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Journ. of Fam.Ther.
Family Process
perspekt. mediation
Psychoth. im Dialog
Soziale Systeme
System Familie
"Das erste Mal"
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Family Process Heft 3/2013
1/2013 - 2/2013 - 3/2013 - 4/2013 - Überblick

Lebow, Jay L. (2013): Editorial: Programs for Strengthening Families. In: Family Process 52 (3): 351-354.

Kotzé, Elmarie, Thérèse Hulme, Tertius Geldenhuys & Kaethe Weingarten (2013): In the Wake of Violence: Enacting and Witnessing Hope Among People. In: Family Process 52 (3): 355-367.

abstract: In the territory of violence and despair, hope is rare. Recent work on hope has shifted attention from hope as a feeling to hope as a practice that people can do together. This case report of a family exposed to domestic violence highlights the role played by a South African police officer in the mother’s actions to separate from the context of violence. As a witness to the violence, the police officer acted from an ethic of justice and an ethic of compassion. Outsider witnessing of a counseling session resulted in the recruiting of a community of acknowledgement for the mother, the police officer, and an Assistant Commissioner of Police. Listening carefully and doing hope together gave rise to alliances against practices of violence. As a step of accountability, the authors used reflexive practices to question their responses and to avoid colonizing practices.

Nasim, Ron & Yochay Nadan (2013): Couples Therapy with Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivors (CSA) and their Partners: Establishing a Context for Witnessing. In: Family Process 52 (3): 368-377.

abstract: This article proposes a clinical practice for therapy with couples in which one partner suffered sexual abuse in childhood. Such couples often encounter unique difficulties with physical contact, intimacy, sexuality, communication, and trust, and their relationship dynamic may be marked by reenactments of past traumatic relational patterns. This clinical practice is founded on the assumption that establishing the witnessing lacking during the traumatic event in childhood can break the traumatic reenactments in adulthood, and spur recovery. The suggested practice may facilitate twofold witnessing: the couple’s therapist witnesses the reenactments of the trauma in the couple’s relationship; and the survivor’s partner witnesses the trauma’s effect on the survivor’s personal life and relationship. Twofold witnessing can help break the cycle of traumatic reenactment and help the survivor integrate the events of her life into a more coherent, continuous narrative. The partner’s presence also facilitates acknowledgement of what happened to the survivor, and helps the survivor elaborate on her stories of resistance, survival, and strength. Finally, each of the partners is able to appear more wholly and fully, and together to tell the preferred stories of their life as a couple, replete with the multiple relational patterns they wish to live, which may contradict the characteristics of the original trauma.

Valdez, Carmen R., Jessica Abegglen & Claire T. Hauser (2013): Fortalezas Familiares Program: Building Sociocultural and Family Strengths in Latina Women with Depression and Their Families. In: Family Process 52 (3): 378-393.

abstract: The purpose of this article is to describe Fortalezas Familiares (FF; Family Strengths), a community-based prevention program designed to address relational family processes and promote well-being among Latino families when a mother has depression. Although depression in Latina women is becoming increasingly recognized, risk and protective mechanisms associated with children’s outcomes when a mother has depression are not well understood for Latino families. We begin by reviewing the literature on risk and protective psychosocial mechanisms by which maternal depression may affect Latino youth, using family systems theory and a developmental psychopathology framework with an emphasis on sociocultural factors shaping family processes. Next, we describe the theoretical basis and development of the FF program, a community-based 12-week intervention for Latina immigrant women with depression, other caregivers, and their children. Throughout this article, we use a case study to illustrate a Latina mother’s vulnerability to depression and the family’s response to the FF program. Recommendations for future research and practice include consideration of sociocultural processes in shaping both outcomes of Latino families and their response to interventions.

Valdez, Carmen R., Brian Padilla, Sarah McArdell Moore & Sandra Magaña (2013): Feasibility, Acceptability, and Preliminary Outcomes of the Fortalezas Familiares Intervention for Latino Families Facing Maternal Depression. In: Family Process 52 (3): 394-410.

abstract: This pilot study examined the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary outcomes of a linguistically and culturally adapted intervention for immigrant Latina mothers with depression and their families. Fortalezas Familiares (Family Strengths) is a community-based, 12-week, multifamily group intervention that aims to increase communication about family processes leading up to and affected by the mother’s depression, build child coping and efficacy, enhance parenting competence and skills, and promote cultural and social assets within the family. In terms of feasibility, of 16 families who enrolled and participated in the intervention, 13 families attended more than 90% of meetings and completed the intervention. Posttests reported positive changes following the intervention, including improved psychological functioning, increased family and marital support, and enhanced family functioning, as reported by mothers and other caregivers. Mothers also reported decreased conduct and hyperactivity problems among their children. Children reported positive changes in their psychological functioning and coping, parenting warmth and acceptance, and overall family functioning. Postintervention focus groups and surveys measuring acceptability revealed families‘ satisfaction with the intervention and suggested areas of improvement. We discuss similarities and differences in outcomes between the adapted intervention, Fortalezas Familiares, and the original intervention, Keeping Families Strong, and propose future areas of intervention adaptation and development.

Roux, Gemma, Kate Sofronoff & Matthew Sanders (2013): A Randomized Controlled Trial of Group Stepping Stones Triple P: A Mixed-Disability Trial. In: Family Process 52 (3): 411-424.

abstract: Stepping Stones Triple P (SSTP) is a parenting program designed for families of a child with a disability. The current study involved a randomized controlled trial of Group Stepping Stones Triple P (GSSTP) for a mixed-disability group. Participants were 52 families of children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, or an intellectual disability. The results demonstrated significant improvements in parent-reported child behavior, parenting styles, parental satisfaction, and conflict about parenting. Results among participants were similar despite children’s differing impairments. The intervention effect was maintained at 6-month follow-up. The results indicate that GSSTP is a promising intervention for a mixed-disability group. Limitations of the study, along with areas for future research, are also discussed.

Hektner, Joel M., Alison L. Brennan & Sean E. Brotherson (2013): A Review of the Nurtured Heart Approach to Parenting: Evaluation of its Theoretical and Empirical Foundations. In: Family Process 52 (3): 425-439.

abstract: The Nurtured Heart Approach to parenting (NHA; Glasser & Easley, 2008) is summarized and evaluated in terms of its alignment with current theoretical perspectives and empirical evidence in family studies and developmental science. Originally conceived and promoted as a behavior management approach for parents of difficult children (i.e., with behavior disorders), NHA is increasingly offered as a valuable strategy for parents of any children, despite a lack of published empirical support. Parents using NHA are trained to minimize attention to undesired behaviors, provide positive attention and praise for compliance with rules, help children be successful by scaffolding and shaping desired behavior, and establish a set of clear rules and consequences. Many elements of the approach have strong support in the theoretical and empirical literature; however, some of the assumptions are more questionable, such as that negative child behavior can always be attributed to unintentional positive reinforcement by parents responding with negative attention. On balance, NHA appears to promote effective and validated parenting practices, but its effectiveness now needs to be tested empirically.

Wong, Jessie J., Danielle S. Roubinov, Nancy A. Gonzales, Larry E. Dumka & Roger E. Millsap (2013): Father Enrollment and Participation in a Parenting Intervention: Personal and Contextual Predictors. In: Family Process 52 (3): 440-454.

abstract: Fathers are an important, though often underrepresented, population in family interventions. Notably, the inclusion of ethnic minority fathers is particularly scarce. An understanding of factors that promote and hinder father participation may suggest strategies by which to increase fathers‘ presence in studies designed to engage the family unit. The current research examined Mexican origin (MO) fathers‘ involvement in a family-focused intervention study. Participants included 495 fathers from eligible two-parent MO families with an adolescent child. Individual, familial, and culturally relevant predictors based on father, mother, and/or child report data were collected through pretest interviews and included in two separate logistic regression analyses that predicted the following: (1) father enrollment in the study and (2) father participation in the intervention. Results indicated that higher levels of maternal education and lower levels of economic stress and interparental conflict were associated with increased father enrollment in the study. Rates of father participation in the intervention were higher among families characterized by lower levels of interparental conflict, economic stress, and Spanish language use. Results highlight the relevancy of the familial and environmental context to MO fathers‘ research participation decisions. These findings as well as their implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Wilde, Jason L. & William J. Doherty (2013): Outcomes of an Intensive Couple Relationship Education Program with Fragile Families. In: Family Process 52 (3): 455-464.

abstract: Couple relationship education (CRE) has been proposed as one means to help fragile families stabilize their relationships. The current research is one of the first studies to look at the outcomes of a CRE program with fragile families in the areas of couple stability and marriage formation. Data were from the Family Formation Project, a federal and state funded program working with fragile family couples (n=96) in a metropolitan area. A historical cohort control group quasi-experimental research design was used with a matched control group from the Fragile Family and Child Well-being Study. The intervention consisted of in-home education and support, group educational events, and social service referrals. Findings showed that couples had the same rate of couple stability as the control group but an increased rate of marriage. These findings suggest that CRE can help fragile families achieve marriage when that is their goal, but that some fragile families may need more than CRE to help them stabilize their relationship, or they may be better off separating.

Owen, Jesse, Becky Antle & Anita Barbee (2013): Alliance and Group Cohesion in Relationship Education. In: Family Process 52 (3): 465-476.

abstract: Relationship education programs have been shown as an effective way to increase relationship functioning. There is less known about how process factors, such as alliance with the leader or group dynamics, affect outcomes in these interventions. We examined group cohesion and alliance with the leader in a relationship education program tailored for individuals. Specifically, we examined whether participants‘ ratings (n=126) of the group cohesion and alliance with the leader were associated with changes in relationship adjustment, relationship confidence, and communication quality from pre- to postintervention. The results demonstrated that participants‘ perceptions of the cohesion among the members in their relationship education group, but not the leader-participant alliance, made a significant contribution to the changes in participants‘ relationship functioning. These results suggest that the group dynamics among the members in the group are important ingredients in relationship education. Implications for relationship programs are provided.

Shamblen, Stephen R., Brooke B. Arnold, Patrick Mckiernan, David A. Collins & Ted N. Strader (2013): Applying the Creating Lasting Family Connections Marriage Enhancement Program to Marriages Affected by Prison Reentry. In: Family Process 52 (3): 477-498.

abstract: Divorce proportions are currently high in the US and they are even higher among those who are incarcerated with substance abuse problems. Although much research has examined marital interventions, only two studies have examined marital interventions with prison populations. There is some empirical evidence that incarcerated couples benefit from traditional marital therapy (O’Farrell and Fals-Stewart, 1999, Addictions: A comprehensive guidebook, New York, Oxford University Press). An adaptation of the evidence-based Creating Lasting Family Connections program was implemented with 144 married couples, where one spouse was incarcerated, in a southern state with particularly high divorce and incarceration proportions. Results suggested that married men exposed to the program had larger improvements in some relationship skills relative to a convenience sample of men not so exposed. Both husbands and wives exposed to the program exhibited similar and significant increases in relationship skills. The results were comparable to a Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program adaptation for inmates. The implications of the findings for prevention practitioners are discussed.

Lee, Wai-Yung, Shin-Ichi Nakamura, Moon Ja Chung, Young Ju Chun, Meng Fu, Shu-Chuan Liang & Cui-Lian Liu (2013): Asian Couples in Negotiation: A Mixed-Method Observational Study of Cultural Variations Across Five Asian Regions. In: Family Process 52 (3): 499-518.

abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore variations in how contemporary couples from five different Asian regions negotiate disagreements. Video recordings of 50 couples (10 each from Japan, Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong) discussing unresolved disagreements provided raw data for quantitative and qualitative analyses. First, teams of coders from each region used a common protocol to make quantitative ratings of content themes and interaction patterns for couples from their own region. An interregional panel of investigators then performed in-depth qualitative reviews for half of these cases, noting cultural differences not only in observed patterns of couple behavior but also in their own perceptions of these patterns. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed clear regional differences on dimensions such as overt negativity, demand-withdraw interaction, and collaboration. The qualitative results also provided a richer, more nuanced view of other (e.g., gender-linked) conflict management patterns that the quantitative analyses did not capture. Inconsistencies between qualitative and quantitative data and between the qualitative observations of investigators from different regions were most pronounced for couples from Korea and Japan, whose conflict styles were subtler and less direct than those of couples from the other regions.

Rauer, Amy & Brenda Volling (2013): More than One Way to be Happy: A Typology of Marital Happiness. In: Family Process 52 (3): 519-534.

abstract: This study utilized observational and self-report data from 57 happily married couples to explore assumptions regarding marital happiness. Suggesting that happily married couples are not a homogeneous group, cluster analyses revealed the existence of three types of couples based on their observed behaviors in a problem-solving task: (1) mutually engaged couples (characterized by both spouses‘ higher negative and positive problem-solving); (2) mutually supportive couples (characterized by both spouses‘ higher positivity and support); and (3) wife compensation couples (characterized by high wife positivity). Although couples in all three clusters were equally happy with and committed to their marriages, these clusters were differentially associated with spouses‘ evaluations of their marriage. Spouses in the mutually supportive cluster reported greater intimacy and maintenance and less conflict and ambivalence, although this was more consistently the case in comparison to the wife compensation cluster, as opposed to the mutually engaged cluster. The implications of these typologies are discussed as they pertain to efforts on the part of both practitioners to promote marital happiness and repair marital relations when couples are faced with difficulties.

Borelli, Jessica L., David A. Sbarra, Ashley K. Randall, Jonathan E. Snavely, John St., Heather K. & Sarah K. Ruiz (2013): Linguistic Indicators of Wives‘ Attachment Security and Communal Orientation During Military Deployment. In: Family Process 52 (3): 535-554.

abstract: Military deployment affects thousands of families each year, yet little is known about its impact on nondeployed spouses (NDSs) and romantic relationships. This report examines two factors - attachment security and a communal orientation with respect to the deployment - that may be crucial to successful dyadic adjustment by the NDS. Thirty-seven female NDSs reported on their relationship satisfaction before and during their partner’s deployment, and 20 also did so 2 weeks following their partner’s return. Participants provided a stream-of-consciousness speech sample regarding their relationship during the deployment; linguistic coding of sample transcripts provided measures of each participant’s (a) narrative coherence, hypothesized to reflect attachment security with respect to their deployed spouse; and (b) frequency of first person plural pronoun use (we-talk), hypothesized to reflect a communal orientation to coping. More frequent first person plural pronounuse - we-talk - was uniquely associated with higher relationship satisfaction during the deployment, and greater narrative coherence was uniquely associated with higher relationship satisfaction during postdeployment. Discussion centers on the value of relationship security and communal orientations in predicting how couples cope with deployment and other types of relationship stressors.

Rodriguez, Aubrey J. & Gayla Margolin (2013): Wives‘ and Husbands‘ Cortisol Reactivity to Proximal and Distal Dimensions of Couple Conflict. In: Family Process 52 (3): 555-569.

abstract: Poor marital quality has been linked repeatedly to spouses‘ health problems, with alterations to physiological stress response systems, such as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, as one putative mechanism. This study assessed wives‘ and husbands‘ HPA axis (i.e., cortisol) reactivity to marital criticism during laboratory-based conflict discussions, in the context of marital aggression experienced during the previous year. Ninety-five couples provided one saliva sample prior to - and three samples following - a triadic family conflict discussion involving their teenage child. Marital criticism during the conflict discussion was related to heightened HPA reactivity for husbands only. For wives, an interaction emerged between criticism during the conflict and previous-year marital aggression: only those wives who had experienced high levels of marital aggression demonstrated a positive association between criticism and cortisol output. Husbands thus appeared to be more physiologically reactive to the in-the-moment critical behaviors, whereas wives‘ responses to proximal conflict were related to previous and perhaps more chronic experiences of marital aggression. These findings shed light on ways in which within-couple processes during family conflicts involving children contribute to individual physiological functioning, enhancing our understanding of the role of family relationships in physical health outcomes.

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