The number of American children living in partner-violent households was estimated from a nationally representative sample of 1,615 dual-parent households. Approximately 15.5 million American children were estimated to live in families in which partner violence had occurred at least once in the previous year, with 7 million estimated to live in families in which severe partner violence had occurred. The prevalence of partner violence was higher among couples with children than among couples without children.
Associations between sibling conflict in middle childhood and psychological adjustment in early adolescence were studied in a sample of 80 boys and 56 girls. Parents and children provided self-report data about family relationships and children's adjustment. Parents' hostility to children was assessed from videotaped interactions. Results showed that sibling conflict at Time 1 predicted increases in children's anxiety, depressed mood, and delinquent behavior 2 years later. Moreover, earlier sibling conflict at Time 1 accounted for unique variance in young adolescents' Time 2 anxiety, depressed mood, and delinquent behavior above and beyond the variance explained by earlier maternal hostility and marital conflict. Children's adjustment at Time 1 did not predict sibling conflict at Time 2. Results highlight the unique significance of the earlier sibling relationship for young adolescents' psychological adjustment.
The relationships between two forms of husband sexual aggression (coercion and threatened/forced sex) and husband physical and psychological aggression were examined among a community sample of 164 couples. A stronger relationship between physical and sexual aggression was obtained than in previous research. Husbands' physical and psychological aggression predicted husbands' sexual coercion, but only physical aggression predicted threatened/forced sex. The more severely physically violent subtypes of the A. Holtzworth-Munroe et al. (2000) typology engaged in the most sexual coercion, and the most violent subtype (generally violent/antisocial) engaged in the most threatened/forced sex. In examining C. M. Monson and J. Langhinrichsen-Rohling's (1998) typology, the existence of a sexually violent--only subtype was documented, physically nonviolent husbands were found to engage in sexual coercion, and sexually and physically violent husbands engaged in the highest level of sexual aggression. The utility of using multiple measures, and both spouses' reports, to assess sexual aggression is emphasized.
The Infant Health and Development Program is a two-generation early education model designed to improve parenting competence and child well-being. As part of an 8-site randomized clinical trial involving low birthweight premature children, assessments of children and parents were gathered at the time of program completion (age 3), with follow-up at ages 5, 8, and 18. Two key parenting processes were assessed at age 18 based on theory stipulating the centrality of parenting to long-term development in children. Analyses based on 283 control group and 178 Infant Health and Development Program treatment group participants revealed that treatment group mothers scored higher on one, the provision of enriching experiences. Evidence of sustained impacts on parenting suggests that carefully structured two-generation early education programs may prove good investments for promoting competence and adaptive functioning in high-risk children.
Reports an error in "Family Functioning and Children's Adjustment: Associations Among Parents' Depressed Mood, Marital Hostility, Parent-Child Hostility, and Children's Adjustment" by Sabina M. Low and Clare Stocker (Journal of Family Psychology, 2005[Sep], Vol 19, 394-403). Figure 5 (p.401) contains an error. This error is addressed in the correction. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2005-12090-007.) Relations between parents' depressed mood, marital conflict, parent-child hostility, and children's adjustment were examined in a community sample of 136 ten-year-olds and their parents. Videotaped observational and self-report data were used to examine these relations in path analyses. A proposed model was tested in which mothers' and fathers' depressed mood and marital hostility were associated with children's adjustment problems through disruptions in parent-child relationships. Results showed that both mothers' and fathers' marital hostility were linked to parent-child hostility, which in turn was linked to children's internalizing problems. Fathers' depressed mood was linked to children's internalizing problems indirectly through father-child hostility. Fathers' depressed mood was directly linked to children's externalizing problems and indirectly linked through father-child hostility. For mothers, marital hostility was directly linked to children's externalizing problems, and marital hostility in fathers was indirectly linked to children's externalizing problems through father-child hostility. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
This study drew on data from the National Child Development Study to explore the role of father involvement and mother involvement at age 7 in father-child and mother-child relations at age 16, and the role of closeness to father and closeness to mother at age 16 in quality of relationship with partner at age 33. Closeness to mother was associated with closeness to father, intact family structure and academic motivation, and closeness to father with closeness to mother, early father involvement, less emotional and behavioral problems in adolescence, male gender and academic motivation. Closeness to father at age 16 was more strongly related to level of father involvement at age 7 for daughters than for sons and to closeness to mother for sons than for daughters. Marital adjustment at age 33 was related to good relationships with siblings, mother, and father at age 16; less current psychological distress; female gender; and educational attainment.
The authors reviewed 94 studies published in journals since 1980 on religion and marital or parental functioning. Meta-analytic techniques were used to quantify religion-family associations examined in at least 3 studies. Greater religiousness appeared to decrease the risk of divorce and facilitate marital functioning, but the effects were small. Greater Christian conservatism was modestly associated with greater endorsement and use of corporal punishment with preadolescents. Isolated findings suggested that greater parental religiousness relates to more positive parenting and better child adjustment. The scope, meaningfulness, and potential strength of findings were restricted because of reliance on global or single-item measures of religious and family domains. To facilitate more conceptually and methodologically sophisticated research, the authors delineated mechanisms by which the substantive and psychosocial elements of religion could benefit or harm family adjustment.
In an attempt to replicate the J. M. Gottman et al. (1995) batterer typology, 58 men who had engaged in moderate-to-severe marital violence in the past year were studied. The sample was split into Gottman et al.'s Type 1 men (i.e., whose heart rates decreased, from baseline, during a marital conflict task) and Type 2 men (i.e., whose heart rates increased). The groups did not differ in the manner predicted on measures of marital violence, antisocial or aggressive-sadistic personality, drug dependence, criminality, general violence, childhood exposure to interparental violence, behavior during marital interactions, or relationship stability. Contrary to expectations, wives of Type 1 men rated their husband as more jealous and angry and reported more marital distress. In the only finding consistent with Gottman et al., Type 2 men scored higher on a measure of dependent personality. Implications for future research are discussed.
The present study attempts to replicate Gottman et al.'s (1995; see record 1995-44075-001; and Jacobson & Gottman, 1998) psychophysiological study that classifies partner assaultive men into two distinct groups: heart rate (HR) decelerators (Type 1 batterers) and HR accelerators (Type 2 batterers). Current results indicate no significant differences between Type 1 and Type 2 batterers on the antisocial spectrum of behaviors. Resting HR, rather than HR change, was negatively related to the antisocial spectrum of behavior for batterers with severe, clinical levels of violence only. Reasons for subsequent failures to replicate the Type 1 versus Type 2 distinctions may be attributable to unusually high autonomic arousal during baseline in the original study. Consideration of resting HR and the use of dimensional as opposed to categorical approaches in analyzing the heterogeneity of batterers are proposed as possible solutions to clarifying inconsistencies across laboratories.
Comments on the J. C. Meehan, A. Holtzworth-Munroe, and K. Herron (2001) failure to replicate the J. M. Gottman et al. (1995) results of 2 different types of batterers, defined by heart rate reactivity: Type 1 men lowered their heart rate from baseline to the high-conflict marital discussion, and Type 2 men increased their heart rate from baseline to the high-conflict marital discussion. Discussion is about criminality-psychopathy literature associated hypoarousal and hyporeactivity and the hostility-cardiovascular disease literature, which reports associated hyperreactivity and hostility related to cardiovascular disease. The Type 1-Type 2 distinction should be referred to these two venerable literatures. This article proposes the hypothesis that the Meehan et al. study failed to replicate Gottman et al. because it used a low-conflict marital discussion rather than the high-conflict discussion Gottman et al. used. This article reviews a study that did use a high-conflict marital task and found results generally supporting the Gottman et al. findings.
This study investigated the influence of infants' sleep and crying on marital relationship in first-time parent couples (N = 107) during the 1st year after birth. Control variables are parents' insomnia and parental self-efficacy in handling the baby. Questionnaires were administered to both parents before birth, at 2 and 7 weeks after birth, and at 1 year after birth. Results show that marital problem-solving ability did not change but that marital satisfaction diminished significantly over time. Crying was the main child variable that affected marital satisfaction. Fathers' self-efficacy contributed positively to marital problem solving and negatively to paternal insomnia. Both maternal and paternal insomnia affected spouses' insomnia. As infant sleep problems may worsen preexisting parental insomnia, it is recommended that first-time parents be informed about treatments of insomnia.
Together, the results of 3 studies examining heart rate reactivity (HRR) in male batterers do not provide strong support for the J. M. Gottman et al. (1995) batterer typology. All research groups found similar proportions of severely violent male batterers who show heart rate increases or decreases during a marital conflict discussion, but there was inconsistent validation of this taxonomy on variables of interest. This difference was also found among less violent and nonviolent men. The authors believe HRR may be useful for differentiating batterers on the dimension of anger-hostility but are less optimistic that HRR will reliably identify psychopathic or antisocial batterers. The authors do not agree that low levels of marital interaction conflict led to their failure to replicate. Reanalysis of data from J. C. Meehan, A. Holtzworth-Munroe, and K. Herron (2001) suggests baseline artifacts may be an important determinant of HRR differences. Methodological changes may improve the reliability of HRR assessment.
S. E. Solomon, E. D. Rothblum, and K. F. Balsam's (2004) article provides excellent descriptive and comparative data about the first cohort of same-sex couples seeking civil unions in Vermont. In this comment, the author sets their findings in a culture-specific theoretical context. This framework emphasizes three external risk factors faced by lesbian and gay couples in American society and the negative internal consequences when partners are unable to cope with these external challenges successfully. Forming a civil union can be viewed as an outgrowth of successful coping with these risk factors--a sign of individual, couple, and family resilience in the face of adversity.
K. M. Kinsfogel and J. H. Grych's (2004) article presents a theoretical model to examine the mechanisms by which interparental conflict is associated with adolescents' dating aggression. The study is noteworthy in its focus on the influence of less severe forms of interparental conflict than in most prior investigations, and in the attention it places on the peer group social context in understanding the subtleties of adolescents' intimate relationships. The study provides valuable information about the association between conflictual marital relations and dating aggression among male adolescents while highlighting the need for new models to understand the role of marital conflict in the expression of dating aggression among female adolescents. The study has important implications for partnering with male adolescents to design and adapt dating aggression programs.
In this editorial, the current editor summarizes some of the key accomplishments during her tenure as editor of the Journal of Family Psychology (JFP) for volumes published over the past 6 years (2004-2009). She also takes time out to thank many people responsible for the journal's continued success and reflects upon how this era of the journal reflects that which was promised at the outset of her term. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
The article by A. J. E. Dirkzwager, I. Bramsen, H. Adèr, and H. M. van der Ploeg (2005; see record 2005-06518-006) provides compelling evidence of trauma transmission of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) from male peacekeepers to their female partners. Given the rise in troop deployment throughout the globe and increased exposure of soldiers to combat violence, the investigation is highly relevant, important and timely, illustrating the broad systemic emotional toll on couples when partners go to war. The purpose of this comment is to recommend future research directions (a) to reveal the characteristics of those individuals, couples, and family members that may be predictive of vulnerability and resiliency to PTSS and its sequelae; (b) to understand the interrelationship of PTSS and secondary trauma, relationship adjustment, and social support; and (c) to develop and test intervention methods that may be effective in reducing PTSS and other psychosocial problems among peacekeepers, their partners, and other family members.
This comment summarizes the findings of the article by A. J. E. Dirkzwager, I. Bramsen, H. Adèr, and H. M. van der Ploeg (2005; see record 2005-06518-006) and notes that it can serve as a reawakening about the immediate and long-term psychosocial consequences of war, not only for those troops who are deployed but also for the loved ones who await their return. The lessons learned once again--that the mental health of the returning peacekeeper parallels that of his or her partner, that partners of traumatized soldiers report more posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms, somatic and sleep problems, negative social support, and low marital morale than partners of nontraumatized soldiers--are consistent with systemic traumatology theory. This comment traces the historical and theoretical foundations that underlie the concept of secondary trauma (i.e., compassion fatigue) and discusses the implications for family psychology practice in helping veterans and their families recover from their ordeals.
New findings from a study by A. J. E. Dirkzwager, I. Bramsen, H. Adèr, and H. M. van der Ploeg (2005; see record 2005-06518-006) provide important empirical information on the adverse psychological and functional adjustment of families of former Dutch peacekeepers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this comment the authors consider a few methodological limitations and issues for future study, including the need for intergenerational studies of the legacy of peacekeeping-related PTSD. Attention to considering the treatment needs of families of traumatized former peacekeepers is encouraged.
This reply to Kobak's comments on my article on dogs as attachment figures addresses three issues in defining and assessing features of attachment figures. These include whether some features are more critical than other features, different ways of assessing safe haven as a critical feature of an attachment figure, and whether attachment hierarchies are necessary to identify figures who fulfill the feature of safe haven. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved).
Kurdek's study of dog owners raises a series of provocative questions about the nature of attachment bonds and whether dogs can serve as attachment figures for their owners. This commentary suggests that it is important to distinguish attachment from other types of affectional bonds that are motivated by caregiving, reproductive or affiliative concerns. It is suggested that preferences for attachment figures are best tested in situations involving danger and in situations in which preferences are not confounded with immediate physical proximity. Using these distinctions as a guide, this commentary concludes that although dog owners undoubtedly form affectional bonds with their pets, these bonds are more likely to meet criteria for caregiving rather than attachment bonds.
Reports an error in "Dissemination and effectiveness of multisystemic treatment in New Zealand: A benchmarking study" by Nicola M. Curtis, Kevin R. Ronan, Naamith Heiblum and Kylie Crellin (Journal of Family Psychology, 2009[Apr], Vol 23, 119-129). Errors were noted in Tables 2 and 3 having to do with effect size (ES) calculations for original and benchmarking analyses. The published ESs were not calculated using the appropriately weighted formula listed in the article. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2009-04780-001.) The transportability of Multisystemic Therapy (MST) for the treatment of juvenile offenders in a community-based context was examined in the current study. Results of this New Zealand study showed that significant pre- to posttreatment improvements occurred on most indicators of ultimate (i.e., offending behavior) and instrumental (i.e., youth compliance, family relations) treatment outcomes. Reductions in offending frequency and severity continued to improve across the 6- and 12-month follow-up intervals. In comparison to benchmarked studies, the current study demonstrated a more successful treatment completion rate. Additionally, overall treatment effect sizes were found to be clinically equivalent with the results of previous MST outcome studies with juvenile offenders and significantly greater than the effect sizes found in the control conditions. The findings of this evaluation add to the growing body of evidence that supports MST as an effective treatment for antisocial youth. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Based on the Person-Environment Fit Model, the current prospective study explored the contribution of the interaction between spouses' ways of providing support and patients' attachment orientations to the patients' levels of psychological distress 6 months after experiencing a first Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). One hundred and eleven patients completed a measure of attachment orientations during hospitalization, while their spouses completed a measure of ways of providing support 1 month later. The outcome measures were patients' depressive and anxiety symptoms 6 months after their ACS. Whereas active engagement was associated with lower levels of anxiety symptoms among patients high in attachment anxiety, it was also associated with higher levels of anxiety symptoms among patients low on this orientation. In addition, none of the ways of providing support moderated the association between avoidance and distress. These results shed light on the possible interplay between providers' support and recipients' personalities.
Reports an error in "Spousal support and cardiac patients' distress: The moderating role of attachment orientation" by Noa Vilchinsky, Liat Haze-Filderman, Morton Leibowitz, Orna Reges, Abid Khaskia and Morris Mosseri (Journal of Family Psychology, 2010[Aug], Vol 24, 508-512). The Brief Symptoms Inventory (BSI) which was used (p. 510) ranged from 1 (not at all) to 4 (very much) and not as reported. Therefore, the averages of the sample's depression and anxiety symptoms were not higher than the Israeli population norms. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2010-16771-015.) Based on the Person-Environment Fit Model, the current prospective study explored the contribution of the interaction between spouses' ways of providing support and patients' attachment orientations to the patients' levels of psychological distress 6 months after experiencing a first Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS). One hundred and eleven patients completed a measure of attachment orientations during hospitalization, while their spouses completed a measure of ways of providing support 1 month later. The outcome measures were patients' depressive and anxiety symptoms 6 months after their ACS. Whereas active engagement was associated with lower levels of anxiety symptoms among patients high in attachment anxiety, it was also associated with higher levels of anxiety symptoms among patients low on this orientation. In addition, none of the ways of providing support moderated the association between avoidance and distress. These results shed light on the possible interplay between providers' support and recipients' personalities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "An introduction to the special section on U.S. Military operations: Effects on military members' partners and children" by Michelle L. Kelley and Ernest N. Jouriles (Journal of Family Psychology, 2011[Aug], Vol 25, 459-460). An author's name cited in the text and the reference section was misspelled as Knoblock. The correct reference is Knobloch, L. K., & Theiss, J. A. (2011). Depressive symptoms and mechanisms of relational turbulence as predictors of relationship satisfaction among returning service members. Journal of Family Psychology, 25, 470-478. The online versions of this article have been corrected. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-17889-001.) The deployment of U.S. military personnel to global hot spots, whether as combatants or as peacekeepers, has increased attention to the psychological well-being of military personnel and their family members. Despite the growing awareness that deployments have reverberating effects on all family members, theoretical explanations and empirical research on the impact of deployment on couple, family, and child adjustment, factors that serve to protect families from the demands of military employment, and effective methods of treating the mental health needs of military families are needed. The seven papers in this section increase our understanding of how the demands of U.S. military operations impact couples, family functioning, parenting, and child psychological adjustment and provide an additional resource for mental health professionals who work with these families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Positive-engagement behaviors in observed family interactions: A social relations perspective" by Robert A. Ackerman, Deborah A. Kashy, M. Brent Donnellan and Rand D. Conger (Journal of Family Psychology, 2011[Oct], Vol 25, 719-730). This article contained several errors. When specifying the over-time social relations model depicted in Figure 2, three sets of equality constraints were inadvertently imposed on the model: (a) the occasion-specific variances for the older-child partner effects in 1989, the older-child actor effects in 1990, and the older-child actor effects in 1991 were constrained to the same value; (b) the occasion-specific variances for the mother partner effects in 1989, 1990, and 1991 were constrained to the same value; and (c) the occasion-specific variances for the younger-child partner effects in 1989, 1990, and 1991 were constrained to the same value. These equality constraints are not necessary and removing them improved model fit to values that are provided in the erratum. A corrected Table 4 is also provided in the erratum. Corrected path diagrams and Mplus script are available from the first author. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2011-19413-001.) The present study investigates the nature of positive engagement (an interpersonal style characterized by attentiveness, warmth, cooperation, and clear communication) in family interactions involving at least one adolescent. Approximately 400 families (mothers, fathers, and two siblings) were videotaped during brief conflict-resolution discussions that occurred on a yearly basis for 3 years. Coders rated the degree to which each family member was positively engaged with every other family member during the interactions. The social relations model was used to partition variation in positive-engagement behavior into family-level, individual-level, and dyad-level effects. Results demonstrated the importance of family norms and individual factors in determining the expression of positive-engagement behaviors in dyadic family relationships. Moreover, longitudinal analyses indicated that these effects are stable over a 3-year period. Finally, results highlighted the relative distinctiveness of the marital and sibling relationships, as well as the existence of reciprocity within these dyads. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Differential susceptibility in spillover between interparental conflict and maternal parenting practices: Evidence for OXTR and 5-HTT genes" by Melissa L. Sturge-Apple, Dante Cicchetti, Patrick T. Davies and Jennifer H. Suor (Journal of Family Psychology, 2012[Jun], Vol 26, 431-442). This article should have been published as part of the special section on Genetics and Epigenetics in Family Context. The paper is discussed in the introduction to special section by Steven R. H. Beach and Mark A. Whisman entitled "Genetics and Epigenetics in Family Context: Introduction to the Special Section" ( Journal of Family Psychology, 2013, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 1-2), and is considered an integral part of the special section. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2012-12089-001.) Guided by the affective spillover hypothesis and the differential susceptibility to environmental influence frameworks, the present study examined how associations between interparental conflict and mothers' parenting practices were moderated by serotonin transporter (5-HTT) and oxytocin receptor (OXTR) genes. A sample of 201 mothers and their 2-year old child participated in a laboratory-based research assessment. Results supported differential susceptibility hypotheses within spillover frameworks. With respect to OXTR rs53576, mothers with the GG genotype showed greater differential maternal sensitivity across varying levels of interparental conflict. Mothers with one or two copies of the 5-HTTLPR S allele demonstrated differential susceptibility for both sensitive and harsh/punitive caregiving behaviors. Finally, analyses examined whether maternal depressive symptoms and emotional closeness to their child mediated the moderating effects. Findings suggest that maternal emotional closeness with their child indirectly linked OXTR with maternal sensitivity. The results highlight how molecular genetics may explain heterogeneity in spillover models with differential implications for specific parenting behaviors. Implications for clinicians and therapists working with maritally distressed parents are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Self-forgiveness in romantic relationships: It matters to both of us" by Sara Pelucchi, F. Giorgia Paleari, Camillo Regalia and Frank D. Fincham (Journal of Family Psychology, 2013[Aug], Vol 27, 541-549). The departmental affiliation listed in the author note for Sara Pelucchi and Camillo Regalia should be the Department of Psychology. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2013-21361-001.) This study investigates self-forgiveness for real hurts committed against the partner in a romantic relationship (N = 168 couples). Using a dyadic perspective, we evaluated whether offender self-forgiveness, conceived as a bidimensional construct distinct from self-excusing, was uniquely related to both own and partner relationship satisfaction. For both males and females, offending partners were more satisfied with their romantic relationship to the extent that they had more positive and less negative sentiment and thoughts toward themselves, whereas victimized partners were more satisfied with the relationship when the offending partner had less negative sentiment and thoughts (but not more positive ones) toward himself/herself. The implications of these findings for understanding self-forgiveness and its pro-relationship effects in romantic couples are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Reports an error in "Impact of child sex abuse on adult psychopathology: A genetically and epigenetically informed investigation" by Steven R. H. Beach, Gene H. Brody, Man Kit Lei, Frederick X. Gibbons, Meg Gerrard, Ronald L. Simons, Carolyn E. Cutrona and Robert A. Philibert (Journal of Family Psychology, 2013[Feb], Vol 27, 3-11). Figure 2 was printed with correlations between dependent variables misplaced. The correct version of Figure 2 appears in the correction. (The following abstract of the original article appeared in record 2013-05310-002.) Genetic, environmental, and epigenetic influences and their transactions were examined in a sample of 155 women from the Iowa adoptee sample who had been removed from their biological parents shortly after birth and assessed when participants were an average of 41.10 years old. We observed an interactive effect of child sex abuse (CSA) and biological parent psychopathology (i.e., genetic load) on substance abuse as well as a main effect of CSA on substance abuse in adulthood. We also observed main effects of CSA and genetic load on depression and on antisocial characteristics. As predicted, CSA, but not genetic load or later substance abuse, was associated with epigenetic change. In addition, the interaction between genetic load and CSA predicted epigenetic change, indicating a potential genetic basis for a differential impact of CSA on epigenetic change. Finally, epigenetic change partially mediated the effect of CSA on antisocial characteristics. The results suggest the relevance of genetic and epigenetic processes for future theorizing regarding marital and family precursors of several forms of adult psychopathology. Implications for preventive intervention are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Coparenting is examined as an explanatory link between marital conflict and parent-child relations in 2-parent families. Data were collected from 3 samples (pilot sample, n = 220 mothers; preadolescent sample, n = 75 couples; preschool sample, n = 172 couples) by using the Coparenting Questionnaire (G. Margolin, 1992b) to assess parents' perceptions of one another on 3 dimensions--cooperation, triangulation, and conflict. Main effects for child's age and for parents' gender were found for cooperation, and an interaction between parent and child gender was found for triangulation. Regression analyses were consistent with a model of coparenting mediating the relationship between marital conflict and parenting. Discussion addresses the theoretical and clinical importance of viewing coparenting as conceptually separate from other family processes.
National surveys in the U.S. reveal that Latina adolescents have higher rates of suicide attempts than females of other ethnic and racial groups. Past reports indicate that the suicide attempts among Latinas are lodged within family contexts in which sociocultural and individual experiences influence parental and adolescent behaviors. To better understand the parent-adolescent relations that explain the Latina suicidal phenomenon, we examined how the high value on family unity and support, as reflected by familism, and its effects on mother-daughter mutuality (i.e., reciprocal empathy and engagement) were evident in a group of adolescent Latinas with suicide attempts and a group of adolescent Latinas without suicide attempts. Drawing from data on 169 mother-daughter dyads recruited from Latino communities in a Northeastern metropolis and who self-identified as being of Latino origin or heritage, we considered how differences in familism between mothers and daughters influenced their sense of mutuality, the adolescents' internalizing and externalizing behaviors, and suicide attempts. Results show that gaps in familism (mothers scoring higher than their daughters on the scale) predicted less mother-daughter mutuality and more externalizing behaviors in the adolescents. Also, mother-daughter mutuality was negatively related to internalizing and externalizing behaviors which, in turn, predicted suicide attempts. Findings point to further research on family interactions that raise the risk for suicidality in Latino youth, particularly to including fathers and siblings in study designs. Clinical implications point to enhancing family and dyadic communication skills focusing mutuality while observing the cultural value of familism.
This study evaluated the long-term effects of Project SUPPORT, an intervention designed to reduce conduct problems among children in domestically violent families. Participating mothers had sought shelter because of domestic violence and had at least one child (4-9 years old) exhibiting clinical levels of conduct problems. Results indicated that at 2 years posttreatment, 15% of children in families in the Project SUPPORT condition exhibited clinical levels of conduct problems compared with 53% of those in the existing services condition. In addition, mothers of children in the Project SUPPORT condition reported their children to be happier, to have better social relationships, and to have lower levels of internalizing problems, relative to children in the comparison condition. Mothers in the Project SUPPORT condition were less likely to use aggressive child management strategies and were less likely to have returned to their partners during the follow-up period.
The current intervention study aimed at breaking the potential intergenerational cycle of insecure attachment. The authors randomly assigned 81 first-time mothers to one of two intervention groups or a control group. The interventions involved four home visits when the infants were between 7 and 10 months old. The first intervention, VIPP, consisted of video-feedback and brochures to enhance sensitive parenting. The second intervention, VIPP-R, involved additional discussions of mothers' childhood attachment experiences in relation to their current caregiving. After the intervention, intervention mothers were more sensitive than control mothers. The interventions were most effective for highly reactive children and their mothers, providing experimental support for Belsky's (1997) hypothesis of highly reactive versus less reactive children's evolutionary based differential susceptibility to rearing influences.
This study investigated the ability of a psychosocial prevention program implemented through childbirth education programs to enhance the coparental and couple relationship, parental mental health, the parent-child relationship, and child outcomes. A sample of 169 heterosexual, adult couples expecting their first child was randomized to intervention and control conditions. The intervention families participated in Family Foundations, a series of eight classes delivered before and after birth, which was designed as a universal prevention program (i.e., applicable to all couples, not just those at high risk). Intent-to-treat analyses utilizing data collected from child age 6 months through 3 years indicated significant program effects on parental stress and self-efficacy, coparenting, harsh parenting, and children's emotional adjustment among all families, and maternal depression among cohabiting couples. Among families of boys, program effects were found for child behavior problems and couple relationship quality. These results indicate that a universal prevention approach at the transition to parenthood focused on enhancing family relationships can have a significant and substantial positive impact on parent and child well-being.
Child-mother attachment security, assessed via a modified Strange Situation procedure (Cassidy & Marvin, with the MacArthur Attachment Working Group, 1992), and parent-reported child proneness to anger were examined as correlates of observed child behavior toward mothers during a series of interactive tasks (N = 120, 60 girls). Controlling for maternal sensitivity and child gender and expressive language ability, greater attachment security, and lower levels of anger proneness were related to more child responsiveness to maternal requests and suggestions during play and snack sessions. As hypothesized, anger proneness also moderated several security-behavior associations. Greater attachment security was related to (a) more committed compliance during clean-up and snack-delay tasks for children high on anger proneness, (b) more self-assertiveness during play and snack for children moderate or high on anger proneness, and (c) more help-seeking during play and snack for children moderate or low on anger proneness. Findings further our understanding of the behavioral correlates of child-mother attachment security assessed during late toddlerhood via the Cassidy-Marvin system and underscore child anger proneness as a moderator of attachment-related differences in child behavior during this developmental period.
R. E. Heyman and A. M. S. Slep developed and conducted an effectiveness trial of a diagnostic system for child and partner maltreatment. The current investigation tested the widespread dissemination of the diagnostic system at 41 child and partner maltreatment services sites (n = 549 partner maltreatment cases and n = 342 child maltreatment cases). Agreement between field and master reviewers' decisions was good for partner physical and emotional abuse (kappa = 0.83-0.84). Agreement was also good for child physical, emotional, and sexual abuse (kappa = 0.73-0.89) but lagged slightly for child neglect (kappa = 0.66). Thus, multifaceted and content valid family maltreatment diagnostic criteria can be disseminated reliably. Replication studies of interrater agreement of the diagnostic system in typical clinical and agency settings are necessary; however, the high levels of agreement in myriad field sites imply that consistency of maltreatment determinations is achievable in widespread use.
This study examines the links between students' families and science achievement across many countries. Science tests and questionnaire responses of 107,834 fifteen-year-olds in 41 countries were analyzed with multilevel analyses. Students had higher science scores if they were native born, lived with two parents, lived without grandparents, lived with fewer siblings (especially older ones), had more educational resources, had more family involvement, lived in wealthier countries, or lived in countries with more equal distributions of household income. In wealthier countries, family involvement, blended families, and number of siblings showed stronger links to science scores. Science achievement was more strongly linked to family socioeconomic status (SES) and educational resources in more egalitarian cultures and to single parents, family SES, resident grandparents, and birth order in more individualistic cultures. Hence, family constructs were linked to academic achievement in all 41 countries, and the links were stronger in more economically and culturally developed countries.
Mothers' disclosure of their HIV serostatus to their noninfected young children and factors associated with disclosure were investigated among 135 families. Overall, 30% of the mothers had personally disclosed their serostatus to their children. Mothers who disclosed reported higher levels of social support in their lives than mothers who did not disclose. Children whose mothers had disclosed to them displayed lower levels of aggressiveness and negative self-esteem compared to children whose mother had not disclosed. These findings indicate that for this sample, no negative effects were observed among young children to whom mothers have personally disclosed their HIV serostatus.
Research on parent-child attachment and parental child rearing practices has been pursued independently. The purpose of the present study was to test whether a secure attachment relationship is related to parental monitoring and child efforts to contribute to the monitoring process. This question was examined in a cross-sectional study of third- and sixth-grade children and their parents. Attachment-based measures were used to tap child and parent perceptions of attachment. Monitoring (i.e., parents' awareness of children's whereabouts and activities) was assessed through phone interviews with children and parents. Child contributions to monitoring were assessed with parent and child questionnaires. A more secure attachment was related to closer monitoring and greater cooperation by the child in monitoring situations, especially at sixth grade. The findings illustrate the importance of embedding attachment within a larger child rearing context.
Despite the well-documented association between history of sexual trauma (HSA) and suicide ideation, HSA is largely overlooked in suicide treatment studies. Existing studies showed that patients with a HSA have a weaker treatment response. In this randomized clinical trial for suicide ideation, HSA did not moderate treatment outcome for Attachment-Based Family Therapy (ABFT). Adolescents responded better to ABFT than a control condition, regardless of HSA status. At baseline, adolescents with HSA were also more likely to report past suicide attempts than those without HSA, indicating that they are a particularly important subgroup to consider when developing and evaluating interventions that target suicide ideation. Findings suggest that ABFT is a robust intervention for suicide ideation regardless of HSA.
The "Global War on Terrorism" has resulted in reservists being deployed at an ever-increasing rate. However, because reservists and their families are unaccustomed to deployments, many families may experience boundary ambiguity, a state in which family members are uncertain in their perception about who is in or out of the family and who is performing which roles and tasks within the family. This qualitative description study examined boundary ambiguity in military reserve families over time. A sample of 34 reservists, spouses, and parents was interviewed 7 times within the 1st year of the reservists' return from Iraq. During deployment, all family members experienced boundary ambiguity. Gathering information and attending a family support group provided some relief for families. After the reservists returned, couples as well as those who had experienced additional life events or losses experienced the highest levels of boundary ambiguity. However, this boundary ambiguity dissipated over time, as families tended to restabilize once the reservists had returned to work and a routine had been established.
The relationships between family environment and psychological distress and between psychological distress and sleep disturbance in adolescents are well established. However, less is known about the influence of family environment on sleep disturbance. The authors' goal is to examine the effects of parental involvement on psychological distress and sleep disturbance in 34 adolescents with a history of substance abuse. Linear regression techniques and confidence intervals were used to test the significance of mediation analyses. Lower levels of parental involvement were associated with higher levels of psychological distress, and higher levels of psychological distress were associated with lower sleep efficiency and more time spent in bed. Follow-up analyses found that higher levels of parental involvement were associated with earlier morning arising times, when controlling for psychological distress. These data indicate that psychological distress is important to consider when examining the relationship between parental involvement and sleep in adolescents.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been linked to intimate partner abuse, physiological reactivity, and social support. The authors used structural equation modeling to test social support as a moderator and psychophysiological reactivity and anger as mediators of the relation between abuse and traumatic symptoms among a sample of women reporting psychological abuse, including women reporting both physical violence and no physical violence. Both physical and psychological abuse were related to PTSD symptoms. Whereas physical and psychological abuse were highly correlated, psychological abuse did not predict PTSD symptomatology over and above the effect due to physical assault. Psychophysiological reactivity and anger and fear displayed during an argument with the partner did not mediate the abuse?trauma link. Social support moderated the relation between psychological abuse and PTSD symptomatology.
Relationship adjustment (e.g., Dyadic Adjustment Scale; DAS) and physical aggression (e.g., Conflict Tactics Scale) measures are used both as screening tools and as the sole criterion for classification. This study created face valid diagnostic interviews for relationship distress and physical abuse, through which one could compare preliminarily the classification properties of questionnaire reports. The DAS (and a global measure of relationship satisfaction) had modest agreement with a structured diagnostic interview; both questionnaires tended to overdiagnose distress compared with the interview. Results for partner abuse reiterated the need to go beyond occurrence of aggression as the sole diagnostic criterion, because men's aggression was more likely than women's to rise to the level of "abuse" when diagnostic criteria (injury or substantial fear) were applied.
The authors examined interrelationships among posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology, anger, and partner abuse perpetration among a sample of 60 combat veterans. Compared with PTSD-negative participants, PTSD-positive participants reported higher state anger across time and neutral and trauma prime conditions and higher anger reactivity during the trauma prime condition. PTSD-positive participants also exhibited more anger reactivity during the trauma prime than during the neutral condition. The same pattern of results was not found for anxiety reactivity during trauma memory activation. PTSD symptoms were associated with physical assault and psychological aggression perpetration, and trait anger mediated these relationships. Findings indicate a heightened anger response among PTSD-positive veterans and suggest the salience of dispositional components of anger in abuse perpetration in this population.
The primary purpose of this study was to conduct a randomized effectiveness trial of Multisystemic Therapy for Child Abuse and Neglect (MST-CAN) for physically abused youth (mean age = 13.88 years, 55.8% female, 68.6% Black) and their families. Eighty-six families being followed by Child Protective Services due to physical abuse were randomly assigned to MST-CAN or Enhanced Outpatient Treatment (EOT), with both interventions delivered by therapists employed at a community mental health center. Across five assessments extending 16 months post baseline, intent-to-treat analyses showed that MST-CAN was significantly more effective than EOT in reducing youth mental health symptoms, parent psychiatric distress, parenting behaviors associated with maltreatment, youth out-of-home placements, and changes in youth placement. Also, MST-CAN was significantly more effective at improving natural social support for parents. Effect sizes were in the medium to large range for most outcomes examined. Although fewer children in the MST-CAN condition experienced an incident of reabuse than did counterparts in the EOT condition, base rates were low and this difference was not statistically significant. The findings of this study demonstrate the potential for broad-based treatments of child physical abuse to be effectively transported and implemented in community treatment settings.
This investigation tested the incremental utility of cognitive retraining as a component within a program designed to prevent child maltreatment. High-risk families (N = 96) were randomly assigned to a control condition, home visitation modeled after the Healthy Start program (unenhanced home visitation), or home visitation that included a cognitive component (enhanced home visitation). Mothers were identified late during pregnancy or soon after birth, and their participation continued for 1 year. Lower levels of harsh parenting were found among mothers in the enhanced home visitation condition than among those in the unenhanced home visitation or control conditions. Prevalence of physical abuse (percentage of mothers who were abusive) during the first year was 26% in the control condition, 23% in the unenhanced home visitation condition, and 4% in the enhanced home visitation condition. Benefits were greatest in families that included a medically at-risk child. A linear pattern of benefits was found for child health; as program features were added, benefits for child health increased.
In this study, the authors examined the role of balance between adolescent-therapist and parent-therapist alliances in the retention of functional family therapy clients. Therapeutic alliances of mothers, fathers, and adolescents were assessed from videotapes of the 1st treatment session for 43 Hispanic and 43 Anglo families. Hispanic families who dropped out before completing the requisite number of sessions were found to have greater imbalance in alliance (parent-adolescent) than those who did complete therapy. However, this finding was not replicated with Anglo families. Results are interpreted in terms of previous research on family-level balanced alliance effects.
A small randomized trial investigated a new family-based intervention for Hispanic adolescents who met DSM-IV criteria for substance abuse disorder. The Culturally Informed and Flexible Family-Based Treatment for Adolescents (CIFFTA) is a tailored/adaptive intervention that includes a flexible treatment manual and multiple treatment components. The study used an "add on" design to isolate the effects on substance abuse, behavior problems, and parenting practices attributable to the newly developed components. Twenty-eight Hispanic adolescents and their families were randomized either to the experimental treatment or to traditional family therapy (TFT) and were assessed at baseline and 8-month follow-up. Despite the small sample, results revealed statistically significant time × treatment effects on both self-reported drug use (marijuana + cocaine), F(1, 22) = 10.59, p < .01, η² = .33 and adolescent reports of parenting practices, F(1, 22) = 9.01, p < .01, η² = .29. Both sets of analyses favored CIFFTA participants. There was a significant time × treatment effect, F(1, 22) = 6.72, p = .02, η² = .23, favoring CIFFTA on parent report of parenting practices using a composite that matched the variables used for adolescents, but only a nonsignificant trend, F(1, 22) = 2.43, p = .13, η² = .10, with a composite that used all parenting subscales. Parent reports of adolescent behavior problems did not show a significant time or time × treatment effect. These results show the promise of this adaptive treatment for substance abuse in Hispanic adolescents and suggest the need for a larger randomized trial to fully investigate this treatment.
This investigation used longitudinal data from 181 couples with firstborn infants to test the hypothesis that parents' negative cognitions about the child mediate the effect of domestic violence on risk of child abuse. Analysis of covariance showed that mothers and fathers who experienced domestic violence during the 1st year of their child's life developed a significantly more negative view of their child. Hierarchical regressions showed that the effect of domestic violence on the family's risk of child abuse was mediated by the mother's and father's negative views of the child. Intervention and prevention applications are discussed.
In this study, the authors examined the role of parentification (children assuming adult-like roles in the family) as it relates to family risk (parental psychopathology, parental illness, and domestic violence), child sexual abuse (CSA), and psychosocial adjustment in 499 college women. Structural equation modeling was used to test a model of direct, indirect, and mediational pathways through which CSA, family risk, and parentification contributed to later psychosocial maladjustment. Results indicate that CSA and family risk independently and directly predicted higher levels of maladjustment, but only family risk positively predicted parentification in childhood. Parentification was unexpectedly related to less maladjustment. Parentification failed to mediate the relation between early family risk and maladjustment. Findings suggest that family risk factors may contribute to parentification and that parentification is not always related to poorer psychosocial outcomes. Future research should examine the impact of parentification on other aspects of functioning and should assess how individual, familial, and cultural variables (e.g., age, gender, duration, perceived fairness, ethnicity, and family support) moderate the impact of parentification on long-term adjustment.