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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 137070 Find in a Library
Title: Intergenerational Family Processes in the Treatment of Incest (From Child Trauma I Issues and Research, P 293-305, 1992, Ann Wolbert Burgess, ed. -- See NCJ-137060)
Author(s): M Cotroneo; H Moriarty
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: Garland Publishing, Inc.
New York, NY 10003-3304
Sale Source: Garland Publishing, Inc.
19 Union Square
West Floor 8
New York, NY 10003-3304
United States of America
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter draws on clinical findings from intergenerational family treatment of intrafamilial abuse to describe family loyalty conflicts as one process that increases the risk that children can become foci of maladaptive interactions (incest) among members of a family unit.
Abstract: From a contextual perspective, incest is viewed as a loyalty conflict (Gelinas, 1986). It is a triangular configuration in which the relationship to the victim is a substitutive context for rebalancing relational injuries or losses in the perpetrator's family of origin. In addition, there is evidence of a symbiotic relationship between mother and daughter that involves the mother's rebalancing of injuries and losses that occurred in her own family of origin. Victims are thus held captive in a situation of competing or split loyalties in which the well-being of the self is subordinated to the well-being of significant others. Moreover, the victim actually absorbs parental hurts, disappointments, and failures as if they were his or her own. As a manifestation of loyalty, incest maintains the family as a unit and regulates behavior having to do with closeness and distance in the marital couple and in the parent-child relationship. Contextual theory and therapy provides a useful method of eliciting loyalty conflicts and making them explicit in a way that supports the victim, holds the perpetrator accountable, and preserves needed relationship resources. 2 tables and 22 references
Main Term(s): Domestic relations; Incest treatment
Index Term(s): Child abuse causes; Child Sexual Abuse
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