The Role of the Family in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

David J. Hawes, Jennifer L. Allen, Carri Fisher

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


Child and adolescent mental health is understood to be highly embedded in the family system, particularly the parent-child relationship. Indeed, models of risk pathways to psychopathology emphasise interactions and transactions between the family environment and individual differences at the child-level, including gene-environment interplay. Therapist knowledge regarding the role of the family in these pathways is central to the clinical competencies involved in the evidence-based treatment of children and adolescents. This chapter provides an overview of current theory regarding family contributions to the major forms of psychopathology seen among children and adolescents. Attention is given to key family and parenting variables as they are conceptualised in the current literature, the mechanisms by which these variables contribute to the emergence and maintenance of psychopathology, and the origins and determinants of parenting
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFamily-based Intervention for Child and Adolescent Mental Health: A Core Competencies Approach
EditorsJennifer L. Allen, David J. Hawes, Cecilia Essau
PublisherCambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781108706063
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2021


  • child
  • adolescent
  • psychopathology
  • parenting
  • family
  • mental health


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