This course focuses on the dynamics of family dysfunction including negative patterns of parental behavior, substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, etc.), physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, and severe mental illness. The course addresses a broad spectrum of issues including the characteristics of dysfunctional families as well as the traits and characteristics of functional families. Emphasis is placed on causes, effects and roles of individuals within the family system. Through maladaptive behaviors families often develop a set of restrictions that inhibit the social and emotional growth and development of its members, particularly the children. Concepts to be addressed include: dynamics of the family system, functional versus dysfunctional families, understanding the role of dysfunction in families and the family life cycle.