Role-confusion in parent-child relationships: Assessing mother's representations and its implications for counselling and psychotherapy practice - Université de Franche-Comté Access content directly
Journal Articles The European Journal of Counselling Psychology Year : 2016

Role-confusion in parent-child relationships: Assessing mother's representations and its implications for counselling and psychotherapy practice

Abstract

The representational world of the mother has long been at the center of clinical discussions regarding the quality of parenting. However, assessing mother’s representation of role-confusion in her relation with her child has yet to be investigated, even if parent-child role-confusion can lead to maladaptive pathways. As part of a larger study we developed the Maternal Role-Confusion Scale (PARC) to assess role-confusion in the way a parent talks about her relationship with the child on the Experience of Caregiving Interview (ECI). The ECI, a semi structured interview probing the mothers’ representations of her relationship with her child (Solomon, J., & George, C. (1996). Defining the caregiving system: Toward a theory of caregiving. Infant Mental Health Journal, 17(3), 183-197), is very clinically relevant and parts of the interview can easily be adapted for use in counselling and psychotherapy settings. Here, we first define role-confusion, its socio-economic and family dynamic aspects, and its impact on child development and adulthood. We then present our Parental Role-Confusion coding Scale (PARC). Next we describe two profiles of role-confused mothers from our sample, as well as evidence validating these maternal responses as predictors of role-confused distortions in observed interactions with the child. We call attention to the dimension of sexualisation in the relationship, a high indicator of Role-Confusion. This emerging body of work points to the importance of being alert to indicators of role-confusion in the clinical setting. The findings can inform and enrich counselling and psychology practice by familiarizing clinicians with how to listen for indicators of role-confusion while talking with parents about their relationship with the child.

Dates and versions

hal-03657603 , version 1 (03-05-2022)

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Cite

Lauriane Vulliez-Coady, Elisabet Solheim, Jeremy Nahum, Karlen Lyons-Ruth. Role-confusion in parent-child relationships: Assessing mother's representations and its implications for counselling and psychotherapy practice. The European Journal of Counselling Psychology, 2016, 4 (2), pp.205-227. ⟨10.5964/ejcop.v4i2.62⟩. ⟨hal-03657603⟩

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