Parent and child family-related cognitions are reviewed with respect to () their origins, () their linkage to affect and behavior, () their transmission and perpetuation, () their alteration on the basis of first-hand experience, and () their collaborative negotiation and renegotiation. A distinction is offered between the functioning of implicit, relatively unaware, schematic cognitions and relatively aware, explicit, event-dependent cognitions. Consideration is also given to the differential content (or topics) of cognitions. As a positive outcome of recent research, many new insights have emerged with respect to the linkage of family members’ cognitions and their individual and shared patterns of behavior. However, several limitations remain, including too little consideration of the shared influences of parents’ and children’s cognitions and the changes in these cognitions over time. As a growth area, there is emerging interest in the application of our knowledge of cognitions to the clinical context in programs designed to remediate and prevent family problems.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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