FAMILY CONCEPT FACTORS MEDIATING DYSFUNCTION IN FAMILIES WITH AN ENCOPRETIC CHILD (TYPOLOGY)

ROBERT MARGOLIES, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to explore family concepts (perceptions) in families with an encopretic child. Clinical observations of parents of encopretic children were used as a base to generate hypotheses concerning individual and shared family perceptions.^ Thirty parental dyads from families with an encopretic child and thirty control group families with a non-encopretic child participated in the study. Extraneous inter-group variability was controlled by selecting families pariwise to be similar in family size, age, and sex of the main child. Additional limiting characteristics were also imposed on sample selection.^ Parents were administered a battery of tests including the Family Concept Q-Sort, the Moos Family Environment Scale, a set of Semantic Differential scales, and a questionnaire on child rearing practices.^ Encopretic group families were found to perceive themselves as less effective and less adaptive in general family life and social activities, and to have a more negative cognitive model of an ideal well-functioning family than control group families. Encopretic group mothers were found to be less satisfied with family integration, and more negative in their evaluation of other family members (especially the encopretic child) than control group mothers. Neither group nor inter-parental differences were found on measures of family congruence, general satisfaction with family life, and major theoretical systems dimensions of family cohesion and communications. Toilet training techniques were found to be largely comparable across groups, except for the tendency of encopretic group parents to utilize physical punishment for soiling accidents. These and other findings were discussed in relation to clinical hypotheses outlined in the literature review.^ Finally, an obverse factor analysis of encopretic group family Q-Sorts was undertaken and is discussed in terms of its methodological implications for furthering the understanding of the relation between individual conceptualizations of the family and general systems functioning. ^

Subject Area

Psychology

Recommended Citation

MARGOLIES, ROBERT, "FAMILY CONCEPT FACTORS MEDIATING DYSFUNCTION IN FAMILIES WITH AN ENCOPRETIC CHILD (TYPOLOGY)" (1984). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8506347.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8506347

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