Team McCallum

R&D for Lifetime of Life

Family type v school problems.

Professors Sturge-Apple, Davies and Cummings followed 234 6-year old children for 3 years on entry to school to see if there was a link between family type and issues issues in the earliest school years.

Based on parent-parent, parent-child and parent-parent-child interactions, families were classified into 3 using family systems theory.

Cohesive families have emotional warmth and firm but flexible roles for parents and children.

Enmeshed families have some emotional warmth but a limited sense of the family as a team, so some hostility and meddling.

Disengaged families have withdrawn relationships and are more cold and controlling.

Disengaged children began school with higher levels of aggressive and disruptive behaviour and had more difficulty focusing on learning and cooperating with the classroom rules. This grew worse over time.

Enmeshed children began school with no more disciplinary problems than their peers from cohesive families. But as both enmeshed and disengaged children continued in school they began to suffer higher levels of anxiety and feelings of loneliness and alienation from peers and teachers.

The team point out there are other risk factors here, such as high-crime neighbourhoods, high-poverty schools, troubled peer circles, and genetics.

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July 16, 2010 - Posted by | Child Health, E Mark Cummings, Loneliness, Melissa L Sturge-Apple, Patrick T Davies, Psychology, Relationships, Social networks, Success

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