Studying a matrix of change mechanisms: An agenda for family-based process research

Gary M. Diamond, Guy S. Diamond

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, the authors present a framework for conceptualizing and conducting a family-based programmatic process research agenda. This framework builds on the innovative epistemological and methodological contributions of discovery-oriented research, particularly task analysis (L. N. Rice and L. S. Greenberg, 1984). Although researchers usually use task analysis to study single, isolated change events, the authors propose extending this method to look at a matrix of change processes and how they evolve and interact over time. They then offer a three-stage investigative agenda to examine such a matrix. Finally, they suggest that process research would advance more rapidly if researchers focused on a few transtheoretical change processes that are common to many family interventions. Selection and study of these processes should be informed by psychological science. Based on their model of attachment-based family therapy (G. S. Diamond, 1998; G. S. Diamond and L. Siqueland, 1995), the authors suggest four specific mechanisms for this agenda: reattribution, alliance, parenting, and reattachment. Finally, they review selected process studies that represent innovative work being done on each of these mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFamily psychology
Subtitle of host publicationScience-based interventions
EditorsH.A. Liddle, D.A. Santisteban, R.F. Levant, J.H. Bray
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
StatePublished - 2002


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