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Family Process Heft 4/2009
1/2009 - 2/2009 - 3/2009 - 4/2009 - Überblick

Imber-Black, Evan (2009): Editorial: Snuggles, My Cotherapist, and Other Animal Tales in Life and Therapy. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 459-461

Walsh, Froma (2009): Human-Animal Bonds I: The Relational Significance of Companion Animals. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 462-480.

abstract: The importance of human-animal bonds has been documented throughout history, across cultures, and in recent research. However, attachments with companion animals have been undervalued and even pathologized in the field of mental health. This article briefly surveys the evolution of human-animal bonds, reviews research on their health and mental health benefits, and examines their profound relational significance across the life course. Finally, the emerging field of animal-assisted interventions is described, noting applications in hospital and eldercare settings, and in innovative school, prison, farm, and community programs. The aim of this overview paper is to stimulate more attention to these vital bonds in systems-oriented theory, practice, and research. A companion paper in this issue focuses on the role of pets and relational dynamics in family systems and family therapy.

Walsh, Froma (2009): Human-Animal Bonds II: The Role of Pets in Family Systems and Family Therapy. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 481-499.

abstract: The vast majority of pet owners regard their companion animals as family members, yet the role of pets in family systems and family therapy has received little attention in research, training, and practice. This article first notes the benefits of family pets and their importance for resilience. It then examines their role in couple and family processes and their involvement in relational dynamics and tensions. Next, it addresses bereavement in the loss of a cherished pet, influences complicating grief, and facilitation of mourning and adaptation. Finally, it explores the ways that clients' pets and the use of therapists' companion animals in animal-assisted therapy can inform and enrich couple and family therapy as valuable resources in healing.

Fivaz-Depeursinge, Elisabeth, Francesco Lopez, Maryline Python & Nicolas Favez (2009): Coparenting and Toddler's Interactive Styles in Family Coalitions. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 500-516.

abstract: The current study examined the coparenting and toddler's interactive styles in family coalitions. According to structural family theory, boundaries between generations are clear in alliances, but disturbed in coalitions: the parents look to the child to regulate their conflictual relationship and the child attempts to meet this need. In a normative sample studied longitudinally during the Lausanne Trilogue Play situation (LTP, N=38), 15 coalition cases were detected. Styles of coparenting and of child's interactions were determined and compared in coalition and alliance cases at 18 months. Findings confirm the structural family model by showing the specific ways in which the coparenting and the toddler's interactive styles are associated in 3 different patterns of coalitions: binding, detouring, and triangulation. They illustrate how the child's triangular capacity, or her ability to simultaneously communicate with both parents, is used to regulate the parents' relationship. They suggest that the LTP observational paradigm is a promising assessment method of early family interactions. They point to the importance of assessing early the child's contribution to family coalitions.

Wiggins, Tamera L., Kate Sofronoff & Matthew R. Sanders (2009): Pathways Triple P-Positive Parenting Program: Effects on Parent-Child Relationships and Child Behavior Problems. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 517-530.

abstract: This study examined the effects of Pathways Triple P (PTP), an early intervention program designed to promote positive parent-child relationships. Sixty parents met the inclusion criteria of borderline to clinically significant relationship disturbance and child emotional and behavioral problems. They were randomly allocated into PTP or a wait-list (WL) control group. PTP was delivered in a group format for 9 weeks and consisted of parent skills training and cognitive behavior therapy targeting negative attributions for child behavior. Significant intervention effects were found for improving parent-child relationships and reducing behavior problems with gains maintained at 3-month follow-up. Limitations of the study and implications for future research are discussed.

Busby, Dean M. & Thomas B. Holman (2009): Perceived Match or Mismatch on the Gottman Conflict Styles: Associations with Relationship Outcome Variables. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 531-545.

abstract: Gottman has proposed that there are 3 functional styles of conflict management in couple relationships, labeled Avoidant, Validating, and Volatile, and 1 dysfunctional style, labeled Hostile. Using a sample of 1,983 couples in a committed relationship, we test the association of perceived matches or mismatches on these conflict styles with relationship outcome variables. The results indicate that 32% of the participants perceive there is a mismatch with their conflict style and that of their partner. The Volatile-Avoidant mismatch was particularly problematic and was associated with more stonewalling, relationship problems, and lower levels of relationship satisfaction and stability than the Validating matched style and than other mismatched styles. The most problematic style was the Hostile style. Contrary to existing assumptions by Gottman, the 3 matched functional styles were not equivalent, as the Validating Style was associated with substantially better results on relationship outcome measures than the Volatile and Avoidant styles.

Solomon, Zahava, Rachel Dekel & Gadi Zerach (2009): Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Marital Adjustment: The Mediating Role of Forgiveness. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 546-558.

abstract: The study assessed the effects of war captivity on posttraumatic stress symptoms and marital adjustment among Prisoners of War (POWs) from the Yom Kippur War. It was hypothesized that men's perception of level of forgiveness mediates the relation between posttraumatic symptoms and marital adjustment. The sample consisted of 157 Israeli veterans divided into 3 groups: 21 POWs with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), 58 former POWs without PTSD, and 70 control veterans. The findings indicated that former POWs with PTSD reported lower levels of marital satisfaction and forgiveness than veterans in the other 2 groups. In addition, men's perception of level of forgiveness mediated the relationship between their posttraumatic symptoms and their marital adjustment. The theoretical and clinical implications of these results are discussed.

Sim, Timothy & Chiyi Hu (2009): Family Therapy in the Forbidden City: A Review of Chinese Journals From 1978 to 2006. In: Family Process 48 (4): S. 559-583.

abstract: This article provides a glimpse into the development of family therapy in China, by reviewing family therapy articles written in Chinese and published in journals in China that are not, therefore, readily accessible to the international community. A content analysis of journals published between 1978 and 2006 revealed 199 family therapy articles in 109 Chinese journals. Most of the studies were conducted by psychiatry or medical professionals, and were based on general systems theory or a systemic family therapy model. The articles focused on the promotion of family therapy theories and interventions in China, but did not specify the application of theory to specific clientele or symptoms. After the year 2000, a threefold increase in the number of family therapy publications was noted. These papers included the introduction of additional theories, but did not include critical assessment of the applicability of Western family therapy models to Chinese families. The researchers noted an absence of articles that identified Chinese approaches to family therapy, and a paucity of papers on gender, professional reflection, and the therapy process. The article concludes that there is room for improvement in the quality of family therapy publications in China, and that gains may be made by interdisciplinary collaboration among academics and practitioners.

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