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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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Mauerfall 1989
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Family Process Heft 4/2008
1/2008 - 2/2008 - 3/2008 - 4/2008 - Überblick

Imber-Black, Evan (2008): Editorial: Families After Death, Families After Birth. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 421-423

Stone, Elizabeth (2008): The Last Will and Testament in Literature: Rupture, Rivalry, and Sometimes Rapprochement from Middlemarch to Lemony Snicket. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 425-439.

abstract: Although the psychological literature on the last will and testament is sparse, authors of fiction and memoir have filled the gap, writing in rich detail about the impact of wills on families. Henry James, George Eliot, J. R. Ackerley, and others reveal that a will is not only a legal document but a microcosm of family life: a coded and nonnegotiable message from the will’s writer to its intended readers, the heirs, delivered at a stressful time and driving home the truth that options for discussion between testator and heirs are now gone, all factors which may intensify the ambivalence of grief and stall its resolution. Among the problems the authors chronicle: reinvigorated sibling rivalries, vindictive testators, and the revelation of traumatic family secrets. Writers also demonstrate how contemporary social factors, such as divorce, second families, and geographic distance between family members, may complicate wills and ensuing family relations. Exemplary wills, or will-like documents, appear in fiction by Maria Katzenbach and Marilynne Robinson, allowing the living to make rapprochements with the dead, and pointing to testamentary strategies clinicians might develop to lead to a resolution of grief. The depth of these writers’ accounts allows clinicians to imagine points at which they might productively intervene in matters pertaining to a will.

McGoldrick, Monica (2008): Thoughts on the Importance of Wills in Family Relationships: A Clinical Response to Elizabeth Stone. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 441-444.

abstract: Elizabeth Stone’s paper brings to the fore an important issue that has been much neglected clinically - the messages that we leave in our wills for those who outlive us. This is indeed a major issue in family relationships and can ripple down the generations leading to cutoffs and conflicts for those who were not even alive at the time of the original will. In the examples Stone gives there are, of course, numerous questions we would want to ask about the families involved in order to make sense of what went wrong. We would, for example, want to know the details of Henry James Sr.’s having been disinherited and fighting it in order to hypothesize about what factors may have influenced him to disinherit one of his sons and not to make the oldest and closest his executor. Similarly, we would wonder if George Eliot’s character Edward Casaubon, who left his money to his wife only if she does not marry their friend and his cousin might be playing out some drama, not only from their marriage, but also from earlier hidden aspects of his own family history. We look to understand how wills that disinherit or distort family process are reflecting deep-rooted family patterns.

McHale, James P., Elisabeth Fivaz-Depeursinge, Susan Dickstein, Janet Robertson & Matthew Daley (2008): New Evidence for the Social Embeddedness of Infants’ Early Triangular Capacities. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 445-463.

abstract: Infants appear to be active participants in complex interactional sequences with their parents far earlier than previously theorized. In this report, we document the capacity of 3-month-old infants to share attention with two partners (mothers and fathers) simultaneously, and trace links between this capacity and early family group-level dynamics. During comprehensive evaluations of the family’s emergent coparenting alliance completed in 113 homes, we charted infants’ eye gaze patterns during two different mother-father-infant assessment paradigms. Triangular capacities (operationalized as the frequency of rapid multishift gaze transitions between parents during interactions) were stable across interaction context. Infants exhibiting more advanced triangular capacities belonged to families showing evidence of better coparental adjustment. Theoretical and practice implications of these findings are discussed.

Gordon, Ilanit & Ruth Feldman (2008): Synchrony in the Triad: A Microlevel Process Model of Coparenting and Parent-Child Interactions. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 465-479.

abstract: Guided by a microanalytic approach to the study of relationships, we assessed parent, infant, and coparental behaviors during triadic interactions in 94 parents and their 5-month-old firstborn child. Relational behaviors in each family subsystemFmotherinfant, father-infant, and coparentingFwere microcoded. Marital satisfaction and infant temperament were self-reported. No differences were found in the infants’ behavior toward mother and father or in the time spent with each parent. Mothers’ and fathers’ relational behavior during parent-infant episodes were generally comparable, yet mothers vocalized more and the latency to father’s displaying positive affect was longer. Conditional probabilities indicated that under conditions of coparental mutuality, fathers showed more positive behaviors than mothers. Lag-sequential analysis demonstrated that change in the infant’s social focus between parents followed change in coparental behavior. Fathers’ coparental mutuality was independently predicted by maternal behavior during mother-child episodes, father marital satisfaction, and infant difficult temperament, whereas mothers’ coparental mutuality was only linked with fathers’ relational behavior. Results highlight the importance of including a microlevel perspective on the family system at the first stages of family development.

Elliston, Donna, James P. McHale, Jean Talbot, Meagan Parmley & Regina Kuersten-Hogan (2008): Withdrawal From Coparenting Interactions During Early Infancy. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 481-499.

abstract: This study examines early withdrawal in the coparenting system, and the utility of a brief problem-solving discussion about coparenting responsibilities as a means for evaluating such withdrawal. One hundred and fifteen couples were evaluated both prenatally and at 3 months postpartum. During prenatal assessments, parents rated their personalities and completed marital assessments. After the baby arrived, they completed a negotiation task in which they discussed disputes about parenting roles and responsibilities, and interacted together with the baby in a triadic play assessment. Fathers’ but not mothers’ withdrawal during coparenting negotiations was associated with greater disengagement and less warmth during triadic play and with fathers’ feelings that mothers did not respect their parenting. Fathers’ but not mothers’ withdrawal during coparenting negotiations was also forecast by low ego resilience and by an increase in depressive symptomatology during the postpartum. As the negotiation task appeared to be an effective provocateur of withdrawal when confronting coparenting disagreement, it may prove useful for eliciting this aspect of coparental process in work with couples.

Cannon, Elizabeth A., Sarah J. Schoppe-Sullivan, Sarah C. Mangelsdorf, Geoffrey L. Brown & Margaret Szewczyk Sokolowski (2008): Parent Characteristics as Antecedents of Maternal Gatekeeping and Fathering Behavior. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 501-519.

abstract: The present study examined the role of prebirth parent characteristics as predictors of maternal gatekeeping (mothers’ attempts to encourage or discourage fathers’ interaction with their infant) and fathering behavior. Parents’ idealization of their relationships within their families of origin, beliefs about the roles of fathers, and personality attributes (negative emotionality and communion) were assessed before their infant’s birth. At 3.5 months postpartum, maternal gatekeeping behaviors (negative control, facilitation) and fathers’ involvement and competence with their infants were assessed during observation of triadic play and child care. Results suggest reciprocal relations between maternal gatekeeping and fathering behavior. Furthermore, greater paternal communion was associated with greater paternal competence during play, whereas greater maternal communion was associated with lower paternal competence during child care. Greater maternal communion and greater maternal idealization related to fathers’ lower relative involvement during play. As for maternal gatekeeping behavior, high negative emotionality in 1 parent was only accompanied by high levels of inhibitory maternal gatekeeping when the other parent had less progressive beliefs about the father’s role. The implications of these findings for clinicians and practitioners are discussed.

Smithbattle, Lee (2008): Gaining Ground from a Family and Cultural Legacy: A Teen Mother’s Story of Repairing the World. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 521-535.

abstract: A multigenerational longitudinal study of teen mothering provided prospective data on the intergenerational continuities and discontinuities in parenting traditions and caregiving legacies. Families that included a teen mother were first interviewed intensively in 1988–1989 and were reinterviewed in 1993, 1997, 2001, and 2005. All studies in the series were based on the phenomenology of everyday practices and the assumption that the self is constituted by practical, historical, and embodied understandings. Data were analyzed using the hermeneutic approach.

Hansson, Kjell, Marianne Cederblad, Paul Lichtenstein, David Reiss, Nancy L. Pedersen, Jenae Belderhiser & Olle Elthammar (2008): Individual Resiliency Factors from a Genetic Perspective: Results from a Twin Study. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 537-551.

abstract: This article is part of the Twin Mother’s Study, a study that examines influences on maternal adjustment. A number of studies have investigated the importance of genetic factors for mental health, but few of these examine how genes and the environment influence resiliency/salutogenic factors. This article investigates the relative importance of genetic and environmental influences on resiliency/salutogenic factors. This study includes 326 twin pairs (150 monozygotic and 176 dizygotic) who are mothers, who are living with their spouse, and who are part of the Swedish twin register. Using self-report structured questionnaires, we assessed salutogenic factors, depression, and quality of life; however, we analyzed the questionnaires completed by the mothers. Statistical analyses were conducted using structural equation modeling. We conclude that nonshared environmental components were of principal importance in individual resiliency/salutogenic factors in a genetically informative design, but we also noted that genetic influences were important. The shared environment had mainly no effect.

Berger, Roni & Marilyn Paul (2008): Family Secrets and Family Functioning: The Case of Donor Assistance. In: Family Process 47(4): S. 553-566.

abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between adult offspring’s perception of family functioning and of parental use of topic avoidance to maintain secrecy regarding the use of donor assistance to conceive. A cross-sectional design was used to study a convenience sample of 69 young adult donor offspring who completed a demographic questionnaire, a topic avoidance scale relative to each of their rearing parents, and the Beavers Self Report Family Instrument. Findings indicated that participants perceived both parents as avoiding the topic of donor assistance more than other topics, mothers as avoiding all topics less than fathers, and topic avoidance was negatively associated with family functioning. Mothers’ general topic avoidance was the strongest predictor of family functioning. Parents’ disclosing together was predictive of higher family functioning. Implications for practice and future research are suggested.

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