The imprint of trauma on family relationships: an enquiry into what may trouble a ‘troubled family’ and its implications for whole-family services

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Colleges, School and Institutes


For some families facing complex difficulties, an underlying issue can be the impact of traumatic experiences, such as child abuse or domestic violence. While the impact of trauma on individuals is relatively well understood, its impact on the functioning of family or relational systems is less well theorised. This article takes forward the development of an original theoretical framework to address this, building on concepts of family schema and recovery capital. This discussion is grounded in the practice context of whole-family support and decision-making services, and is explored through an analysis of narrative data obtained as part of a wider national study into whole-family approaches.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-478
Number of pages16
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Issue number3
Early online date10 Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas