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Fam Process. 2012 Mar;51(1):90-106. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01382.x.

Parent training in nonviolent resistance for adult entitled dependence.

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1
Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. eli.lebowitz@yale.edu

Abstract

"Adult entitled dependence" is a condition characterized by the extreme dependence of grown children on their family and by levels of dysfunction, seemingly excessive in light of their apparent capacity to function. The family and the dependent adult become involved in an interaction in which the very attempts to alleviate the problem may aggravate it. Parent-training in nonviolent resistance (NVR) is an intervention that has been shown to be helpful to parents of behaviorally disturbed youth. Parent training in NVR offers parents means to shift away from a stance of helplessness toward realistic goals that are accomplishable without the collaboration of their offspring. We report on the parents of 27 entitled dependent grown children who participated in parent training in NVR. Additionally, we present 2 detailed case studies that exemplify the problem and the therapeutic process. Before treatment, the dependent adults were not working or studying, drew heavily on parental services (financial or otherwise), and were resistant to parental attempts to change the situation. Most parents succeeded in overcoming their helplessness and reducing the provision of parental services. In a considerable proportion of cases, the grown children started working or studying or moved to independent lodgings.

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