Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment

Books

Robert E. Emery

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  • Developmental Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry Series

    Series Editor: Alan E. Kazdin, Yale University

    Recent volumes in this series

    • LIFE EVENTS AS STRESSORS IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE

      by James H. Johnson

    • CONDUCT DISORDERS IN CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE SECOND EDITION

      by Alan E. Kazdin

    • CHILD ABUSE

      by David A. Wolfe

    • PREVENTING MALADJUSTMENT FROM INFANCY THROUGH ADOLESCENCE

      by Annette U. Rickel and LaRue Allen

    • TEMPERAMENT AND CHILD PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

      by William T. Garrison and Felton J. Earls

    • EMPIRICALLY BASED ASSESSMENT OF CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOPATHOLOGY SECOND EDITION

      by Thomas M. Achenbach and Stephanie H. McConaughy

    • MARRIAGE, DIVORCE, AND CHILDREN'S ADJUSTMENT, 2nd Ed.

      by Robert E. Emery

    • AUTISM

      by Laura Schreibman

    • DELINQUENCY IN ADOLESCENCE

      by Scott W. Henggeler

    • CHRONIC ILLNESS DURING CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE

      by William T. Garrison and Susan McQuiston

    • ANXIETY DISORDERS IN CHILDREN

      by Rachel G. Klein and Cynthia G. Last

    • CHILDREN OF BATTERED WOMEN

      by Peter G. Jaffe, David A. Wolfe, and Susan Kaye Wilson

    • SUBSTANCE ABUSE IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

      by Steven P. Schinke, Gilbert J. Botvin, and Mario A. Orlandi

    • CHILD PSYCHIATRIC EPIDEMIOLOGY

      by Frank C. Verhulst and Hans M. Koot

    • EATING AND GROWTH DISORDERS IN INFANTS AND CHILDREN

      by Joseph L. Woolston

    • NEUROLOGICAL BASIS OF CHILDHOOD PSYCHOPATHOLOGY

      by George W. Hynd and Stephen R. Hooper

    • ADOLESCENT SEXUAL BEHAVIOR AND CHILDBEARING

      by Laurie Schwab Zabin and Sarah C. Hayward

    • EFFECTS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY WITH CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

      by John R. Weisz and Bahr Weiss

    • BEHAVIOR AND DEVELOPMENT IN FRAGILE X SYNDROME

      by Elisabeth M. Dykens, Robert M. Hodapp, and James F. Leckman

    • ATTENTION DEFICITS AND HYPERACTIVITY IN CHILDREN

      by Stephen P. Hinshaw

    • LEARNING DISABILITIES

      by Byron P. Rourke and Jerel E. Del Dotto

    • PEDIATRIC TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

      by Jeffrey H. Snow and Stephen R. Hooper

    • FAMILIES, CHILDREN, AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF DYSFUNCTION

      by Mark R. Dadds

    • ADOLESCENTS AND THE MEDIA

      by Victor C. Strasburger

    • SCHOOL-BASED PREVENTION PROGRAMS FOR CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

      by Joseph A. Durlak

    • CHILDHOOD OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER

      by Greta Francis and Rod A. Gragg

    • TREATING CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS IN RESIDENTIAL AND INPATIENT SETTINGS

      by Robert D. Lyman and Nancy R. Campbell

    • THE IMPACT OF FAMILY VIOLENCE ON CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

      by Javad H. Kashani and Wesley D. Allan

    • CHILDREN'S ADJUSTMENT TO ADOPTION

      by David M. Brodzinsky, Daniel W. Smith, and Anne B. Brodzinsky

    • MOTOR COORDINATION DISORDERS IN CHILDREN

      by David A. Sugden and Helen Wright

    • CHILDHOOD SEXUAL ABUSE

      by David M. Fergusson and Paul E. Mullen

    • POVERTY AND CHILDREN'S ADJUSTMENT

      by Suniya S. Luthar

    Copyright

    View Copyright Page

    Dedication

    To my parents—married 50 years on August 12, 1994

    Series Editor's Introduction

    Interest in child development and adjustment is by no means new. Yet only recently has the study of children benefited from advances in both clinical and scientific research. Advances in the social and biological sciences, the emergence of disciplines and subdisciplines that focus exclusively on childhood and adolescence, and greater appreciation of the impact of such influences as the family, peers, and school have helped accelerate research on developmental psychopathology. Apart from interest in the study of child development and adjustment for its own sake, the need to address clinical problems of adulthood naturally draws one to investigate precursors in childhood and adolescence.

    Within a relatively brief period, the study of psychopathology among children and adolescents has proliferated considerably. Several different professional journals, annual book series, and handbooks devoted entirely to the study of children and adolescents and their adjustment document the proliferation of work in the field. Nevertheless, there is a paucity of resource material that presents information in an authoritative, systematic, and disseminable fashion. There is a need within the field to convey the latest developments and to represent different disciplines, approaches, and conceptual views to the topics of childhood and adolescent adjustment and maladjustment.

    The Sage Series on Developmental Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry is designed to serve uniquely several needs of the field. The Series encompasses individual monographs prepared by experts in the fields of clinical child psychology, child psychiatry, child development, and related disciplines. The primary focus is on developmental psychopathology, which refers broadly here to the diagnosis, assessment, treatment, and prevention of problems that arise in the period from infancy through adolescence. A working assumption of the Series is that understanding, identifying, and treating problems of youths must draw on multiple disciplines and diverse views within a given discipline.

    The task for individual contributors is to present the latest theory and research on various topics, including specific types of dysfunction, diagnostic and treatment approaches, and special problem areas that affect adjustment. Core topics within clinical work are addressed by the Series. Authors are asked to bridge potential theory, research, and clinical practice and to outline the current status and future directions. The goals of the Series and the tasks presented to individual contributors are demanding. We have been extremely fortunate in recruiting leaders in the fields who have been able to translate their recognized scholarship and expertise into highly readable works on contemporary topics.

    In this book, Dr. Robert Emery examines Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment. Since the first edition of this book was completed over a decade ago, research has expanded greatly. Dr. Emery has enlarged several areas and provided the most recent evidence on the diverse facets of divorce and adjustment. Among the key topics are cultural perspectives on the family and divorce, the short- and long-term effects of divorce on children and families, factors that predict various outcomes of divorce, and process of change in the family leading to and following divorce. Interventions are covered as well and include treatment and preventive programs with children and families together with variations of divorce law and policy and their impact on families. The book examines the role of remarriage, sibling relations, alternative custody arrangements, ethnicity, and other influences that influence divorce and subsequent adjustment. The book draws on the author's superb mastery of research and methodology; his own extensive research program on the impact of divorce, marital conflict, and family relations; and his clinical experience. The result is an excellent, current, and authoritative statement about divorce and its impact on individuals, families, and society at large.

    Alan E.Kazdin, Phd, Series Editor

    Preface

    Opinions about divorce often are polarized not only within families but also in public discussions about divorce, its causes and consequences, and appropriate societal responses. Some bemoan the disappearance of the traditional family; others welcome diversity in family forms and roles. Children of divorced parents are portrayed as either fragile or invulnerable. In the din over extreme views, we often overlook much valuable research—and individual children and families.

    In this book, I attempt to avoid the polemics of the extremes while conveying a sense of both normative evidence and individual experience. The antidote to polemic is scientific objectivity, and there is much sophisticated and relevant research on divorce, including hundreds of studies published in the 10 years since the first edition of this book. My overriding goals continue to be to review, integrate, and extrapolate from research, but research focuses on groups, not individuals. Thus, I use not only science but also my experience as a clinical psychologist and mediator to challenge research findings or call attention to variability as well as the mean.

    To understand the family psychology of divorce, we must grasp its economic, demographic, legal, cultural, and historical contexts. In my work, one of the most exciting intellectual tasks has been learning from diverse disciplines, and I hope the multidisciplinary perspective in this book will challenge and engage the reader as well. Not only is the substantive information essential, but the multidisciplinary perspective itself is enlightening. True to its utilitarian roots, contemporary American psychology focuses intently on individual happiness. However, other disciplines remind psychologists of the importance of other outcomes for the group, for example, the economic consequences of divorce and nonmarital childbirth for society. I have no answer to the age-old question of how to balance individual sacrifice against the common good, but I do believe this is a question well worth pondering. I, for one, have grown more cautious about divorce, less because of psychological consequences for children (most of whom are resilient) but because of social and economic consequences for children, families, and society.

    I wish to thank a number of people who have helped me with the information presented in both editions of this book. At the University of Virginia, Mavis Hetherington, Elizabeth Scott, Steve Nock, John Monahan, and Kimberly Carpenter Emery are long-time colleagues who share and stimulate my interests. The William T. Grant Foundation's consortium of divorce researchers broadened and energized my work. The consortium included Gene Brody, Kathleen Camara, Andy Cherlin, Rex Forehand, Frank Furstenberg, Mavis Hetherington, Eleanor Maccoby, Robert Mnookin, Joanne Pedro-Carroll, Don Wertlieb, and Nick Zill. I also thank Lynn Baker and Kate Bartlett for helping me to learn more about the law. Graduate students who deserve special note are Susan Peterman, Melissa Wyer, Dan Shaw, Jeff Haugaard, Shelly (Tuer) Martin, Karen Rogers, Katherine Kitzmann, Mary Jo Coiro, Mia Smith, Lisa Laumann-Billings, Pete Dillon, Mary Waldron, and Dave Sbarra. Generous financial support has been provided by the William T. Grant Foundation and by the Center for Advanced Studies and the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. Finally, I thank my wife, Kimberly, and my children, Maggie, Julia, Robert, and Lucy, for their love, patience, support, and daily lessons in living.

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    About the Author

    Robert E. Emery is Professor of Psychology, Director of Clinical Training, and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. He has published extensive research on children and family relationships, served on the editorial boards of eight journals, and been a member of the NIH study section. His other books include Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and Mediation (1994) and (with Thomas Oltmanns) Abnormal Psychology (2nd ed., 1998). He lectures widely about children, divorce, and mediation, and he maintains a limited practice as a clinical psychologist and divorce mediator.


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