Families with Adolescents - Bridging the Gaps Between Theory, Research, and Practice

von Stephen Gavazzi
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Stephen Gavazzi Families with Adolescents - Bridging the Gaps Between Theory, Research, and Practice
Stephen Gavazzi - Families with Adolescents - Bridging the Gaps Between Theory, Research, and Practice

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Despite their flocking to social networking sites in unprecedented numbers, research confirms that adolescents continue to be influenced primarily by their families rather than their peers and other social contexts. Consequently, the family unit remains a vital setting for understanding and intervening with youth. Synthesizing important findings from the literature on family science and such related fields as psychology, sociology, social work, and public health, Families with Adolescents focuses a unique panoramic lens on the study of adolescent development.

This concise volume offers a clear blueprint for more consistently improved practice, emphasizing family process and structure instead of individual developmental stages. Its chapters deftly summarize the recent knowledge base across the mental health and social services disciplines, illustrating family concerns and theoretical perspectives coupled with real-world vignettes and making cogent use of family assessment measures.

Featured topics include:

  • Central concepts of family development, family systems, ecological, attachment, and social learning theories in relation to families with adolescents.

  • Impact of the family on adolescent behavior, education, and mental health outcomes.

  • Selected studies on parenting behaviors, conflict resolution, and other major aspects of families with adolescents.

  • Application topics in family-based intervention and prevention programs.

  • Integrating theory, research, and applications to create a “triple threat” model.

Families with Adolescents is an essential resource for researchers and graduate students as well as mental health therapists in clinical child and developmental psychology, family studies, human development, sociology, social work, and education.


Stephen Gavazzi

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Highlights the interdisciplinary nature of current research efforts

Provides an integrative and concise approach to this area of study

Draws evenly from a broad cross-section of social science disciplines

Offers vignettes of adolescents and their families that illustrate the basic themes of each section of the book

Springer US

Stephen M. Gavazzi, Ph.D., is Professor, Department of Human Development and Family Science at The Ohio State University, and Lead Director of the OSU Center for Family Research. During the past 20 years at Ohio State, Dr. Gavazzi has established a research program that identifies the impact of family dynamics on youth development, psychopathology, and problem behavior. This work has been supported by more than $4 million in grants from a wide variety of federal, state, and private sources. He also is a trained Family Therapist, thus bringing an applied clinical perspective to his work. Dr. Gavazzi has been involved in the development and evaluation of a number of family-based programming efforts, including a multifamily psychoeducational group for families containing children with mood disorders, as well as a strength-based program for families who have adolescents involved in some aspect of the juvenile court. Most recently, he has been involved in the development of the Global Risk Assessment Device, a web-based instrument designed to generate information that assists professionals in making appropriate service referrals for at-risk youth and their families.


"Families and Adolescents is a major accomplishment. It's uncommon for a book to offer immediate relevance for clinical and research audiences, but that's just what Professor Gavazzi has done in this crisply written and comprehensive work. Scientists will benefit from the accurate and complete review of core topics in the adolescent development and developmental psychopathology areas, and therapists will be enriched by the book's fair, thorough and clearly organized summaries of the fundamental therapeutic issues of our day. The interconnections between the theoretical, the empirical and the clinical domains of the adolescent and family specialties are understood and described clearly, and this feature, among others, will establish the book as an exemplary and unique contribution."

- Howard A. Liddle, EdD, ABPP
Professor and Director,
Center for Treatment Research on Adolescent Drug Abuse University of Miami Miller School of Medicine


"At last, a much needed book, destined to be a classic, has been written by Dr. Stephen Gavazzi that clearly establishes how the context of families continues to matter for young people during the adolescent years. An amazing accomplishment of Families with Adolescents is that it covers such a vast range of theoretical, empirical and application issues very efficiently in giving the reader a thorough understanding of this complex topic from many vantage points. It does so by reviewing and integrating the best current scholarship about 1) family science and developmental theories, 2) the most prominent research on family processes and adolescent development, as well as 3) some of the best work on prevention and intervention strategies for families with adolescent members. Although the book provides extensive knowledge about adolescents, Professor Gavazzi makes clear that the primary focus of the book is to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of the family context during the time when adolescents are shaping many of the challenges faced by families. The focus of the book, therefore, is on family processes, family structure, family conflict, and family problem solving, as well as related interactions within and among different dyadic relationships within the family (e.g., the parent-adolescent, interparental, and sibling subsystems). Significant attention is devoted to how these dimensions of the family system may contribute in either positive or negative ways to adolescent delinquency, mental health, substance use, sexual activity, education, and social competence. This book focuses on these issues with a thoughtful review of the key empirical literature found in prominent publication sources on families with adolescents conducted over the last fifteen years. When Gavazzi turns to the issue of application, he focuses on family-based work that targets such problem behaviors as adolescent delinquency, mental health, and substance abuse. Other family-based interventions deal with multiple problem behaviors, while the family prevention chapter focuses on family strengthening strategies and those approaches that target families that are at risk. Families with Adolescents is the first book of its kind to review, analyze and integrate theory, research, and practice about families and adolescents so comprehensively. It is a landmark publication that scholars, graduate students, and advanced undergraduates from many social science fields will find invaluable for understanding the challenges and dynamics of families during this fascinating phase of the life course."

- Gary W. Peterson
Professor and Chair
Department of Family Studies and Social Work
101C McGuffey Hall
Miami University
Oxford, OH 45056


"Designed to guide students and professionals in using the "triple threat" of current theory, research, and preventions/interventions in professional practice and, this book is outstanding for inaugurating students into and updating practioners in the scholarship and programs for families with adolescents. This book moves beyond traditional approaches by integrating ideas from prominent theoretical foundations (family developmental, family systems, ecological, attachment, and social learning), highlighting research in the past 15 years on overall family systems and subsystems with adolescents (mother-youth, father-youth, mother-father-youth, siblings), families and adolescent outcomes, and providing both general guidelines and specific examples of family programs to serve as a foundation for prevention and intervention. In sum, this is an exciting resource that challenges readers to maximize the synergies of integrating contributions from theory, current research, and practice in prevention, intervention, and scholarship to promote adaptation in families with adolescents."

- Carolyn Henry
Professor of Human Development and Family Science
Oklahoma State University

From the reviews:

"The book is organized into five parts. ... The literature reviewed in this book provides considerable evidence for the importance of family relationships in adolescent development. ... Readers can pursue topics of interest in greater depth by following leads provided in the extensive reference list. Graduate students seeking research topics and clinicians interested in an update of the empirical literature on families with adolescents will also find value in this book ... ." (Joseph A. Micucci, PsycCRITIQUES, Vol. 56 (32), August, 2011)

"Families with Adolescents: Bridging the Gap Between Theory, Research, and Practice is one of several books that have been recently published that focus on adolescents within the family. ... Families with Adolescents achieves its objective in a clear, yet concise, manner. ... Families with Adolescents offers a comprehensive look at a specific field of study and would be an important addition to a growing library of scholarly work that is focused on adolescents and their families." (Larry F. Forthun, Journal of Youth Adolescence, Vol. 40, 2011)

This book focuses a unique panoramic lens on the study of adolescent development. It offers a clear blueprint for more consistently improved practice, emphasizing family process and structure instead of individual developmental stages.


1. Oktober 2014
0.235 x 0.155 x 0.012 m; 0.34 kg
€ 98,07
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