Despite the fact that social workers are often asked to intervene with families experiencing intergenerational problems, social work theories lack specificity about how to deal with them. Several key intergenerational issues are discussed, including cross-generational discontinuities, cross-typal transmission, and issues of what is transmitted and how. Six different theories are assessed on their ability to address these issues and develop meaningful interventions. They are genetics, social learning theory, Bowen’s family theory, attachment theory, self psychology, and Rutter’s model of protective mechanisms. Finally, assessment guidelines are offered for social workers interested in helping families stop cycles of intergenerational family dysfunction.