It has long been assumed that family fights have a negative effect on children. Recent findings from research and clinical practice indicate that it is not necessarily the presence of marital conflict that adversely affects children, but, more specifically, how disagreements are handled within the family. Reviewing the now extensive literature on the subject, this volume examines the impact of familial discord on children and presents strategies for clinicians to help parents resolve differences more effectively for the sake of their children, as well as their marriage.
Chapters consider the long-term impact of marital discord on children and relate this to what is known about the risk for the development of psychopathology. Reviewing the research on marital interactions in both distressed and nondistressed couples, the authors consider conflict styles of distressed marriages, the bases for marital distress, long-term consequences of marital anger and apathy, and better ways of fighting. The emotional, behavioral, and even physiological impact of interadult and interparental expressions of anger on bystanding children are also examined.
Other highlights include:
* Models of different styles of family and marital relations
* Up-to-date research on family processes
* Illustrative case examples
* Descriptions of children's responses in both laboratory and field studies
* Important, bottom-line prescriptions for therapists,
educators, and parents
While the review of the scientific evidence on these important questions is exhaustive, the information is presented so that it is accessible to students and parents as well as clinicians, researchers, and academics. This text functions as a resource for clinicians, providing information on clinical processes and outcomes; a guidebook for educators, policy makers, and parents especially in terms of the treatment of issues pertaining to constructive versus destructive methods of dispute; and a scholarly reference for academics and researchers in the child and family areas, offering a state-of-the-art review of current literature.