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

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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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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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