Michigan Family Review is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary publication focusing on professional application and scholarly inquiry. MFR is published once a year with each volume highlighting a single theme. More...

Editorial Board

  • Gloria Albrecht (University of Detroit Mercy)
  • Gary Bischof (Western Michigan University)
  • Thomas W. Blume (Oakland University)
  • Katie Bozek (Transitions Therapy, PLLC)
  • Clifford Broman (Michigan State University)
  • Kathleen Burns-Jager (Michigan State University)
  • Heather E. Dillaway (Wayne State University)
  • Karen Erlandson (Albion College)
  • Sharon Lindhorst Everhardt (Delta College)
  • Roy Gerard (Michigan State University)
  • Chris Latty (Central Michigan University)
  • Carey Wexler Sherman (University of Michigan)

More Info...

Volume 17 (2013) Current Issue

Introduction: Special Issue on Families and Disabilities

Jennifer Haskin and Heather Dillaway

Articles featured in Volume 17 of Michigan Family Review focus on issues faced by families when a member, or members, have disabilities. Family researchers of disability have often focused on how physical (visible) disability affects family life and family wellbeing. In this special issue, we offer a selection of articles that highlight cognitive (often invisible) disabilities and mental health, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Dementia due to aging, learning disabilities, and child abuse.

Understanding Resource Needs of Persons with Dementia and Their Caregivers

Rosanne DiZazzo-Miller, Fredrick D. Pociask, and Preethy Samuel

The purpose of this study was to understand the lived experiences of family caregivers of persons with dementia in accessing resources as the disease progresses, using four focus groups. Findings indicate differences in caregiver needs by stage of dementia of the care recipient. Service professionals noted family-level dynamics as possibly hindering care and voiced concern with limited mental health services. The need to educate caregivers on the scope of available services and applicable information was clear.

Learning Disabilities, Juvenile Delinquency and the Family: The Role of “Intensive Parenting”

Michelle Pryor-Kowalski

This study explores the ways in which parents cope with and manage children who have problems such as learning disabilities and delinquency. Prior research has suggested that these problem areas are frequently related, but this qualitative study explores variations in parenting dynamics associated with better adaptations on the part of the child, and that lower the likelihood that the learning disabled child will also emerge as a delinquent one. In fourteen of these families, the child had a learning disability and had also become involved in delinquent behavior. We argue that although all parents who have a learning disabled child share a number of common experiences, including unique family stresses, differences in parenting style and practices, including accommodations/reactions to the learning disability serve to differentiate more successful families from those whose children eventually become involved with the juvenile court system. A highly intensive parenting style in particular characterizes these more successful families.

Vietnam in the Later Family: Self-reported Symptoms and Interpretations of Posttraumatic Stress

Terri Kovach

The influence of combat exposure in the Vietnam War continues into later family life as this veteran cohort ages and family structure expands. The author utilizes qualitative, phenomenological analysis to examine the meaning of PTSD symptoms such as re-experiencing, avoidance/numbing, arousal, and social impairment and how they influence family function. Veterans describe how combat trauma shaped experiences of nightmares, callousness, triggers, anger, startling, control, and substance abuse and interpret those behaviors as damaging or enhancing their family relationships and friendships. This project has implications for veterans of the Gulf War and the current wars in the Middle East as well as for their families.

Adult Children and Eldercare: The Moral Considerations of Filial Obligations

Heleana Theixos

This essay investigates the demands on adult children to provide care for their elderly/ill parents from a socio-moral perspective. In order to narrow the examination, the question pursued here is agent-relative: What social and moral complexities are involved for the adult child when their parent(s) need care? First, this article examines our society’s expectation that adult children are morally obligated to provide care for their parents. Second, the essay articulates how transgressing against this normative expectation can inure significant moral criticism. The final sections present these tensions within the context of disability.