he article examines cultural and ethnic influences on family dynamics using four major cultural dimensions. The basic premise of the present study is that in order to achieve greater understanding of cultural and ethnic influences upon family dynamics, one should compare families on a number of theoretically important cultural dimensions. It has been assumed in the past that with modernization, industrialization, and Westernization, the different family patterns exhibited will be modified from the traditional form, to resemble the Western family. Cultures are characterized by degree of complexity, which reflects the degree to which people in a given culture pay attention to time and time utilization, and the degree of "diffusion" versus "specificity" of social roles. The more specific a culture, the more well defined the social roles an individual may have. In less complex cultures there is a diffusion of roles. Collectivism involves being concerned with others, considering the implications for others of one's decisions, and concerns for family security.