The purpose of this second meeting “Families in Trouble: Bridging the gap between child and adult psychopathology” is to integrate the latest research findings in basic research, intervention, and prevention on the interrelatedness of child, couple, and individual functioning and to make the research community as well as the public aware of these (sub)system relations. Research in the field of adult and child psychopathology or behavior problems has continued to progress at an impressive rate, both in terms of (a) understanding basic forms of psychopathology themselves and (b) developing and evaluating effective prevention and intervention efforts to alleviate these disorders. However, research has progressed in a way that has left the field somewhat splintered. That is, various investigators and clinicians typically focus upon specific subsystems within the broader family system, for example the relationship between how an adult’s maladaptive behaviors influence child functioning, or how having a child with behavior problems can affect the couple’s relationship. Thus, research and interventions on children and adults have not been well integrated into a broader family perspective. The focus of this Think Tank Meeting will be to bring together leading researchers and clinicians who explore different subsystems of the family (child, adult, couple, and family researchers and clinicians) to share their current research efforts and interventions. The intent is to provide a forum that will lead to an integrated perspective on how various family subsystems such as parent-child interactions affect other subsystems such as the couple or the family more broadly. It is essential that if we are to provide broad-based, empirically derived, thoughtful clinical interventions for the field, an integrated perspective on individual, family subsystem, and holistic family functioning be taken into account. By bringing together leading investigators and clinicians from around the world who explore different family subsystems and providing them with an opportunity to learn about each other’s research and to interact with each other, we intend to move the field forward to facilitate this broader integrated family perspective. Thus, recommendations for training and supervision of professionals and students from multiple disciplines to assist children, couples, and the family will also be discussed.
Each participant was invited as a prominent representative of a research field related to one of the family subsystems [e.g. individual parental, couple and family functioning] and its functioning and because of his or her expertise in this field.