The field of biology is the study or science of living things. Family resource management derives important information on reproduction, physical health, and safety from biological findings, and implements biological research methods and theories to answer questions about how the environment and humans interact. Genetics is an associated field that provides families with guidance when making important reproductive and health decisions. Medicine is also a related field that plays an important part in family decisions and resource allocation.

Professionals in family studies use multidisciplinary research methods and integrate research generated by all of these fields, which allows a multifaceted exploration of topics. For instance, if we want to understand maternal employment and its impact on the family, we can approach the question from multiple frameworks. Psychologists might focus on the emotional and cognitive impacts on family members—parents and children. Sociologists may consider the motivations that lead to the mother’s participation in the workforce and how social expectations influence that behavior.

Social psychologists may view the topic in terms of how employment impacts the female’s self-esteem or power base, or how females impact the working environment they occupy. Cultural anthropology might be more interested in how maternal employment participation varies between and among different cultures and across time. Economics would be interested in how maternal employment impacts resources available to families and how that, in turn, impacts their consumption. Another topic of interest to economists is the potential for increased production through more fully participating adult female labor pools. Biology might study the issue from a physical perspective. The spread of contagious diseases through on-the-job contact or within childcare centers might be of interest.

In combination, these disciplines provide us with a holistic view of family resource management. All are important to the study and understanding of family behavior.

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