The model of family functioning being presented is the product of over twenty years of research in clinical work with family units. A method of family therapy has been developed based upon this model and will be described in a future issue. The model utilizes a general systems theory approach in an attempt to describe the structure, organization, and transactional patterns of the family unit. It allows examination of families along the total spectrum ranging from healthy to severely pathological in their functioning. It is based upon a Judaeo-Christian value set, and allows attention to be paid to cultural differences and other issues of cultural relativity.