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Family Sciences Unit


The Family Sciences Unit structures most of its courses around the theme of personal development within a family setting and closely linked institutions, such as school, family support and youth structures, and educational associations, to name but a few. The Unit as a whole examines family practices, family functioning and family members in a psychological, social and educational perspective. The Unit's teachings also address intervention practices that implement educational activities and support services that are beneficial to families and influence personal development.

The Unit’s research focuses on psychological and social difficulties within people. Faced with economic, social and psychological adversity, family members, both adults and children, can live in precarious situations of exclusion and psychological distress. It is in this context that relationship and educational issues often occur within families, as well as in various social settings such as at school, youth groups and social action organisations.

The Family Sciences Unit upholds two theoretical concepts to support its research and interventions that aim to address family issues in precarious situations. The first is that of transmission. In other words, the Unit studies how far social exclusion is transmitted from one generation to another. The main focus here is on the risk factors of intergenerational dynamics of precariousness. The second is that of social resilience. Here, the investigation addresses protective factors that enable individuals and their families to break the cycle of exclusion while favouring continued development.

Therefore, the thematic research and teachings adopted by the Unit include:

  • family practices
  • social and educational transmission
  • practices and basic forms of exclusion
  • mental suffering due to social change
  • school-family relationships
  • support for parents
  • educational support for young people and their families.


University of Mons
18 Place du Parc 
7000 Mons

Head of Unit: Professor Willy Lahaye

The team