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Child Abuse in Family Emotional Process
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Code: DJ 5.2 (1) Smith
Price: $9.50
1 - I understand that this article is for my personal use only. 2 - Reproduction or systematic distribution of all or any part of this article without permission is prohibited. The volume discount to make copies of the articles for educational and training purposes is 20% off each article. Please contact us at or at 202-965-4400 to order at the volume rate. 3 - Access to the article will remain in effect for 24 hours and allows no more than one download of the article. 4 - If I have an ID and password used in this purchase, I will not provide it to anyone else.
Walter Howard Smith, Jr., PhD

This paper uses Bowen family systems theory to explore child abuse as an aspect of family adaptation to challenging and threatening circumstances. Child abuse is defined as violence that is directed toward children, results in harm or injury, and interferes with child maturation. As a symptom of individual and family functioning, child abuse reflects basic emotional processes. The way these families respond to stressful events and circumstances triggers their perceiving family responses as threats. Aggression and violence become ways of managing these threats. The essay describes how perceived threats and child abuse are aspects of chronic conditions in families. In some instances, these conditions are sustained for generations.

While child abuse injures children, it stabilizes family relationships. This complicates professional and family efforts to simply change the behavior. Bowen theory provides a conceptual and theoretical framework for professionals to create effective clinical hypotheses and interventions which address both the specific behaviors of child abuse and the basic family emotional processes which sustain the symptom.

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