Modern adolescent runaways reflect varying family dynamics, as revealed through long-term family therapy and observation. These family dynamics can be conceptualized as disturbances in transactional modes. Transactional modes operate as the covert organizing background to the more overt and specific child-parent interactions. The modes of binding, delegating, and expelling are defined. Depending on which mode is dominant, runaways and their families need to be viewed and treated differently.