Because chronic disorder is becoming an ordinary feature of family life and development, understanding its impact has become critical. This volume, and the conference proceedings it reports, represents a major effort to examine the family's response to chronic physical or psychopathological illness in one or more of its members. Recent data are revising our notions of chronic illness. Evidence is mounting that chronic psychiatric disorders reflect, in part, abnormalities of brain structure and function. In this sense, they are, in part, medical disorders. On the other hand, a number of traditionally labeled medical disorders produce a broad range of psychological symptoms and are exquisitely sensitive to psychosocial influences.
Families undergo a complex process of adaptation during which their response to stress and their fundamental beliefs about learning and parenting change. These beliefs endure and are difficult to alter. By examining the processes in a wide range of chronic conditions, this volume helps to identify the common, underlying processes of adaptation. The first three chapters concern the families' responses to disorders that are distinctly medical; the next three focus on families' responses to "grey zone" disorders or anomalies that appear early in life, minor physical anomalies, and communication handicaps; and one chapter focuses exclusively on schizophrenia. The last chapter reflects an effort to develop a model based on the experience of researchers with both psychiatric and medical illness.
"…a unique combination of studies that vary greatly in terms of conceptual framework, subject characteristics, and methodology."
Contents: R.E. Cole, D. Reiss, Introduction. E.A. Blechman, A.M. Delamater, Family Communication and Type 1 Diabetes: A Window on the Social Environment of Chronically Ill Children. S.T. Hauser, J. DiPlacido, A.M. Jacobson, E. Paul, R. Bliss, J. Milley, P. Lavori, M.A. Vieyra, J.I. Wolfsdorf, R.D. Herskowitz, J.B. Willett, C. Cole, D. Wertlieb, The Family and the Onset of Its Youngster's Insulin-Dependent Diabetes: Ways of Coping. N. Breslau, Psychiatric Sequelae of Brain Dysfunction in Children: The Role of Family Environment. C.F. Halverson, Jr., K.S. Wampler, The Mutual Influence of Child Externalizing Behavior and Family Functioning: The Impact of a Mild Congenital Risk Factor. I.E. Sigel, E.T. Stinson, J. Flaugher, Family Process and School Achievement: A Comparison of Children With and Without Communication Handicaps. J.L. Pearson, E.T. Stinson, I.E. Sigel, Parent Child-Rearing Values, Parent Behaviors, and Child Achievement Among Communication Handicapped and Noncommunication Handicapped Children. R.E. Cole, C.F. Kane, T. Zastowny, W. Grolnick, A. Lehman, Expressed Emotion, Communication, and Problem Solving in the Families of Chronic Schizophrenic Young Adults. D. Reiss, P. Steinglass, G. Howe, The Family's Organization Around the Illness.