analyzing dysfunctional family patterns through a multigenerational assessment

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Analyzing Dysfunctional Family Patterns Through a Multigenerational Assessment

Overview: Watch a movie that portrays a family with dysfunctional dynamics.

Conduct a multigenerational family assessment using the 17 categories

Some suggestions are:

Hannah & Her Sisters (1986)

The Kids are Alright (2001)

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Lymelife (2008)

On Golden Pond (1982)

Ordinary People (1980)

Parenthood (1989)

A River Runs Through It (1992)

The Squid and the Whale (2005)

Stories We Tell (2013)


1. Watch the movie you selected and complete a multi-generational family assessment based on the 17 categories discussed (see the 17 catagories below)

2. Include the following sections (maximum 3-5 single-spaced pages):

a. Introduction: Write a brief narrative that describes the family. Be sure to include key members, ethnic/cultural/racial/gender characteristics, other individuals or systems that impact the family, and primary issue/concern (e.g., divorce, death, adolescent rebellion, alcoholism, etc.). Your reader should be able to form a clear picture of the family without watching the movie.

b. Assessment: Write a narrative that includes all of the important aspects of a thorough assessment (e.g., differentiation, multigenerational transmission, emotional atmosphere, etc.). Refer to this week’s presentation for a complete list of categories. Be sure to describe each aspect assessed. In other words, provide a detailed description; not just a yes or no response to questions.

c. Conceptualization of the problem (case formulation): Provide a family systems explanation for the family’s distress. Be sure to include a detailed explanation of the family’s dysfunction, causative factors, and their understanding of the problem.

d. Facilitating change: Select one problem and provide an example of at least two interventions, reflective of the specific problems. For example, a disengaged family may benefit for a homework assignment of instructing each member to spend a minimum of 1 hour with each other family member and learn about his/her/they interests. Each child is to learn something about each parent’s interests, and each parent is to learn something about each child’s interest.

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