Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

First Advisor

Lina Hartocollis, Ph.D

Second Advisor

Richard J. Gelles, Ph.D

Third Advisor

Christine A. Courtois, Ph.D

Abstract

MOVING FAMILIES TO FUTURE HEALTH: REUNIFICATION EXPERIENCES AFTER SIBLING INCEST

Bianca M. Harper

Lina Hartocollis, Ph.D

Sibling incest is an under-reported, under-researched social problem that devastates affected families and challenges social workers and other professionals who work with them. There is little research on family experiences and changes in family dynamics after sibling incest and even less on the reunification experiences of families after sibling incest. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into families’ reunification experiences after sibling incest in order to promote continued healing and improve service delivery. A qualitative study, using semi-structured interviews was conducted with fourteen multidisciplinary professionals involved in family reunification after sibling incest. Grounded theory guided the analysis of interview data. Findings include themes of role of therapist, process of reunification, challenges of multidisciplinary team member collaboration, challenges of ensuring family safety, challenges of determining family readiness, clinical concerns, and lack of a road map. Findings suggest that the process of family reunification after sibling incest is complex and filled with many challenges for both the family and team members. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are also discussed.

Included in

Social Work Commons

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