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Exploring the Relationship between Family Functioning and Psycho-Pathology in a Sample in the Pediatric Age

  • Silvia Pepe (a1), Daniela Tortolani (a2), Simonetta Gentile (a2) and Vincenzo M. Di Ciommo (a2)


The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in family functioning between families with clinical subjects in paediatric age and families taken from the Italian population. To this aim we used the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES). Participants were children diagnosed with a psychopathology, recruited into the psychiatry department in a Paediatric Hospital of Rome. A total of 106 families participated in the study. The non-pathological sample is composed by 2,543 parents in different age periods of the life-cycle. Results showed significant differences in family functioning between pathological and non-pathological samples. Specifically, families from the pathological sample (particularly the ones who experienced eating disorders) were more frequently located in extreme or mid-range regions of Olson’s circumplex model (p < .001). These findings suggest some considerations that can be useful in therapeutic works with families in a clinical setting. Critical aspects and clinical applications are discussed.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Silvia Pepe, PhD. Pediatric Centre. Viale dei Promontori, 284. 00122. Ostia Lido. Roma. (Italy). E-mail:


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