal Articles
     Volume 14.1
     Volume 13.2
     Volume 13.1
     Volume 12.2
     Volume 12.1
     Volume 11.2
     Volume 11.1
     Volume 10.2
     Volume 10.1
     Volume 9.2
     Volume 9.1
     Volume 8.2
     Volume 8.1
     Volume 7.2
     Volume 7.1
     Volume 6.2
     Volume 6.1
     Volume 5.2
     Volume 5.1
     Volume 4.2
     Volume 4.1
     Volume 3.2
     Volume 3.1
     Volume 2.2
     Volume 2.1
     Volume 1.2
     Volume 1.1
Audio Lectures
Kerr Lecture Series
Special Topics Interviews
The Basic Series-Bowen
Bowen/Kerr Interview Series
Annual Symposia
Spring Conferences
New and Recent Releases
Materiales en Espaņol

Naturally Constrained Social Systems
  Quantity in Basket: None
Code: DJ 4.1 (2) Comella
Price: $9.50
1 - I understand that this article is for my personal use only. 2 - Reproduction or systematic distribution of all or any part of this article without permission is prohibited. The volume discount to make copies of the articles for educational and training purposes is 20% off each article. Please contact us at or at 202-965-4400 to order at the volume rate. 3 - Access to the article will remain in effect for 24 hours and allows no more than one download of the article. 4 - If I have an ID and password used in this purchase, I will not provide it to anyone else.
Patricia A. Comella, JD

In both human and nonhuman relationship systems, members automatically and continually respond to their environment and to each other. This automatic responsiveness operates at a level of intensity which varies from individual to individual, and over time as conditions change. The responsiveness, called emotional process in Bowen family systems theory, acts as a natural constraint on flexibility to function across the full spectrum of potential in the members of the system and the system itself. Naturally constrained social systems abound in nature and there is a wealth of theoretical and factual information available and potentially useful to understanding the constraints on behavior and functioning in both human and nonhuman relationship systems. Researchers studying behavior in nonhuman social systems have observed patterns of behavior which appear related to members' managing external relationships, particularly with predators, and internal relationships with other members, particularly about distribution of resources and dealing with the stresses of living in groups. Researchers applying Bowen family systems theory have observed the operation of multigenerational emotional process in human relationship systems and how it constrains the flexibility of members of these systems to adapt to changing circumstances. Drawing upon research across a broad spectrum of species, this paper examines how emotional process, especially anxiety and its sources, naturally constrains the behavior and functioning of members of social systems, and then applies this to a brief examination of one kind of human social system, the work system.

For more information, please contact The Bowen Center at 202-965-4400 or