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Family Process Heft 1/2014
1/2014 - 2/2014 - 3/2014 - 4/2014 - Überblick


Lebow, Jay L. (2014): Editorial: New Frontiers for Family Therapy-Family Centered Practice and Neuroscience. In: Family Process 53 (1): 1-2.


Madsen, William C. (2014): Applications of Collaborative Helping Maps: Supporting Professional Development, Supervision and Work Teams in Family-Centered Practice. In: Family Process 53 (1): 3-21.

abstract: Collaborative, family-centered practice has become an influential approach in helping efforts across a broad spectrum of human services. This article draws from previous work that presented a principle-based, practice framework of Collaborative Helping and highlighted the use of Collaborative Helping maps as a tool both to help workers think their way through complex situations and to provide a guideline for constructive conversations between families and helpers about challenging issues. It builds on that work to examine ways to utilize Collaborative Helping maps at worker, supervisory, and organizational levels to enhance and sustain collaborative, family-centered practice and weave its core values and principles into the everyday fabric of organizational cultures in human service agencies and government agencies that serve poor and marginalized families and communities.


Patterson, Jo Ellen & Susanna Vakili (2014): Relationships, Environment, and the Brain: How Emerging Research is Changing What We Know about the Impact of Families on Human Development. In: Family Process 53 (1): 22-32.

abstract: Recent research is providing family therapists with new information about the complex interaction between an individual’s biological makeup and his/her social and physical environment. Family and social relationships, particularly during sensitive periods early in life, can affect a child’s biological foundation. Additionally, stress during the early years can have a lasting effect on an individual’s physical and mental health and contribute to the onset of severe mental illness. Community programs have been developed to intervene early with families who have an at-risk child to prevent or minimize the onset of mental illness including providing partnerships with at-risk mothers of infants to shape attachment relationships. Programs are also developing individual and family interventions to prevent the onset of psychosis. Practicing family therapists can incorporate emerging neuroscience and early intervention research and leverage the growing base of community programs to enhance the effectiveness and sustainability of mental health outcomes for clients. Additionally, family therapy education programs should broaden student training to incorporate the growing body of information about how family relationships affect individual mental health development.


Gonzalez, Michelle, Deborah Jones & Justin Parent (2014): Coparenting Experiences in African American Families: An Examination of Single Mothers and their Nonmarital Coparents. In: Family Process 53 (1): 33-54.

abstract: African American youth from single-mother homes continue to be overrepresented in statistics on risk behavior and delinquency, a trend that many be attributed to father-absence, socioeconomic disadvantage, and compromises in parenting more typical of single than two-parent families. Yet, this risk-focused perspective ignores a long-standing strength of the African American community, the involvement and potential protective impact of extended family members in childrearing. This study describes the experiences of 95 African American single mothers and their nonmarital coparents who participated in a study of African American single-mother families with an 11-16-year-old child. Specifically, the study examines: (a) the extent to which nonmarital coparents are involved in childrearing; (b) the relative levels of risk (i.e., depression, mother-coparent conflict) and protective (i.e., parenting) associated with maternal and coparent involvement; and (c) how similarly and/or differently coparent and mother variables operate with regard to youth externalizing problems. Findings reveal that a range of family members and other adults actively participate in childrearing in African American single-mother families, coparents do not differ from mothers on certain study variables (i.e., depression and mother-coparent conflict) but do for others (parenting), and coparent involvement is associated with youth adjustment in ways that are similar to our more established understanding of maternal involvement. The potential clinical implications of the findings are discussed and future research directions are highlighted.


Kim, Lana, Carmen Knudson-Martin & Amy Tuttle (2014): Toward Relationship-Directed Parenting: An Example of North American Born Second-Generation Korean-American Mothers and their Partners. In: Family Process 53 (1): 55-66.

abstract: Historically, parenting has been constructed hierarchically; however, contemporary parenting models frequently emphasize parenting as relationship (Siegel & Hartzell [2004] Parenting from the inside out: How a deeper self-understanding can help you raise children who thrive; Tuttle, Knudson-Martin, & Kim [2012] Family Process, 51, 73-89). Drawing on interviews with 20 North American born second-generation Korean-American mothers and their partners, and sensitized by TP-CRO, a social constructionist framework for conceptualizing parent-child relational orientations, this grounded theory analysis identified three main processes that facilitate relational connection as a parenting orientation rather than the rule-directed approach historically associated with first-generation immigrant Asian families. These include: (a) emphasizing dominant culture values; (b) inviting open communication; and (c) promoting mutuality. Results also show how parents integrate collectivist cultural values of their first generation immigrant parents‘ traditional culture into North American parenting ideals with which they primarily identify. The study demonstrates the usefulness of the TP-CRO for understanding parent-child relationships within multicultural parenting contexts and offers suggestions for working with second-generation Korean families.


Zhou, Ting & Chunli Yi (2014): Parenting Styles and Parents‘ Perspectives on How Their Own Emotions Affect the Functioning of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In: Family Process 53 (1): 67-79.

abstract: The grounded theory method was used to analyze the parenting styles used by caregivers to rear children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and to investigate parents‘ experiences regarding how to help their child overcome the symptoms. Thirty-two parents from 28 families of children with ASD in mainland China were interviewed. Analysis of interview transcripts revealed four patterns of parenting styles which varied in affiliation to the roles of caretaker and coach. Based on their experience, a sizable group of parents perceived that their own emotions influence the child’s emotions and his/her symptoms. The results suggest the value of developing intervention programs on emotion regulation and positive parenting for the parents of children with ASD.


Fagan, Jay & Yookyong Lee (2014): Longitudinal Associations among Fathers‘ Perception of Coparenting, Partner Relationship Quality, and Paternal Stress during Early Childhood. In: Family Process 53 (1): 80-96.

abstract: This study examined the longitudinal and concurrent associations among fathers‘ perceptions of partner relationship quality (happiness, conflict), coparenting (shared decision making, conflict), and paternal stress. The sample consisted of 6,100 children who lived with both biological parents at 24 and 48¬†months in the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort data set. The results showed that there are significant and concurrent associations between fathers‘ perceptions of the coparenting relationship and paternal stress, and between partner relationship quality and paternal stress. There was also a positive direct longitudinal association between partner relationship conflict and paternal stress. However, we found only one longitudinal cross-system mediation effect: fathers‘ perception of coparenting conflict at 48¬†months mediated the association between partner relationship conflict at 24¬†months and paternal stress at 48¬†months. The family practice implications of these findings are discussed.


Shapiro, Danielle (2014): Stepparents and Parenting Stress: The Roles of Gender, Marital Quality, and Views about Gender Roles. In: Family Process 53 (1): 97-108.

abstract: Previous research suggests that stepparenting can be stressful, although the mechanisms that contribute to the experience of parenting stress in stepfamilies are less clear. This study examines gender, marital quality, and views about gendered family roles as correlates of parenting stress among 310 stepmothers, stepfathers, and biological mothers and fathers. Findings suggest that stepparents, and especially stepmothers, experience higher levels of parenting stress than biological parents. Findings also suggest that less traditional views about gendered family roles and higher dyadic adjustment are associated with lower parenting stress for stepparents, particularly in combination. Stepparents reporting both of these protective factors were indistinguishable in terms of parenting stress from biological parents. These findings indicate potential pathways to mitigate the stress associated with stepparenting.


McNeil, Sharde’ N., Frank D. Fincham & Steven R. H. Beach (2014): Does Spousal Support Moderate the Association Between Perceived Racial Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms among African American Couples? In: Family Process 53 (1): 109-119.

abstract: Social stress theory proposes that stress resulting from one’s social position in society leads to fewer coping resources, and subsequently causes an increase in mental health problems. Guided by this framework, we investigated whether the relationship between perceived discrimination and depressive symptoms was moderated by spousal social support in a sample of 487 African American heterosexual couples. Using the actor-partner interdependence model, findings suggested that female partner’s perceived racial discrimination was predictive of her depressive symptomology irrespective of spousal support and male partner’s perceived racial discrimination was predictive of depressive symptomology only among men with low levels of spousal support. No partner effects were present. The results demonstrate the need to examine variability in social stress and mental health outcomes for those in close relationships.


Murdock, Kyle W., M. Christine Lovejoy & Kate B. Oddi (2014): An Actor-Partner Interdependence Analysis of Associations between Affect and Parenting Behavior among Couples. In: Family Process 53 (1): 120-130.

abstract: Prior studies evaluating associations between parental affect and parenting behavior have typically focused on either mothers or fathers despite evidence suggesting that affect and parenting behavior may be interdependent among couples. This study addressed this gap in the literature by evaluating associations between self-reported affect and parenting behavior using an actor-partner interdependence analysis among a sample of 53 mother-father dyads of 3- to 5-year-old children. Results suggested that mothers‘ and fathers‘ negative affect, as well as mothers‘ and fathers‘ positive affect, were positively associated. Both mothers‘ and fathers‘ negative affect were negatively associated with fathers‘ positive affect. Mothers‘ and fathers‘ harsh/negative parenting behavior, and supportive/engaged parenting behavior, were positively associated. Furthermore, mothers‘ negative affect was positively associated with mothers‘ and fathers‘ harsh/negative parenting behavior while mothers‘ positive affect was negatively associated with mothers‘ harsh/negative behavior and positively associated with mothers‘ supportive/engaged behavior. Fathers‘ negative affect was positively associated with fathers‘ supportive/engaged parenting behavior, while fathers‘ positive affect was positively associated with mothers‘ and fathers‘ supportive/engaged behavior. Results highlight the importance of conceptualizing and measuring characteristics of both mothers and fathers, if applicable, when researching the dynamics of interpersonal relationships within families.


Sher, Tamara, Lynne Braun, Andrea Domas, Albert Bellg, Donald H. Baucom & Timothy T. Houle (2014): The Partners for Life Program: A Couples Approach to Cardiac Risk Reduction. In: Family Process 53 (1): 131-149.

abstract: Morbidity and mortality are reliably lower for the married compared with the unmarried across a variety of illnesses. What is less well understood is how a couple uses their relationship for recommended lifestyle changes associated with decreased risk for illness. Partners for Life compared a patient and partner approach to behavior change with a patient only approach on such factors as exercise, nutrition, and medication adherence. Ninety-three patients and their spouses/partners consented to participate (26% of those eligible) and were randomized into either the individual or couples condition. However, only 80 couples, distributed across conditions, contributed data to the analyses, due to missing data and missing data points. For exercise, there was a significant effect of couples treatment on the increase in activity and a significant effect of couples treatment on the acceleration of treatment over time. In addition, there was an interaction between marital satisfaction and treatment condition such that patients who reported higher levels of marital distress in the individuals condition did not maintain their physical activity gains by the end of treatment, while both distressed and nondistressed patients in the couples treatment exhibited accelerating gains throughout treatment. In terms of medication adherence, patients in the couples treatment exhibited virtually no change in medication adherence over time, while patients in the individuals treatment showed a 9% relative decrease across time. There were no condition or time effects for nutritional outcomes. Finally, there was an interaction between baseline marital satisfaction and treatment condition such that patients in the individuals condition who reported lower levels of initial marital satisfaction showed deterioration in marital satisfaction, while non satisfied patients in the couples treatment showed improvement over time.


Gelkopf, Marc & David Roe (2014): Evaluating Outcome Domains Assessing Caregivers of Individuals with Mental Illness: A Review. In: Family Process 53 (1): 150-174.

abstract: In this article, we describe the properties and consider the outcome dimensions of a collection of self-administered questionnaires that assess caregivers of offspring with mental illness. To this end, we searched the MEDLINE, Web of Science, and PsycINFO databases, as well as reference lists of studies published between 1980 and 2012. We reviewed 43 instruments, and found multiple outcome domains, associated with either objective burden or subjective burden, or both. A number of tools captured additional negative aspects of caregiving (e.g., strain, stress, and worrying) as well as positive aspects (e.g., personal growth, strength, support, rewards, and satisfaction), supplemented by measures assessing caregivers‘ perceptions and attitudes toward their offspring with SMI (e.g., insight, stigma, and efficacy). This current review of existing measures and their specific domains contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the caregiving experience and allows both clinicians and researchers to select the most appropriate measurement tools for their purposes.



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