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Within-Family Variability
 
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Code: DJ 12.2(3)
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Within-Family Variability: The Family Projection Process in an Adopted Family
Laura Brooks, MSW

The Adoptive Family Study (AFS) is a longitudinal, qualitative, prospective study of eight adoptive families. This paper uses a long-term case study design of one participant family composed of a mother, father, and their four children, two by adoption and two by birth. Observations of the family were made over the first thirteen years of the study, with data collected in annual interviews with the couple in their home. Annual updates of changes in the three generation family included discussion of each child’s adjustment. Transcripts of the interviews were coded from the perspective of the family projection process, a key concept in Bowen family systems theory that describes the process in which parents project their anxiety onto a child. This process contributes to a child’s vulnerability to anxiety and dysfunction




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