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Family Process Heft 1/2009
1/2009 - 2/2009 - 3/2009 - 4/2009 - Überblick


Imber-Black, Evan (2009): Journal Reading: A Menu of Keywords or a Surprising Feast. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 1-3


Knudson Martin, Carmen & Anne Rankin Mahoney (2009): Introduction to the Special Section-Gendered Power in Cultural Contexts: Capturing the Lived Experience of Couples. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 5-8.

abstract: The three articles that followFon immigrant, African American, and Iranian couplesFare part of a larger study, Couples, Gender, and Power: Creating Change in Intimate Relationships (Knudson-Martin & Mahoney, 2009), that details the workings of gendered power across a wide range of life stages and cultures. Gender equality is a salient issue in each of these contexts. The articles illustrate the subtle processes through which social forces and couple relationships intersect.


Maciel, Jose A., Zanetta van Putten & Carmen Knudson-Martin (2009): Gendered Power in Cultural Contexts: Part I. Immigrant Couples. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 9-23.

abstract: Immigration is a world-wide phenomenon and practitioners are increasingly called on to work with issues related to it. The authors examine the experience of couples who are immigrants to the United States in regard to gender and power issues. Although the study limited participation to one religious group in order to hold that aspect of culture and gender attitudes constant, the experiences of these couples help to make visible the link between microlevel couple interaction and larger social processes. The results show how the couples manage a delicate balance between the push for gender change and avoiding too much conflict as male power is challenged.


Cowdery, Randi S., Norma Scarborough, Carmen Knudson-Martin, Gita Seshadri, Monique E. Lewis & Anne Rankin Mahoney (2009): Gendered Power in Cultural Contexts: Part II. Middle Class African American Heterosexual Couples with Young Children. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 25-39.

abstract: When race and gender intersect, understanding gendered power may be complicated. The authors first describe the historical context that serves as important background for understanding gender and power in heterosexual African American relationships. Then they show how family solidarity in the face of social injustices often overrides gender equality as a goal for middle class African American couples with young children. The findings illustrate pragmatic equality within couple relationships and the willful suspension of gender roles for the well-being of the family as a whole. However, gendered power impacts couples in a variety of ways. Sometimes a woman's fear that the man might leave, for example, diminished her power in the relationship. Often a woman accommodated a man's greater power in the family because of her perception that he was often denied power in the larger society. Societal discrimination of women was less visible to couples. Implications for practice are provided.


Moghadam, Seddigheh (Sandy), Carmen Knudson-Martin & Anne Rankin Mahoney (2009): Gendered Power in Cultural Contexts: Part III. Couple Relationships in Iran. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 41-54.

abstract: Sometimes therapists assume that gender equality is not relevant when working with couples from traditional cultures. This study of couples in Iran suggests more complexity. The authors identify a variety of views and practices regarding equality between men and women in relationships. Some aspired to traditional roles; others attempted to create mutually supportive relationships. Yet others were somewhere in-between. This study helps identify important dimensions that may be overlooked when we define couple equality only by American standards or understand it only through a Western lens. The study provides insight into the dilemmas couples face when ideals of equality intersect with societal structures that maintain gendered power and offers suggestions for addressing gender when working with couples with traditional cultural backgrounds.


Rohrbaugh, Michael J., Varda Shoham, Emily A. Butler, Brant P. Hasler & Jeffrey S. Berman (2009): Affective Synchrony in Dual-and Single-Smoker Couples: Further Evidence of "Symptom-System Fit"? In: Family Process 48(1): S. 55-67.

abstract: Couples in which one or both partners smoked despite one of them having a heart or lung problem discussed a health-related disagreement before and during a period of laboratory smoking. Immediately afterwards, the partners in these 25 couples used independent joysticks to recall their continuous emotional experience during the interaction while watching themselves on video. A couple-level index of affective synchrony, reflecting correlated moment-to-moment change in the two partners’ joystick ratings, tended to increase from baseline to smoking for 9 dual-smoker couples but decrease for 16 single-smoker couples. Results suggest that coregulation of shared emotional experience could be a factor in smoking persistence, particularly when both partners in a couple smoke. Relationship-focused interventions addressing this fit between symptom and system may help smokers achieve stable cessation.


Marvel, Francoise, Cynthia L. Rowe, Lissette Colon-Perez, Ralph J. Diclemente & Howard A. Liddle (2009): Multidimensional Family Therapy HIV/STD Risk-Reduction Intervention: An Integrative Family-Based Model for Drug-Involved Juvenile Offenders. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 69-84.

abstract: Drug and juvenile justice involved youths show remarkably high rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk behaviors. However, existing interventions aimed at reducing adolescent HIV risk behavior have rarely targeted these vulnerable young adolescents, and many approaches focus on individual-level change without attention to family or contextual influences. We describe a new, family-based HIV/ STD prevention model that embeds HIV/STD focused multifamily groups within an adolescent drug abuse and delinquency evidence-based treatment, Multidimensional Family Therapy (MDFT). The approach has been evaluated in a multisite randomized clinical trial with juvenile justice involved youths in the National Institute on Drug Abuse Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies (www.cjdats.org). Preliminary baseline to 6-month outcomes are promising. We describe research on family risk and protective factors for adolescent problem behaviors, and offer a rationale for family-based approaches to reduce HIV/STD risk in this population. We describe the development and implementation of the Multidimensional Family Therapy HIV/STD risk-reduction intervention (MDFT-HIV/ STD) in terms of using multifamily groups and their integration in standard MDFT and also offers a clinical vignette. The potential significance of this empirically based intervention development work is high; MDFT-HIV/STD is the first model to address largely unmet HIV/STD prevention and sexual health needs of substance abusing juvenile offenders within the context of a family-oriented evidence-based intervention.


Waldegrave, Charles (2009): Cultural, Gender, and Socioeconomic Contexts in Therapeutic and Social Policy Work. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 85-101.

abstract: The contention of this paper is that the context of social and therapeutic problems is critical to their resolution, and that many of them stem from historical and structural injustice. It focuses on the contextual issues of cultural, gender, and socioeconomic equity as providing important insights into authentic notions of social inclusion and well-being, and encourages therapists, service providers, researchers, and policy makers to take responsibility to ensure that these injustices are addressed, and become part of the public discourse about the sources and solutions of endemic social problems. Critique and deconstruction of institutional power in our public, private, and voluntary services is encouraged in a manner that honors diversity and enables sensitive therapy, other forms of service delivery and policy making that genuinely reflect the range of cultural, gender, and socioeconomic experiences of citizens.


Madsen, William C. (2009): Collaborative Helping: A Practice Framework for Family-Centered Services. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 103-116.

abstract: This article offers a framework for collaborative family-centered practice that can reinvigorate our work with families who have not responded to more traditional approaches. Collaborative Helping is grounded in family-centered principles that include: striving for cultural curiosity, believing in resourcefulness, working in partnership, and making our work more accountable to the clients we serve. The article introduces collaborative inquiry as an organizing metaphor for clinical practice and offers a five-step practice framework with clinical illustrations and sample questions. The framework draws from appreciative inquiry, motivational interviewing, the signs of safety approach to child protection work, and solution-focused and narrative therapies.


Rober, Peter (2009): Relational Drawings in Couple Therapy. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 117-133.

abstract: In couple therapy sessions, partners often get into long and drawn-out discussions, heavy with pain, resentment, and blame. It is vital for the therapist to avoid becoming entangled in these escalating interactions. In this article, as one way of avoiding these interactions, a protocol is proposed of using relational drawings in couple therapy for opening space for new stories. This approach is strongly rooted in extensive therapeutic experience, as well as in dialogical ideas. Not the content of the partners’ imagery is central, but rather the dialogical exchange about the drawings. In particular, the focus of the therapist is on the partners’ interactions, their hesitations and their surprises. Working in this way opens space for the partners to reflect on what they experience as crucial in their bond. The protocol is illustrated with two detailed case examples.


Nicolas, Guerda, Angela Desilva, Kimberly Prater & Elizabeth Bronkoski (2009): Empathic Family Stress as a Sign of Family Connectedness in Haitian Immigrants. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 135-150.

abstract: Research on familial experiences has documented the important role of receiving family support, but has not examined the effects of providing such support. Empathic family stress refers to the stress that individuals experience in response to difficult life circumstances of family members. The current study took a first step in examining the empathic family stress of 134 Haitian immigrants. Results from hierarchical regressions indicate that empathic family stress is a significant predictor of depressive symptoms, but not acculturative stress, for Haitian immigrants. Findings from the study are examined from a strengths-based perspective, where empathic family stress is viewed as a sign of strong family connections among Haitian immigrants. Recommendations are provided for clinicians working with Haitian immigrants to help them experience empathic family stress in a healthy manner.


Morrison, Marie & Susan James (2009): Portuguese Immigrant Families: The Impact of Acculturation. In: Family Process 48(1): S. 151-166.

abstract: Portuguese immigrants to North America represent a large ethnic group with unique family therapy needs. The present study investigates acculturation and the family lives of Portuguese (Azorean) immigrants in Canada. Methods of analytic induction and constant comparison from grounded theory were used to examine transcripts of interviews with 21 Azorean immigrant women and 28 Azorean immigrant men. A model emerged wherein (a) immigration and acculturation act as stressors on the family unit, as described by the categories Process of Change and Family Relationships; (b) family members adopt generation- and gender-specific acculturative strategies, as illustrated by the categories Duas Culturas (Two Cultures) and Falando Portuges (Speaking Portuguese); and (c) as family members acculturate, discords arise and are resolved according to the cultural traits different members have adopted. The categories Discord Resolution and Preocupacao (Preoccupations) illustrate this last dynamic. Implications for family therapy with immigrant families include an indication for communitylevel interventions, emphasis on confidentiality, awareness of acculturation stress and different acculturative strategies within the family, and aiding the family in the negotiation and integration of a new bicultural reality.


Process, Family (2009): Erratum: Correction to "Individual Resiliency Factors from a Genetic Perspective: Results from a Twin Study". In: Family Process S. 167-167



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