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Traumatized children in supervised visitation: What do they need?

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Abstract

This article reviews the range of trauma experienced by many children in supervised visitation services and describes common themes in the development of their personalities from clinical and research findings. It then proposes a series of ways to structure supervised access services in order to help children feel psychologically safe in the relationship with the visited parent.

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... Thus, social services and courts try to enhance protection for children on one hand while trying to support and sustain parent-child contact on the other hand (Pulido, Forrester, &Lacina, 2011). Supervised Visitation(SV), also known as Supervised Access(SA), Child Contact(CC) or Parental Contact(PC), refer a generic term that describes parent-child interaction is monitored and supervised by a third party for assuring a protected setting not only for children but also for parents (SVN Standards Task Force and the Standards and Guidelines Committee, 2006;Johnston & Straus, 1999). ...
... Even though parent profiles and co-parenting styles are important, the actual clients of SV programs are often considered to be the children rather than parents. The significant amount of these children were exposed to traumatic family experiences even many of them have experienced not only a single trauma but also multiple traumas (Johnston & Straus, 1999). These children, especially the ones within the context of custody disputes may show some difficulties before they involve in SV services (Saini, Van Wert, &Gofman, 2012). ...
... It is an undeniable fact that the concept of "child's best interest" and children's position during SV meetings are both not only questionable but also sensitive (Forsberg & Pösö, 2008). It is crucial that the continuance of the parent- child relationship to be safe, and also it is expected to be corrective experience for child (Johnston & Straus, 1999). Saini et al (2012), suggest that children and families using SV services are presumably in a transition period and experiencing some emotional consequences of this period, and the assumption is SV services will minimize the negative impacts of this transition period through enabling safe interactions between parents and their children (Saini, Van Wert, &Gofman, 2012). ...
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In recent years, there has been a significant increase in substance use behavior in our country It is getting increasingly difficult to cope with this increase.Likewise, due to substance abuse, feelings of suicidal thoughts and hopelessness increase. This makesprevention and intervention of substance abuse difficult. At this point, it is important to determine the factors that cause hopelessness and suicide ideation among substance users. Thus, the aim of the study is to determine the relationship between psychosocial variables and hopelessness and suicide ideation among substance users and to examine the variables that cause suicide ideation and feelings of hopelessness in terms of personality and family functioning. This study is a cross sectional study and it is conducted with 257 male substance users by purposive sampling method. The variables are gathered from Personal Data Form, Hopelessness Scale, Suicide Ideation Scale, Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Revised-Abbreviated Form, Family Assessment Device. To analyze the differences between psychosocial variables and hopelessness, suicide ideation independent-sample t test was used and to determine the predictors of hopelessness and suicide ideation hierarchical multiple regression analysis was used. According to the results, it was found that economic insufficiency, psychiatric diagnosis, substance use in the early years, substance use in the family and social environment, and exposure to violence during childhood or adolescence increased hopelessness and suicide ideation.In addition, neuroticism personality trait is the best predictor of hopelessness and the best predictors of suicide ideation are neuroticism, psychoticism personality traits and problem solving, communication, roles, behavior control in family system. In the light of these findings, it is thought that family functioning should be examined in substance users who show the characteristics of neuroticism and psychoticism and appropriate psychosocial intervention studies should be done in the micro-mezzo-macro dimensionto reduce hopelessness and suicidal ideation.
... Committee Johnston & Straus, 1999). ...
... Even though parent profiles and co-parenting styles are important, the actual clients of SV programs are often considered to be the children rather than parents. The significant amount of these children were exposed to traumatic family experiences even many of them have experienced not only a single trauma but also multiple traumas (Johnston & Straus, 1999). These children, especially the ones within the context of custody disputes may show some difficulties before they involve in SV services (Saini, Van Wert, &Gofman, 2012). ...
... It is an undeniable fact that the concept of "child's best interest" and children's position during SV meetings are both not only questionable but also sensitive (Forsberg & Pösö, 2008). It is crucial that the continuance of the parentchild relationship to be safe, and also it is expected to be corrective experience for child (Johnston & Straus, 1999). Saini et al (2012), suggest that children and families using SV services are presumably in a transition period and experiencing some emotional consequences of this period, and the assumption is SV services will minimize the negative impacts of this transition period through enabling safe interactions between parents and their children (Saini, Van Wert, &Gofman, 2012). ...
Article
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This paper discusses the basic components and therapy techniques of Logotherapy, developed by Victor Frankl, which is under the framework of existential psychiatry and humanistic psychology. Logotherapy, developed due to inadequacy of contemporary therapy methods and theoretical approaches to work with some groups,is an important approach as it provides significant steps in solving the existential problems and needs. In this regard, it is also an important approach for social work. It can be said that this paper is an introductory source for social work since it includes some components and therapeutic techniquesof Logotherapy which has a broad perspective of the philosophical propositions and queries.
... For the vast majority of parents, conflict declines substantially following divorce (King & Heard, 1999), and continued involvement by both parents does not lead to increased parental conflict (Emery, Laumann-Billings, Waldron, Sbarra, & Dillon, in press;King & Heard, 1999). Furthermore, divorce education, custody mediation, and mediation/arbitration interventions for parents in high conflict are often effective in reducing conflict and promoting communication between parents during and after separation or divorce Emery et al., in press;Johnston, 1999;Kelly, 1996. ...
... A literature review concerning supervised access and custody exchange services discloses a sparse body of information. Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. ...
... Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. 135). ...
Article
An exploratory outcome study to investigate the ability of a supervised access and custody exchange center to function as a safe visitation enforcement mechanism of the court was accomplished as part of a larger study investigating child well-being. During a 6-month period of program participation, frequency and consistency of noncustodial parents' access to children dramatically increased and interparental conflict significantly decreased, demonstrating that supervised visitation and custody exchange centers that function in partnership with family court during interim court processes can address the unmet needs of family court and high-conflict domestic disputant as well.
... For the vast majority of parents, conflict declines substantially following divorce (King & Heard, 1999), and continued involvement by both parents does not lead to increased parental conflict (Emery, Laumann-Billings, Waldron, Sbarra, & Dillon, in press;King & Heard, 1999). Furthermore, divorce education, custody mediation, and mediation/arbitration interventions for parents in high conflict are often effective in reducing conflict and promoting communication between parents during and after separation or divorce Emery et al., in press;Johnston, 1999;Kelly, 1996. ...
... A literature review concerning supervised access and custody exchange services discloses a sparse body of information. Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. ...
... Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. 135). ...
Article
Full-text available
Most infants form attachments to both of their parents at roughly the same age. These relationships are consolidated by continued interactions, ideally in a broad array of contexts, whether or not the parents live together. The mechanisms underlying the formation and consolidation of relationships with both parents appear to be similar, although most infants establish preferential relationship with the persons who take major responsibility for their care. When parents separate, children often experience distress, and their adjustment is adversely affected when the relationship with one of their parents is severed. This can be avoided by developing parenting plans that continue to ensure that children have regular interaction with both parents in a broad array of contexts. Overnight periods provide opportunities for many important interactions.
... For the vast majority of parents, conflict declines substantially following divorce (King & Heard, 1999), and continued involvement by both parents does not lead to increased parental conflict (Emery, Laumann-Billings, Waldron, Sbarra, & Dillon, in press;King & Heard, 1999). Furthermore, divorce education, custody mediation, and mediation/arbitration interventions for parents in high conflict are often effective in reducing conflict and promoting communication between parents during and after separation or divorce Emery et al., in press;Johnston, 1999;Kelly, 1996. ...
... A literature review concerning supervised access and custody exchange services discloses a sparse body of information. Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. ...
... Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. 135). ...
Article
As the debate continues on ways of thinking about access between separated and never-married parents and their very young children, the authors suggest a way that child custody evaluators can integrate this discussion into their evaluations. They conclude that evaluators must pay attention to family dynamics and all of the research when making specific recommendations to parents and the courts regarding the access and residential arrangements of very young children.
... For the vast majority of parents, conflict declines substantially following divorce (King & Heard, 1999), and continued involvement by both parents does not lead to increased parental conflict (Emery, Laumann-Billings, Waldron, Sbarra, & Dillon, in press;King & Heard, 1999). Furthermore, divorce education, custody mediation, and mediation/arbitration interventions for parents in high conflict are often effective in reducing conflict and promoting communication between parents during and after separation or divorce Emery et al., in press;Johnston, 1999;Kelly, 1996. ...
... A literature review concerning supervised access and custody exchange services discloses a sparse body of information. Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. ...
... Most early literature on supervised visitation describes program models (Hess, Mintun, Moelhman, & Pitts, 1992;Stocker, 1992), whereas more recent articles focus on the use of supervised visitation in the context of domestic violence (Field, 1998;Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000;Sheeran & Hampton, 1999;Thoennes & Pearson, 1999). Johnston and Straus (1999) addressed the needs of "vulnerable children who are the primary clients of visitation services" (p. 135). ...
Article
Stewart and I have lived through the legal adversary system and we know what havoc it could have wrought on our family…. We were nuts. We were crazy. We were your average psychotic divorcing parents…. What you do not see is we get well. We bailed out of the adversary court system because we could see it was no help to us. We were the lucky ones…. There are thousands like us who could use your help before the war gets started.—Parent at the 1978 Midwinter Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Conference, Los Angeles.
... In short, these programs provide services that make it possible for children to visit with parents with whom they may not have been able to establish contact otherwise. The first supervised visitation center opened in 1982 in the United States and has since experienced exponential growth throughout the globe (Johnston & Straus, 1999;Pearson & Thoennes, 2000). ...
Article
With the divorce rate rising and related child visitation disputes becoming an increasingly difficult issue before the courts, supervised visitation programs have proliferated over the last decade. The literature demonstrates that ongoing contact between children and both parents following separation and/or divorce is important for children's socio-emotional adjustment and positive child/parent relations. However, there is a paucity of literature demonstrating a relationship between supervised visitation programs and child/parent relationship outcomes. Based on the lack of outcome research the authors argue for a second generation of research regarding intended and unintended consequences of supervised visitation. This article reviews and synthesizes the current literature, highlighting strengths, limitations, significant findings and proposes a critical need for evidence-based research.
... However Birnbaum and Alaggia's (2006) review of the international literature on supervised visitation caution that significant improvement in the parent child relationship and in the level of emotional and behavioral difficulties experienced by the child have yet to be found. Johnston and Straus's (1999) research in the Californian Family Law Courts, encourages us to consider another dimension of children's wellbeing, notably emotional or psychological safety, which essentially involves minimising or preventing the re-traumatisation of the child. ...
Article
Full-text available
Concern with the impact on children of discontinued parent-child relationships following parental separation or divorce has resulted in a depth of empirical knowledge in the maintenance of those relationships through the medium of ‘contact’. While research consistently demonstrates that post-separation/divorce parenting arrangements work best when they are informally arranged between two parents who are committed to making those plans work in the interests of their children, the emotive nature of the separation/divorce experience for many families may demand formal and legal regulation. Research with families involved in post-separation/divorce contact fails to identify a solitary magic ingredient that makes contact work or not work; rather a wide range of factors which operate interactively, interdependently and dynamically, with the attitudes, actions and interactions of the key family players shaping contact and determining its quality. This paper provides a critical review of the international literature on post-separation/divorce contact, identifying and reflecting on the key ingredients or factors central to the successful occurrence of ‘quality contact’. Drawing on the literature reviewed, a framework consisting of four separate yet interrelated layers is presented in order to both identify and explore these dynamic factors that quality contact is dependent upon.
... To control for this, Barnum recommends professional assessments of the child in a number of contexts (such as home and school) before making any recommendations about custody. Furthermore, Johnston and Straus (1999) point out that the children who come to supervised visitation centres are among the most vulnerable in our population, so it is essential that staff do all they can to protect children's psychological safety. This includes working with other community agencies and the courts to ensure that referrals to the supervision centre are appropriate, responding to children's distrust and their need for hypervigilance, supporting the child's ability to appraise reality, addressing the child's needs for safety and a sense of control, and recognizing and intervening when a child is distressed. ...
... To control for this possibility, Barnum recommends professional assessments of the child in a number of contexts (such as home and school) before making any recommendations about custody. Furthermore, Johnston and Straus (1999) point out that the children who come to supervised visitation centres are among the most vulnerable in our population, so it is essential that staff do all they can to protect children's psychological safety. This includes working with other community agencies and the courts to ensure that referrals to the supervision centre are appropriate, responding to children's distrust and their need for hypervigilance, supporting the child's ability to appraise reality, addressing the child's needs for safety and a sense of control, and recognizing and intervening when a child is distressed. ...
... Mit Schneewind (1999) bleibt festzustellen, dass der Überblick über Interventionen für Scheidungsfamilien zeigt, dass es weniger um die Behebung oder Verminderung manifester psychischer oder psychosomatischer Störungen gehen dürfte, sondern um das Bereitstellen von Wissen und die Erweiterung von Handlungsmöglichkeiten sowie allgemein um die Stärkung des Bewältigungspotentials des Einzelnen und der Familie. Ausnahme ist, wenn infolge besonderer Belastungen im Familiensystem, die Janet Johnston als traumatisierend beschreibt, starke psychische Beeinträchtigungen bei Kindern vorliegen, die besonders sensible Formen von Interventionen erfordern (Johnston & Straus, 1999). ...
... Furthermore, Johnston and Straus (1999) point out that the children who come to supervised visitation centres are among the most vulnerable in our population, so it is essential that staff do all they can to protect children's psychological safety. This includes working with other community agencies and the courts to ensure that referrals to the supervision centre are appropriate; responding to children's distrust and their need for hypervigilance; supporting the child's ability to appraise reality; addressing the child's needs for safety and a sense of control; and recognizing and intervening when a child is distressed. ...
Article
Supervised visitation programs provide court-mandated services in cases with purported risks to (a) child(ren), or during custody or visitation disputes. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a need to provide support services for the custodial and/or foster parent during supervised visitation sessions. The researcher conducted a mixed methods study with a cross-sectional comparative design, using an internet-based simultaneous quantitative and qualitative needs assessment. Participants included custodial/foster parents, and visitation centers staff. Results indicated that custodial/foster parents share experiences of emotional stress, fear for their child(ren)’s safety during visitations, lack of coherence, and changes in the family dynamic. Resources of formal kinship; spouse/partner support; and information, logistical, mental health, and therapeutic support could help custodial/foster parents.
Article
The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) has provided a supervised visitation program (SVP) for high-risk families for almost two decades. Parents needing supervised visitation often have histories of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, mental illness or substance abuse, therefore providers delivering services must be adequately trained and supervised in order to protect the child from further harm during the visitation process. This article describes the need for SVP's, parental issues warranting consideration, the special needs of children in these circumstances, policy recommendations for provider standards, and a certification process to be developed and adopted in New York State.
Article
Clinicians have historically made recommendations about the need for supervised visitation, when allegations short of actual physical violence have been raised that implicate the safety of the children, on the basis of previous critical incidents and patterns of problematic behavior by the one or both of the children's parents. These recommendations, as a result, may not have always been tailored to the best interests of the children. What is needed is a procedure that considers and documents all the factors–the child's status and special needs, the parent's physical and mental status, the parent-child relationship, the suitability of the environment, and the availability of resources to support visitation–that have an important role in deciding on the need for supervised visitation. The “Supervision Checklist,” which is based research and the experience of the author, proposed in this paper is a first step toward accomplishing this kind of differentiated perspective on supervised visitation. The Checklist is based on the five criteria mentioned above, with a large number of specifiers for each of the criteria. The clinician is asked to assign a score to most of the specifiers, with a score of zero indicating that that specifier is within normal limits, up to a score of two indicating that there is a clear need to consider some kind of intervention. Guidelines for assigning these scores are discussed in the paper. Even in the absence of comprehensive data for assigning scores, the documentation of the factors affecting the specifiers has the advantage that many of the issues and mitigating circumstances in the specific areas of concern have to be addressed.
Article
The detrimental effect of parental conflict in protracted child custody and visitation disputes is well established in the literature. However, little is known about the impact of parental conflict on children when visitation takes place in a protected setting. Part of a larger study that examined the broader issues related to parental and child involvement in a supervised access and custody exchange service, this article specifically explores the influence of parental participation on child well-being. This exploratory effort reveals that children's level of adjustment remained stable over 6 months of participation while visitation returned to court-ordered levels and interparental contact was precluded by staff intervention.
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Children, Courts, and Custody, by Andrew Schepard, is a book with multidisciplinary appeal consistent with the author's call for an increasingly interdisciplinary approach to the topic of child custody. It will be of prime interest to legal and mental health professionals who work with divorcing families as well as parents seeking a better understanding of the child custody system. After briefly describing the societal values and the empirical evidence that led to change, this review will focus on the unfinished business of family court reform. Although there is general agreement that the majority of families benefit significantly from a less adversarial approach to divorce, there is less consensus about how high-conflict and violent families fare under a system stressing self-determination, conflict reduction, and continued involvement by both parents. Accordingly, programs originally designed for low to moderate-conflict families will be evaluated based on their effectiveness with families who have a history of violence. In this context, proposals to consolidate court reform and create special programs assisting violent and high-conflict families will be explored. Finally, consideration will be given to whether the changing culture of family courts requires revisiting professional roles and reforming substantive law. (This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.)
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Les services de supervision des droits d’accès (SDA) permettent de maintenir le lien parent-enfant dans un contexte neutre et sécuritaire. Les familles qui se retrouvent dans ces services ont généralement un point en commun : elles ont besoin d’être épaulées, écoutées et protégées, notamment par des intervenants formés qui assurent le bon déroulement des contacts supervisés. Peu d’écrits scientifiques ont documenté les pratiques en vigueur dans les services de SDA et qui s’actualisent auprès des familles en provenance de la Cour supérieure ou détenant une entente volontaire ou survenue au terme d’une médiation. Ainsi, à partir de données collectées par le biais d’un questionnaire électronique, cette étude fait état du point de vue de 50 répondants supervisant ou administrant un service de SDA dans lequel s’effectuent des échanges de garde et des visites supervisées. Les répondants se sont exprimés sur la nature du travail effectué dans les ressources de SDA, les forces et difficultés du service, les pistes d’amélioration ainsi que leur perception du système judiciaire. Les résultats ont permis de constater que les répondants sont à l’aise dans leur rôle, qu’ils identifient plusieurs points forts des services, mais que le financement des ressources peut parfois leur poser certaines embûches.
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This paper aims to untangle the assumptions and goals of supervised visitation services in the child welfare and custody dispute contexts, through presenting a legal analysis and review of social science literature. There is confusion in the literature on the specific roles, duties and expectations of supervised visitation services in facilitating parent–child contact within child welfare and custody disputes. A framework is outlined for understanding supervised visitation services in general. The overarching tenets of these services are discussed, and the assumptions of safety, protection and parent-child contact are explored. The legal context of supervised visitation in Canada is outlined, specifically examining the ‘best interest of the child’ principle and comparing the legal backdrop of visitation in child welfare and custody disputes. The social science literature is then reviewed with the goal of discerning supervised visitation across child welfare and custody disputes. The limited research on outcomes for children and families after utilizing supervised visitation services is discussed. This paper concludes with cautions and considerations for policy and practice for supervised visitation in child welfare and family law contexts, as well as recommendations for both fields.
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The significant increase in the number of incarcerated women ensures that many children must live without their mothers for some period of time. Women in prison were interviewed about their efforts to maintain relationships with their children. Mail and telephone contacts were more frequent than actual visits. Almost one half of mothers had never received a visit from their children. This article identifies challenges to the development and maintenance of contact between incarcerated mothers and their children. Recommendations are made for correctional agencies to enhance opportunities for incarcerated mothers to foster positive connections with their children.
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This article reviews available research studies of high-conflict divorce and its effects on children. Interparental conflict after divorce (defined as verbal and physical aggression, overt hostility, and distrust) and the primary parent's emotional distress are jointly predictive of more problematic parent-child relationships and greater child emotional and behavioral maladjustment. As a group, children of high-conflict divorce as defined above, especially boys, are two to four times more likely to be clinically disturbed in emotions and behavior compared with national norms. Court-ordered joint physical custody and frequent visitation arrangements in high-conflict divorce tend to be associated with poorer child outcomes, especially for girls. Types of intervention programs and social policy appropriate for these kinds of families are presented.
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A model of family process was utilized to predict children's emotional adjustment and behavior problems during parents' divorce, in a sample of 178 children. Predictors included preseparation marital conflict, quality of parent-child relationships, child temperament, loss of a parent, and postseparation parental conflict. Four dimensions of the parent-child relationship during divorce were assessed. The relationship between marital conflict and child adjustment was indirect, mediated by the parent-child relationship; that is, parents who had less marital conflict had better relationships with their children after separation, which in turn was associated with more adaptive child functioning. Children with more difficult temperaments had more positive relationships with their fathers but also had more problematic emotional adjustment.
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The impact of a court service that is set up to enforce access orders is measured from the perspective of 70 children whose parents were program participants in the service. Children's perception of conflict diminished significantly over the 6-month period of service involvement. Children improved in their overall and school adjustment when visits with their noncustodial parents were more frequent. They were less depressed when they had quality relationships with both their mother and father. Children perceived more conflict as visits increased, but the negative impact was minimal.
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At this time there are no published articles which would allow an interpreter to determine if children or adolescents have been traumatized on the basis of responses on the Rorschach. It is important to identify these children when planning counseling interventions and academic programs since information concerning victimization experiences of children is often withheld by parents or guardians. In a preliminary study, ten Rorschach variables were investigated and results show significant differences between the traumatized group and the Exner Comprehensive System normative data for children and adolescents for the following variables: space, texture, W Sum C, D Score, passive movement, X+%, and 3r+2/R. Hypothesized significant differences in active movement, and morbid or aggressive responses were not found.
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Synopsis A 4-year prospective study was undertaken of the families of 137 newly referred English speaking psychiatric patients with children at home aged under 15 years. The group comprised a representative sample of such patients living in one inner London borough. Teacher questionnaires were obtained yearly for all children of school age in the families, and for age-, sex- and classroom-matched controls. Detailed standardized interviews were undertaken yearly with parent-patients and with their spouses. A comparison was also made with a control group of families in the general population with 10-year-old children. Patients' families differed in terms of a higher rate of psychiatric disorder in spouses and a much higher level of family discord. Both parental mental disorder and marital discord tended to persist over the 4-year period, but persistence of both was much more marked when the parent had a personality disorder. The children of psychiatric patients had an increased rate of persistent emotional/behavioural disturbance, which tended to involve disorders of conduct. The psychiatric risk to the children was greatest in the case of personality disorders associated with high levels of exposure to hostile behaviour. Boys showing temperamental risk features were most vulnerable to the ill-effects associated with parental mental disorder.
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Rorschach responding in traumatized children adolescents
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Developmental psychopathology in children in high-conflict divorcing families: Attachment, personality disorders and the Rorschach
  • V Roseby
  • P Erdberg
  • K Bardenstein
  • J R Johnston
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  • J Pearson
  • N Thoennes
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