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NCJ Number: 68174 Find in a Library
Title: FAMILY SYSTEMS PERSPECTIVE ON STATUS OFFENDERS
Journal: JUVENILE AND FAMILY COURT JOURNAL  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:(MAY 1980)  Pages:49-53
Author(s): L KOGAN
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: TREATMENT OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY AS A FAMILY-BASED PROBLEM IS DISCUSSED; THE EXPERIENCE OF THE FAMILY TREATMENT UNIT OF THE ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO., JUVENILE COURT IS USED AS A CASE FOR DISCUSSION.
Abstract: ELIGIBILITY FOR THE UNIT'S PROGRAM IS LIMITED TO STATUS OFFENDERS. THE MAIN OFFENSES ARE RUNNING AWAY, INCORRIGIBILITY, AND TRUANCY. REGARDLESS OF THE OFFENSE, THE PROBLEMS DESCRIBED BY FAMILIES ARE REMARKABLY SIMILAR. AMONG PARENTS' COMPLAINTS ARE THAT THE CHILD WON'T OBEY, COOPERATE, OR COME HOME ON TIME. AMONG CHILDREN'S COMPLAINTS ARE THAT THE PARENTS WON'T LISTEN, DON'T CARE, OR ARE TOO STRICT. EACH FAMILY MEMBER MUST COMPLETE THE MOOS FAMILY ENVIRONMENT SCALE WHICH ASSESSES FAMILIES' SOCIAL ENVIRONMENTS ALONG 10 DIMENSIONS: COHESION, EXPRESSIVENESS, CONFLICTS, INDEPENDENCE, ACHIEVEMENT ORIENTATION, INTELLECTUAL-CULTURAL ORIENTATION, ACTIVE OR RECREATIONAL ORIENTATION, MORAL AND RELIGIOUS EMPHASIS, ORGANIZATION, AND CONTROL. A SAMPLE OF 52 STATUS OFFENDER FAMILIES REFERRED TO THE UNIT SHOWED ABOVE AVERAGE SCORES FOR CONFLICT, LOW COHESION SCORES, AND BELOW AVERAGE SCORES ON ALL THE PERSONAL GROWTH DIMENSIONS. SUCH FAMILIES USUALLY LACK EMOTIONAL CLOSENESS AMONG MEMBERS. ONE MEMBER'S DEVIANCE MAY SERVE A MEDIATING FUNCTION BY PROVIDING A FOCUS AWAY FROM A TROUBLED MARITAL RELATIONSHIP. THE BATTLE ABOUT RULES IS MAINTAINED BY PARENTAL DISAGREEMENT. ONE PARENT IS OVERINVOLVED AND CONTROLLING; THE OTHER, UNDERINVOLVED. CONTROL SEEMS TO BE THE BEST MEANS FOR CHANGING THE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY STRUCTURE AND MINIMIZING FAMILY CONFLICT. PARENTAL ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES NEED TO BE CHANGED BY SWITCHING ROLES, IN THE CASE OF HIGHLY CONFLICTUAL FAMILIES, OR WORKING TOGETHER, IN THE CASE OF LESS CONFLICTUAL FAMILIES. CHANGE IN THE CHILD WILL RESULT FROM CHANGING THE FAMILY STRUCTURES AND PUTTING THE PARENTS EFFECTIVELY IN CONTROL. SIX REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Domestic relations; Family counseling; Juvenile status offenders; Missouri
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68174

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