Depression and Aggression in Family Interaction

By Gerald R. Patterson | Go to book overview

facet of the campaign. NCI has begun an experimental evaluation of a community intervention trial that combines all of the just-discussed efforts to deter tobacco use. Preliminary evidence from the evaluation of a community-wide campaign to affect cardiovascular fitness indicates that such programs can have a beneficial impact (Perry, personal communication). A key feature of the latter campaign is its focus on getting community leaders to adopt the goals of the campaign as their own. Such formal placement of these issues on the agenda of the community probably enhances the effectiveness of each part of the campaign. For example, efforts to get health care providers to encourage nonaversive family practices may be aided if the social context for the providers includes a good deal of public discussion about the importance of positive family interactions and evidence that other individuals and agencies are working toward the same goal.


CONCLUSION

Aversive practices are a critical feature of most family problems. A good deal of progress has been made in understanding how to ameliorate aversive exchanges through modification of the context for individual family members. However, efforts to change the context for entire families have been limited primarily to interventions by therapists. Analysis of the larger context for family aversive practices suggests that the impact and scope of these efforts could be enhanced through programs in other facets of the context for families, such as government, schools, health care agencies, community service agencies, and the media. Only careful evaluation of the effects of such interventions will tell if they can, in fact, add to our ability to ameliorate these harmful interactions. The task is certainly formidable, since such interventions will be more costly than clinical work with individual families and substantial methodological problems will need to be overcome. However, interventions of this sort have the potential to affect more people than clinical interventions and will affect them in ways that might not be possible in therapeutic interventions. Given the scope and importance of the problem and what we already know, the time has come to take this next step.

Is it reasonable for society to fund such an undertaking? We have tried to show that it is. However, from a contextual point of view, research itself may be seen as a cultural activity occurring in a context. According to Harris ( 1979), activities such as scientific research will have an impact on other aspects of the culture only to the extent that they are congruent with the requirements for production and reproduction. If research on ways to reduce aversive practices in families is going to be supported by the society and is going to affect actual practices, it will be important to articulate the ways it could contribute to the productive processes. There are several ways in which such a contribution could occur. First, we may be able to reduce the costs associated with aversive family interactions. For example, Elder et al. ( 1986) have documented that males who

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Depression and Aggression in Family Interaction
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xi
  • References xiv
  • 1: The Family Research Consortium: At the Crest of a Major Wave? 1
  • 2: Developmental Epidemiological Framework for Family Research on Depression and Aggression 11
  • References 46
  • 3: Methodological Issues in the Study of Family Violence 49
  • Conclusion 70
  • Acknowledgments 71
  • References 72
  • 4: How Marriages Change 75
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENT 99
  • References 100
  • 5: A Contextual Approach to the Problem of Aversive Practices in Families 103
  • Conclusion 123
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 124
  • References 124
  • 6: Statistical Methods for Analyzing Family Interaction 131
  • Summary 165
  • Acknowledgments 165
  • References 166
  • 7: Family Environments of Depressed and Well Parents and Their Children: Issues of Research Methods 169
  • Conclusion 182
  • Acknowledgments 183
  • References 183
  • 8 - Maternal Depression, Marital Discord, and Children's Behavior: A Developmental Perspective 185
  • Acknowledgments 204
  • References 204
  • 9: Initiation and Maintenance of Process Disrupting Single- Mother Families 209
  • Acknowledgments 242
  • References 243
  • 10: Method Variance in Structural Equation Modeling: Living with "Glop" 247
  • References 276
  • 11: Reflections: A Conceptual Analysis and Synthesis 281
  • References 312
  • Author Index 315
  • Subject Index 325
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