|1.||What role does social support from extra-familial sources play in buffering extrafamilial or intrafamilial stressors?|
|2.||Under what conditions do competent children emerge from families burdened with high levels of extra- and intrafamilial stress?|
|3.||Do the three contexts interact with SES in their impact on family members? Why?|
|4.||Does interaction between parent and target child differ significantly from interaction between parent and all children? How is marital interaction altered by the presence of children?|
|5.||What is the relationship between self-report, natural rater, expert rater, and direct observation measures of the same constructs?|
|6.||Does family interaction, child outcome, and the intervening causal pathway differ between groups in which: the parent reports depressive symptoms in the clinical range but has not earned a DSM-III psychiatric diagnosis, the parent has earned a DSM-III psychiatric diagnosis. Does it differ between diagnostic groups?|
Table 11.2 is an idealized model of the various factors that interact in the nuclear family context. The complexity is self-evident. However numerous as the variable are that we identify as sources of potential influence on the different family members, there are still major formidable tasks awaiting us. One is the determination of which of these variables is relevant and to what degree. This decision, however, is dependent on conceptual and empirical development. The challenge then is to develop a comprehensive family system model, subject to empirical testing. Various research strategies are being developed to advance our knowledge, some of which are described in this volume. In this way advances can be made in this complex area.
Part of the research reported by Sigel and McGillicuddy-DeLisi in this paper was supported by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant No. R01-HD10686 to Educational Testing Service, National Institute of Mental Health Grant No. R01-MH32301 to Educational Testing Service, and Bureau of Education of the Handicapped Grant No. G007902000 to Educational Testing Service.
Thanks to Linda Kozelski for her skillful assistance.
Bakeman R., & Gottman J. ( 1986). Observing interaction: An introduction to sequential analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.