Distressed Parents and Family Issues

  • Laura Judd-GlossyEmail author
  • Eileen Twohy
Part of the Issues in Clinical Child Psychology book series (ICCP)


This chapter provides an overview of disruptive family behaviors that may occur in pediatric medical settings and discusses strategies to address and prevent these behaviors. Risk factors that may contribute to these problematic behaviors, including those related to patient and family functioning, provider characteristics, and broader systematic factors, are described. The SAFTeam (Strengthening Alliances with Families Team) is introduced as a model for how to address these disruptive behaviors within a pediatric medical setting, with detailed review of a case example. General recommendations are also provided, including strategies to effectively address concerning behavior (e.g., the importance of multidisciplinary teams, safety and accountability, and using a strength-based approach). Suggestions are shared for how to take a proactive approach in developing a hospital culture that promotes healthy family involvement in pediatric care. Finally, aspects of diversity and healthcare disparities are reviewed in the context of patient and family experiences within pediatric medical settings.


Disruptive behavior Multidisciplinary team Safety Pediatric psychology Psychological consultation Family coping Family stress 



We would like to acknowledge Jenny Reese, MD, and Harrison Levine, MD, who first developed the SAFTeam model at Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2009.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatric SurgeryUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Children’s Hospital ColoradoAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral MedicineUniversity of Washington School of MedicineSeattleUSA
  4. 4.Seattle Children’s HospitalSeattleUSA

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