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Int Rev Psychiatry. 2012 Apr;24(2):139-43. doi: 10.3109/09540261.2012.658029.

The family in Romania: cultural and economic context and implications for treatment.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Targu Mures, Romania.


The study of family structures, functioning, roles and values is fundamental in family therapist's activities for better understanding the psychological, cultural and social specificity of different clients and interventions. In this paper we describe the Romanian family and the family therapies which are available in Romania. We illustrate basic needs using demographic data and research available from Romania. The nuclear family remains dominant instead of other alternatives, the age of marriage is earlier than in western European countries and celibate and consensual living are exceptions or only for the transitional period before marriage. The role of marriage and childbirth within the marital setting is still important. The model of a single child appears increasingly common due to an improvement in financial resources and better living conditions. Relations with family of origin remain close. The difficulties for children with parents working in different countries raise problems and have implications for the extended family, educators and psychotherapists as well as mental health service providers. Family therapists should keep in mind the structure, function, role and values of the Romanian family for better understanding the issues and resources and use these accordingly in therapy. Policy-makers should be aware of the difficulties concerning availability and access to this therapeutic approach.

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