Few would question the notion that the family endows some qualities of the composition, cultivates the growth, and bears witness to the ripening of an individual’s potential. Philosophical and poetic musings about the importance of the family are difficult to challenge. At the same time, exploring the role of the family in psychological development is a complex puzzle. This volume illuminates pieces of this puzzle that have received empirical attention. In this chapter, we address some of the complexities encountered when evaluating influences of “the family context” and describe a systemic foundation, or frame, for figuratively fitting the puzzle pieces together. We begin by offering working definitions of the family context and then consider theoretical frameworks for understanding the complex forces operating in family and social contexts, Using these theories as a guide, we discuss the multitude of constellations and practices that characterize families in our time. We explain general family processes that may affect development directly and in combination with other factors. We conclude with a discussion of the interplay between nature and nurture, emphasizing notions of reciprocity and responsivity within family relationships. We also emphasize goodness of fit with respect to the fit between an individual family member and systemic features of the family context.