ERIC Number: ED177404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Nov-20
Reference Count: 0
Viewing Aging Issues From a Family Theory and Therapy Perspective.
Kerr, Kathleen B.
When applied to older persons, basic concepts of Bowen Family Systems Theory, the most well developed theory emerging from the family movement in psychiatry, focus on the family systems of older people rather than on the problems of the aged. This Bowen focus on the value of intergenerational contact and continuity leads naturally to seeing the aged as assets rather than liabilities, as repositories of family history and links to the past. Clinical observations consistently find the healthiest families maintain calm, open emotional contact with past generations, although they also observe emotional cutoffs with older family members, despite frequent physical contact, and the repetition and intensification of such cutoffs through the generations. The general implication of a family systems view is that it is impossible to understand behavior of older persons without examining the family system surrounding them. Thus, clinical effort focusses on helping people bridge cutoffs with their extended family. (Author)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Bowen Family Systems Theory
Note: Paper presented at the Conference of the Gerontological Society (30th, San Francisco, California, November, 1978)