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Family Processes and Children's Well-Being in Alcoholic Homes: Toward a Sociologically-Informed Research Agenda
Unformatted Document Text:  some cases, there is still much to be learned. Sociological discourse analysis seems particularly promising in this regard, because it enables large scale consideration of institutional practices, power and social reproduction of elements. More detailed sociological and social psychological analyses of existing treatment institutions practicing family systems approaches, such as the Caron Foundation in Pennsylvania, could also be helpful to future research (Csiernik, 2002). Anomalous Findings There is a further need to reconcile anomalous findings in this body of work. First and foremost is the issue regarding how mothers can serve as a buffer against the negative effects of alcoholic family processes on children and yet be largely inaccessible to them emotionally. More assessments of mothers’ roles in family functioning in homes with paternal alcoholism and careful examination of family routines and levels of disruption are needed (Haugland, 2003, 2005), as well as consideration of how families determine whether they consider their routines to be “maintained.” In addition, closer examination of variables that may moderate disruptive effects of alcoholism may also help to further understanding of these processes. Secondly, even though there is much empirical support for the notion that alcoholic families exhibit unique family routine and interactional dynamics, some researchers have indicated doubt whether alcoholic families are different from any other distressed family systems (Rotunda et al., 1995). To ensure that these challenges are addressed, continued nuanced theoretical attention to interactional dynamics in the family home environment, following the lead of scholars such as Ingrid Dundas and Bente Haugland, is needed. 21

Authors: Fisher, Lisa.
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some cases, there is still much to be learned. Sociological discourse analysis seems
particularly promising in this regard, because it enables large scale consideration of
institutional practices, power and social reproduction of elements. More detailed
sociological and social psychological analyses of existing treatment institutions
practicing family systems approaches, such as the Caron Foundation in Pennsylvania,
could also be helpful to future research (Csiernik, 2002).
Anomalous Findings
There is a further need to reconcile anomalous findings in this body of work.
First and foremost is the issue regarding how mothers can serve as a buffer against the
negative effects of alcoholic family processes on children and yet be largely
inaccessible to them emotionally. More assessments of mothers’ roles in family
functioning in homes with paternal alcoholism and careful examination of family routines
and levels of disruption are needed (Haugland, 2003, 2005), as well as consideration of
how families determine whether they consider their routines to be “maintained.” In
addition, closer examination of variables that may moderate disruptive effects of
alcoholism may also help to further understanding of these processes.
Secondly, even though there is much empirical support for the notion that
alcoholic families exhibit unique family routine and interactional dynamics, some
researchers have indicated doubt whether alcoholic families are different from any other
distressed family systems (Rotunda et al., 1995). To ensure that these challenges are
addressed, continued nuanced theoretical attention to interactional dynamics in the
family home environment, following the lead of scholars such as Ingrid Dundas and
Bente Haugland, is needed.
21


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