Behavioral, Intergenerational, and Structural Approaches Pap…

Behavioral, Intergenerational, and Structural Approaches Paper Review the genogram you created for the Week 2 assignment. Use your genogram to identify one of the following patterns that could be or has been present in your family:


The study of family patterns has been a topic of great interest in the field of psychology. Through the use of genograms, which provide a visual representation of family structure and relationships, researchers have been able to identify various patterns and dynamics within families. This paper aims to review the genogram created in the Week 2 assignment and identify one pattern that could be or has been present in the family. Three approaches will be utilized to analyze the chosen pattern: behavioral, intergenerational, and structural.

Genogram Review

Before delving into the analysis of patterns, it is necessary to briefly review the genogram. A genogram is a schematic diagram of a family tree that not only depicts family members but also provides information on their relationships, sociodemographic characteristics, and significant life events. The Week 2 assignment required the creation of a genogram, providing an opportunity to closely examine one’s family dynamics.

Pattern Identification

Upon reviewing the genogram, one prominent pattern that can be identified is the presence of addiction. Addiction refers to the dependence on a substance or behavior that has negative consequences and impairs one’s ability to function effectively. In the genogram, this pattern can be observed across multiple generations, implying a multigenerational issue.

Behavioral Approach

The behavioral approach to understanding addiction emphasizes the role of reinforcement and conditioning in the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors. It suggests that addictive behaviors are learned through the reinforcement of positive experiences associated with substance use or behavioral engagement. This approach also recognizes the influence of genetic predisposition and environmental factors in the development of addiction.

Applying the behavioral approach to the identified pattern of addiction in the genogram, it can be inferred that certain factors within the family may have contributed to the development of addictive behaviors. For instance, the presence of addiction in previous generations may have exposed individuals in subsequent generations to an environment where substance use or addictive behaviors were normalized. This social learning process could have increased their susceptibility to developing addiction. Furthermore, the genetic component of addiction cannot be disregarded, as certain genetic factors may predispose individuals to addictive behaviors.

Intergenerational Approach

The intergenerational approach focuses on understanding patterns of behaviors and relationship dynamics that are transmitted across generations within families. It recognizes that the actions and experiences of one generation can influence the development and behavior of subsequent generations.

Analyzing the genogram through the lens of the intergenerational approach, it can be hypothesized that there might be underlying family dynamics or unresolved issues that have contributed to the cycle of addiction. For example, patterns of dysfunctional communication, conflict, or trauma within the family may have shaped the coping mechanisms of family members, leading them to rely on substances or addictive behaviors as a means of escape or emotional regulation. These coping strategies may have been passed down from one generation to another, perpetuating the cycle of addiction.

Structural Approach

The structural approach focuses on the influence of the family system, including its rules, boundaries, and hierarchies, on individual behaviors and interactions. It posits that dysfunction within the family system can contribute to the development and maintenance of addictive behaviors.

In the genogram analysis, the structural approach can be employed to examine the family dynamics that may have contributed to the addiction pattern. For example, if the genogram reveals rigid or enmeshed boundaries within the family, where there is little autonomy or flexibility, this could create an environment where individuals turn to addiction as a means of asserting control or seeking escape. Similarly, if there is a history of power imbalances or unresolved conflicts within the family, this can contribute to the development and perpetuation of addiction as a coping mechanism.


In conclusion, analysis of the genogram identified the presence of addiction as a prominent pattern within the family. To understand this pattern, three approaches were utilized: the behavioral approach, the intergenerational approach, and the structural approach. Each approach provided a unique framework through which to comprehend the development and maintenance of addiction within the family system. By examining addiction from multiple perspectives, a more comprehensive understanding of the complex interplay of factors contributing to addiction can be attained.