Family therapy with unmarried African American mothers and their adolescents

Dana Becker, Howard A. Liddle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Almost two-thirds of African American births are to unmarried mothers, and these single parents are among the most economically vulnerable in the United States. The effects of chronic stressors such as poverty can compromise the ability of these mothers to parent effectively, particularly during the developmental period of adolescence, typically a stressful phase of parenting. This article describes a multidimensional family therapy (MDFT) approach to working with African American adolescents who have drug and/or behavior problems. It is maintained that addressing the intrapersonal functioning of African American single mothers is vital if they are to re-establish the attachment bonds necessary for the maintenance of essential parental influence in the lives of their adolescents. Through systematic attention to the parent as an individual, leading to a balance between self-care and care for others, parental supervision is more easily achieved and relational impasses between parent and adolescent more equitably resolved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-427
Number of pages15
JournalFamily Process
Volume40
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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