Handbook of Contemporary Families: Considering the Past, Contemplating the Future


Edited by: Marilyn Coleman & Lawrence H. Ganong

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  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
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  • Part I: Considering the Past, Contemplating the Future

    Part II: Contemporary Couples

    Part III: Gender Issues in Contemporary Families

    Part IV: Raising Children in Contemporary Families

    Part V: Changing Family Structures

    Part VI: Race and Ethnicity in Contemporary Families

    Part VII: Families in Society

    Part VIII: Technology and Contemporary Families

    Part IX: Working with Contemporary Families

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    Whenever the calendar marks a significant change, such as a new year, a new decade, or, more notably, a new century or millennium, scholars and other social commentators take stock of the recent past. Such calendar changes also sometimes lead scholars to prognosticate about what the future is likely to bring. The new century (and new millennium) were marked early on by the shocking terrorist events of September 11, 2001. Shortly after this event, newspapers, magazines, and broadcast media were filled with speculations about how life, including family life, might change. Early news stories suggesting that people had canceled their plans to divorce and that the rate of marriage had skyrocketed because of the events of September 11 were eventually shown to be false. However, other claims continue to be made about the effects of world unrest and fears regarding terrorism on relationships and families. To know what is changing, we need to know where we have been. As we face challenges wrought by monumental events that have changed our perception of the world, there is a need for clear-eyed, scholarly examinations of what has happened to families in the past and for some data-based speculations about what is likely to happen in the future.

    In this book, a multidisciplinary group of authors explore what has happened to families in roughly the last 30 years and speculate about future trends. In addition, they critique the approaches used to study relationships and families and suggest new approaches. In particular, the authors were asked to address several issues: What has happened to marriage and families? What is the current state of families? What do we know, and what do we need to know? Did family scholarship in the past help professionals and families adapt to the rapid changes that were occurring, and will current scholarship help families with the rapid changes that are occurring now? How effective are extant theories and research methods in helping us learn about and understand families in their diversity? Can we predict what family members will encounter in the next few decades? Where is family scholarship headed? Where are families headed?

    This volume, in part, is a revisitation of issues examined in two earlier books that were products of annual meetings of the Groves Conference on Marriage and the Family (Macklin & Rubin, 1983; Sussman, 1972). The Groves Conference, formed in 1934, is a multidisciplinary organization of researchers, scholars, and practitioners that meets each year to discuss developments in theory and research on marriages and families. In 1971, Groves met to consider alternative lifestyles and changes that were occurring in families. From that meeting, Marvin Sussman (1972) edited Non-Traditional Family Forms in the 1970's. Ten years later, Groves devoted its annual meeting to contemplating what had happened in the prior decade and what had been learned. A result of that conference was a book edited by Eleanor Macklin and Roger Rubin (1983), Contemporary Families and Alternative Lifestyles: Handbook on Research and Theory.

    In 2000, we co-chaired the Groves Conference annual meeting, where the focus again was on examining the state of American families and what is known about them. At this conference, scholars, researchers, and practitioners examined the scholarship on families that had emerged since the seminal 1971 conference. Highlights of this meeting for us were two back-to-back panel presentations, one of distinguished senior family scholars (Catherine Chilman, Margaret Feldman, Harriette McAdoo, Roger Rubin, and Marvin Sussman), and the other of doctoral students and new professionals. In the first panel, participants presented their views of how relationships and families, and methods of studying them, had changed over their careers. The young professionals speculated about how marriages and families, and family scholarship in general, would change during their careers. The information shared by the panelists influenced our thoughts regarding the framework of this book.

    We had decided to revisit the earlier Groves Conference themes in part because we had observed that recent generations of graduate students and new professionals had little awareness of what had occurred in families and family study before, at best, the last decade (and that their knowledge tended to be based on whether they had read the most recent decade review issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family). These panel presentations confirmed our observations. For instance, the students and new professionals were amazed that alternative lifestyles such as group sex and swinging had ever been seriously investigated. They were astonished that establishments such as Plato's Retreat, the notorious Upper West Side New York City sex club (now identified by a small plaque near the door of the current business establishment) ever existed. Although they were somewhat knowledgeable about virtual sex encounters on the Internet, the young professionals and graduate students were unaware that real sex was widely available to heterosexual married and unmarried individuals interested in experimenting with multiple partners and that such relationships had been studied. Also, even though several of these young professionals described themselves as feminists, they nonetheless were surprised by the personal and professional challenges that the distinguished female scholars on the panel had faced.

    As an outcome of that Groves meeting, we edited a collection of 12 articles that appeared in the Journal of Family Issues (September and October 2001). We thought we were done with this project, but as a result of feedback from readers of those articles, we began to consider the possibility of adding a third book to the earlier volumes of scholarly stocktaking (i.e., Macklin & Rubin, 1983; Sussman, 1972). We decided to undertake a more comprehensive update than we had been able to do in 12 journal articles, and this book is that larger review.

    Changes in Family Scholarship

    Looking back on the earlier speculations (Macklin & Rubin, 1983; Sussman, 1972) regarding families and relationships from the safe perspective of some 20 or 30 years later, we are amused at the naiveté of some comments, amazed at the accuracy of others, bemused that some issues are still debated, and chagrined that other topics have yet to be thoroughly investigated. Rather than being set free to establish new forms of families and new ways of thinking about relationships, as many of the authors predicted in the early 1970s, the United States entered a time of neoconservatism that many would describe as reactionary and that was unanticipated by most of the Groves Conference members attending those early ‘70s meetings. As John Scanzoni relates in the opening chapter of this book, only Margaret Mead anticipated that the changes in families in the 1960s and early 1970s would cause an extreme backlash and negative reactions.

    Changes in how individuals and family members think and live have made some language outdated and some family topics irrelevant. For example, few scholars or practitioners use the almost quaint-sounding term alternative lifestyles when referring to the diverse array of families and relationships in which people live. Scholars of the time would surely have been stunned had they anticipated the rapid and near-universal ending of alternative-lifestyle study (though as Rubin's chapter proposes, it was the study of the behaviors and not the behaviors themselves that stopped). It also is likely that scholars in 1972 would not have guessed that the term alternative lifestyles would segue into family diversity and that lifestyle choices such as group marriage, swinging, and communal living would be replaced as topics of study by other stigmatized and understudied phenomena that had long been a part of the landscape-stepfamilies, families of color, and gay/lesbian families. Topics that were treated as novel and important in 1983, such as dual-worker couples, now are considered normal in most senses of the word.

    Some areas of family studies are nearly extinct, not so much because of behavior changes in families as because of the conservative direction U.S. society has taken in recent decades. For instance, although there is evidence that swinging is as popular as ever, studies of such groups have all but disappeared from mainstream journals. Other areas of study considered cutting edge 30 years ago (i.e., divorce, remarriage, and gay/lesbian marriages) continue to be popular but often become bogged down in a quagmire of controversy. The effect of the Internet on families is a rapidly evolving area of study, as are many areas of family-related health technology, and these areas also are likely to become mired in controversy. This book is an attempt to comprehensively view the major issues related to family in its many diverse forms over the previous several decades and to provide some insight into what to expect in the future. It is an attempt to both consider the past and contemplate the future.

    The chapters in this book are thoughtful and scholarly examinations of previous work, and the authors have provided a basis for future study as well. Whether their anticipations about families in the near future will prove any more accurate than those of scholars in the early ‘70s remain to be seen. Exploring these issues, however, provides an enlightening review for mature scholars and presents a dynamic history, perhaps for the first time, to new professionals.

    Plan of this Book

    Presenting a comprehensive view of contemporary families is an onerous task. Although this book includes 31 chapters, you will immediately identify areas of omission. We tried to be comprehensive, but we wanted to choose topics that could be connected, at least in some ways, to the reviews of contemporary families from the ‘70s and ‘80s, so that readers could more easily make connections to how and why family scholarship has evolved over time.

    The first part of this book contains chapters that present overviews of family scholarship. In Parts II and III, authors examine a variety of contemporary couples (cohabiting, married, gay and lesbian, childless or child-free, and later-life couples) and gender issues in families. Part IV, on raising children in contemporary families, includes chapters on mothering, fathering, and pathogenic parenting processes; it is followed by examinations of changing family structures (Part V) and race and ethnicity in families (Part VI). In Part VII, “Families in Society,” we have included chapters that examine religion, law, policy, and poverty among families. The chapters in Part VIII, on technology and families, could have been included in Part VII as well, because health care technology and the Internet are certainly part of the societal context for contemporary families. Finally, Part IX includes two chapters on practice with families, one on family therapy and one on family life education.

    Family scholars of 30 years ago seemed unafraid to project what the future held for families, or perhaps they were more confident in what they knew about families than we are today. Within the last 20 years, we have expanded and legitimated qualitative approaches to the study of families, new statistical tools such as Lisrel have allowed researchers to employ increasingly sophisticated designs to examine family processes, and more large nationally representative data sets (often mentioned by the authors in this book) are available. Scholars today also collaborate electronically over thousands of miles (or kilometers), and the Web allows us to broaden our research capabilities and retrieve information without leaving our homes. (The Internet may even become an important source of relationship formation, as suggested in Chapter 29.) Additionally, information has increased exponentially in many fields over the last 30 years. To use our own area of study as an example, only 11 empirical studies of stepfamilies had been conducted in the United States by as late as 1979. Twenty years later, that number had multiplied to well over 1,200. The explosion of information has been accompanied by increasingly diverse interpretations of the data. For example, ferocious controversies have erupted between divorce scholars who interpret the effects of divorce (see Hetherington & Kelly, 2002; Wallerstein & Blakeslee, 1989). It is no wonder that family scholars are more careful about speculating or taking a stand, perhaps because they are more aware of the limits of what they know and what they need to know. Or is it because they get almost instant feedback via e-mail from those who disagree with them? Media coverage can be daunting to scholars whose speculations may be out of step with the current political climate.

    It is easier to understand why scholars often fail to provide much history behind what they are presenting. Journal editors are interested in reporting what is new, and journal space is scarce. However, especially for new scholars, a better grounding of current knowledge in history can be helpful. Scholars are not exempt from the influence of the culture and the times in which they live, as John Scanzoni and Paul Amato cogently point out in Chapters 1 and 15 of this book.

    Finally, edited books don't come together without the assistance of a large cadre of helpers. First of all, we want to thank the authors of the provocative chapters presented here. We believe that they have individually and collectively made important contributions to the field. Another important group, the reviewers, was wonderfully cooperative when asked for nearly instant turnaround on the manuscripts. Their feedback was quick, thorough, and extremely helpful. In some cases, the reviewer's comments resulted in massive refocusing of a chapter. The authors and reviewers represent contemporary family life nearly as comprehensively as the chapters reflect. They include multiple ethnic and racial groups, gay and lesbian individuals, scholars of various religious persuasions, males and females in nearly equal number, the old and young, single, married, divorced, and remarried, and some of the graduate student coauthors might even consider themselves in the poverty category. During the development of this book, authors and reviewers experienced numerous family transitions, including serious illnesses, the death of family members, divorce, marriage, and birth. These authors and reviewers were living contemporary family lifestyles and experiencing many of the issues presented in this book even as they wrote about them. We are indebted to all of them.

    Hetherington, E. M., & Kelly, J.(2002).For better or for worse: Divorce reconsidered. New York: Norton.
    Macklin, E., & Rubin, R.(1983).Contemporary families and alternative lifestyles: Handbook on research and theory. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
    Sussman, M.(1982).Non-traditional family forms in the 1970's. Minneapolis, MN: National Council on Family Relations.
    Wallerstein, J., & Blakeslee, S.(1989).Second chances: Men, women and children after a decade of divorceWho wins, who loses, and why. New York: Ticknor & Fields.
  • Name Index

    About the Editors

    Marilyn Coleman is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri. Lawrence Ganong is a Professor of Nursing and Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri. Together, they have coauthored over 130 articles and book chapters as well as four books, including Stepfamily Relationships (2004), Changing Families, Changing Responsibilities (1999), Remarried Family Relationships (1994), and Bibliotherapy With Stepchildren (1988). They are the editors of Points and Counterpoints: Controversial Relationship and Family Issues in the 21st Century (2003). They have conducted research on stepfamilies for 25 years. Recent work has focused on family responsibilities following divorce and remarriage and the development of stepparent-stepchild relationships. Dr. Coleman was Editor of the Journal of Marriage and the Family from 1992 to 1995 and Associate Editor of the Home Economics Research Journal from 1987 to 1990. Dr. Ganong was Associate Editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships from 2000 to 2003.

    About the Contributors

    Graham Allan is Professor of Social Relations at Keele University. His research mainly focuses on aspects of informal social relationships. He is particularly interested in the sociology of friendship, family and domestic life, kinship, and community and has written widely on these subjects. His current research includes projects on stepfamily kinship and on marital affairs.

    Katherine R. Allen, PhD, is Professor of Family Studies in the Department of Human Development at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She coordinates the Human Development Masters Program and is an Affiliate of the Center for Gerontology and an Adjunct Professor in Womens Studies. With an interest in family diversity over the life course, qualitative research methods, feminist pedagogy, and social justice work in the family field, she is currently investigating adult sibling ties, life histories of older gay men and lesbians, and the retention of women and people of color in educational environments. Her books include Handbook of Family Diversity, coedited with David Demo and Mark Fine (2000); Women and Families: Feminist Reconstructions, coauthored with Kristine Baber (1992); and Single Women/Family Ties: Life Histories of Older Women (Sage, 1989). She is also a member of the senior editorial team for the new Sourcebook of Family Theory and Methods.

    Paul R. Amato received his PhD in social psychology from James Cook University in Australia, and he is currently a Professor of Sociology, Demography, and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He was a researcher with the Australian Institute of Family Studies in the 1980s and was a Fulbright Fellow in India in 1992. His research focuses primarily on marital quality and the causes and consequences of divorce. During the last 20 years, he has published four books and over 100 book chapters and journal articles. In 1994, 2000, and 2002, he received the Reuben Hill Award from the National Council on Family Relations for the best article published in the previous year to combine research and theory on the family.

    Dianne M. Bartels is the Associate Director of the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. She obtained her masters degree in psychosocial nursing from the University of Washington and her PhD in family social science from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests focus on ethics in genetic health care and in end-of-life care.

    Karen Bogenschneider is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Family Policy Specialist in University Extension. She is Director of the Wisconsin Family Impact Seminars and Executive Director of the Policy Institute for Family Impact Seminars, which provides technical assistance to 12 sites conducting seminars in their state capitals. She is author of Family Policy Matters: How Policymaking Affects Families and What Professionals Can Do. She has published extensively in research and applied journals on competent parenting of adolescents and on strategies for connecting research to policy and practice. She was named one of the outstanding Extension Specialists in the country and was recognized by the National Council of Family Relations for her contributions to their policy efforts.

    Eulalee Brand-Clingempeel, PhD, is Founder and Director of the Family Psychology Institute and a licensed clinical psychologist in independent practice in Florence, South Carolina, a position she has held for over 13 years. She has published numerous articles focusing on family processes and childrens outcomes in stepfather and stepmother families. She also has published in the area of cognitive-behavioral interventions for depression, with an emphasis on adaptations for elderly populations. She previously served on the faculty of Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg and is a past president of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Stepfamily Association of America.

    Richard Bulcroft is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Western Washington University and Program Chair for the Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop at the National Council of Family Relations meetings in 2004. He has conducted extensive research on a variety of aspects of marriage and family life, including the effects of infant feeding practices on the transition to parenthood. He is currently examining the broader effects of modernity on romantic relationships, marriage, and family formation.

    Sarah Camochan is a doctoral student in social welfare at the University of California, Berkeley. She received her JD from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988 and practiced housing law. She is the coauthor with Chester Hartman of City for Sale: The Transformation of San Francisco (2002), examining urban development in San Francisco. Current research interests include the intersections between the legal and social welfare systems and the effects of welfare policy and programs on low-income families.

    Tmara C. Cheshire, MA, is Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Anthropology at Sacramento City College. She is Lakota, and her interests lie in American Indian education, American Indian families, and tribal sovereignty issues. She currently teaches courses in Native American studies.

    W. Glenn Clingempeel, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina-Fayetteville. He achieved national recognition in the 1980s for his research on family relationships and child outcomes in different structural types of stepfamilies. His collaboration with Dr. E. Mavis Hetherington on the Longitudinal Study of Remarriage (LSR) culminated in a 1992 Monograph of the Society for Research in Child Development that remains one of the most widely cited studies of the effects of divorce and remarriage on children. His recent research focuses on risk and protective mechanisms in childrens adaptive and maladaptive responses to adverse family processes and events. He has served on the faculties of Temple University and Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg.

    Scott Coltrane is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), and Associate Director of the UCR Center for Family Studies. He is recipient of the UCR Distinguished Teaching Award and Past President of the Pacific Sociological Association. His research focuses on the relationships among fatherhood, motherhood, marriage, parenting, domestic labor, and popular culture. His most recent National Institutes of Health-funded research projects investigate the impact of economic stress on family functioning and the meaning of fatherhood and stepfatherhood in Mexican American and European American families. He is the author of over 70 scholarly publications. He is the editor of Families and Society (2004), coauthor of Sociology of Marriage and the Family (2001), and author of Gender and Families (1998) and Family Man (1996).

    Teresa M. Cooney is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She holds a doctorate in human development and family studies with a minor in demography from Pennsylvania State University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in demography of families and aging at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. Her research has focused primarily on family demography and gerontology, with particular attention devoted to how sociodemographic changes, such as increased divorce rates and the rise in custodial grandparenting, have affected family relationships among adults.

    Tom Corbett has emeritus status at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and remains an active affiliate with the Institute for Research on Poverty, where, until recently, he served as Associate Director. He has long studied trends in welfare reform and social programs that affect the well-being of vulnerable families, along with methods for assessing their effectiveness. Recently, he served on a National Academy of Sciences panel examining methods for evaluating contemporary welfare reform initiatives. He has worked on welfare reform issues at all levels of government, including a year as senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He continues to work with a number of states through networks of senior state welfare officials in the Midwest and on the West Coast and on issues of program and systems integration to deliver better services to challenged families.

    Graham Crow is Reader in Sociology at the University of Southampton, where he has worked since 1983. He is the author or coauthor of four books and editor or coeditor of four more, on various subjects relating to families, households, communities, and social theory. He has also coedited the electronic journal Sociological Research Online. He is currently writing a book on modes of sociological argument and working on a project exploring the issue of informed consent in the research process.

    David C. Dollahite, PhD, is Professor of Family Life at Brigham Young University, where he teaches classes on religion and family life. His research focuses on the linkages between religion and marriage and family among Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Mormon families with adolescent children and on faith and fathering among fathers of children with special needs.

    Kathleen Dunne is a community development coordinator for the Alzheimers Association Mid-Missouri Chapter, where she provides education, training, and support services for individuals with dementia and their family and professional caregivers. She received her masters in human development and family studies in 2000 from the University of Missouri. Her thesis research focused on the factors that influence the quality of interpersonal relationships between nursing home residents and staff.

    Robert E. Emery is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia. His research interests include families, family conflict, divorce, and associated legal issues.

    Mark A. Fine is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was Editor of Family Relations from 1993 to 1996 and is currently Editor of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. His research interests lie in the areas of family transitions, such as divorce and remarriage; early intervention program evaluation; social cognition; and relationship stability. He is coeditor, along with David Demo and Katherine Allen, of the Handbook of Family Diversity, published in 2000.

    Deborah B. Gentry, EdD, CFLE, CFCS, is Professor of Family and Consumer Sciences and Associate Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University-Normal. An experienced educator and scholar of teaching and learning, she has presented and published on the scholarship of teaching and learning, family life education, and family conflict. She is the current editor of the Journal of Teaching in Marriage and Family: Innovations in Family Science Education. She has been a recipient of the Marvin Sussman Award, sponsored by the Groves Conference on Marriage and Family.

    Michael A. Goodman, MS, is a doctoral student in marriage, family, and human development at Brigham Young University, with an emphasis on religion and family life. He has been a religious educator for 14 years.

    Linda Citlali Halgunseth received her BA in psychology and Spanish at the University of Texas at Austin and her MS at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

    Currently, she is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her research has focused on parenting styles and child socialization among Latino families, and she has coauthored two chapters that have focused on child-rearing goals and parent-child interactions among Latino families. In the community, she coordinates bilingual after-school homework assistance programs for Latino children and parent-teacher organizations for Latino parents.

    Jason D. Hans is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri. His professional interests include divorce and stepfamilies, especially as they relate to family law, technology, and international families. Several of his articles have appeared in some of the top journals in family science, including Family Relations and the Journal of Family Issues. A former McNair Scholar, he has received numerous awards and honors, including recognition as the most outstanding graduate instructor at the University of Missouri. In 2002, he was awarded the National Council on Family Relations Outstanding Student Award in recognition of his high potential for contribution to the field of family studies.

    Sheila Hawker, PhD, is a Senior Health Researcher at the University of Southampton. Her main research interests are formal and informal support networks and emotional labor. Recent projects have focused on elderly patients discharge from the hospital and coping with outpatient chemotherapy. She is currently engaged on a project exploring the provision of palliative care for elderly people in U.K. community hospitals.

    Robert Hughes, Jr., PhD, is Professor and Head of the Department of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also held faculty appointments at The Ohio State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia. With the development of the World Wide Web, he became interested in the development of Web-based family life education models and e-learning professional development strategies for human service providers. He conducted his first e-mail-based course in 1995. Recently, he was one of the lead designers in the development of http://missourifamilies.org, a family life education Web site for family members.

    Masako Ishii-Kuntz is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Riverside. Her current research examines Japanese advocacy groups for shared parenting between mothers and fathers. Her collaborative project also examines the impact of transnational family arrangements on Asian children who have been sent by their parents to live in the United States in order to attend school. Her comparative research on Asian American families and fatherhood in Japan and the United States has appeared in the Journal of Marriage and the Family, Family Relations, Journal of Family Issues, Sociological Perspectives, and other journals, and she has contributed a number of book chapters. She is currently completing a book on Japanese corporate fathers who are actively involved in child care and housework.

    Angela D. James is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Southern California. She is also a Research Scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Culture and Health in the Neuropsychiatric Institute. Her current research is focused on understanding changes and continuities in black marriage and family patterns, as well as on issues surrounding urban inequality. She has written articles examining a range of topics, including changing patterns of home ownership among blacks, occupational patterns among women, the impact of economic restructuring on marriage, mate availability and the impact of marital status on psychological well-being, racial classification, assortative patterns of marriage among African Americans, and interracial marriage.

    Walter T. Kawamoto, PhD, CFLE, was the 1998–2000 Secretary/Treasurer/Webmaster of the Ethnic Minority Section of the National Council on Family Relations. His graduate work included a study sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health and conducted with the assistance of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon. He launched a course focusing on indigenous families in the spring of 2001. He was also a member of the American Indian-Alaska Native Head Start Research and Outcomes Assessment Consultant Panel.

    Lawrence A. Kurdek is Professor of Psychology at Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. He has conducted one of the few longitudinal studies on gay and lesbian couples. He has published over 100 scholarly publications and is currently a member of the Editorial Board for Developmental Psychology, Journal of Marriage and Family, Journal of Family Psychology, and Personal Relationships.

    Leigh A. Leslie is an Associate Professor of Family Studies and Marriage and Family Therapy in the Department of Family Studies at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on social support, gender issues in families, and interracial families. She has published over 30 articles and chapters and serves on the editorial boards of numerous scholarly journals.

    Loren D. Marks, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences in the School of Human Ecology at Louisiana State University. He has conducted extensive qualitative research with Christian, Jewish, and Muslim families examining the interface between religious beliefs, practices, and community and family relationships. He is currently studying the importance of religion in African American families.

    Michele T. Martin completed her undergraduate studies at Michigan State University and a PhD in psychology at the University of Virginia. She is a clinical psychologist in private practice who frequently teaches at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia.

    Mary Ann Mason, PhD, JD, is a Professor of Social Welfare and Dean of the Graduate Division at the University of California, Berkeley. She publishes and lectures nationally on child and family law, the history of the American family and of childhood, and public policy issues related to child custody, childrens rights, and stepfamilies. Currently, she is directing a major research project on the impact of family formation on the career paths of academic women and men, titled Do Babies Matter?

    Lori A. McGraw is a Research Associate in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at Oregon State University. She is the recipient of the 2002 Outstanding Contribution to Feminist Scholarship Award and was recognized as a top 20 finalist for the 2001 Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research. Her research focuses on how larger social hierarchies shape womens unpaid family labor and their family relationships.

    Steven Mintz is John and Rebecca Moores Professor of History at the University of Houston and Director of the American Cultures Program. An authority on the history of the family, he is currently completing a history of children and youth in America from the Revolution to the present. His books include Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life, with Susan Kellogg.

    Brad S. Moorefield is a doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research interests include family diversity, financial management in remarried women, and couple identity, especially in gay and lesbian couples.

    Goldie Morton has a masters degree in marriage and family therapy and is a doctoral candidate in family studies at the University of Maryland, with a focus on program development for children and families, as well as research on at-risk youth, specifically juvenile female offenders. She has spent the past 3 years as Coordinator and Clinician of a grant-funded elementary school-based program that provided individual and group counseling to at-risk children and their families. Currently, she serves as the Clinical Director at a Youth Service Bureau in southern Maryland.

    Kay Pasley, EdD, is Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has conducted a number of research studies on marital processes in families of divorce and remarriage. Since 1992, her research has also examined fathering identity and the conditions (e.g., co-parenting conflict) that affect the link between fathering identity and father involvement, including nonresident fathers. She has published three books, numerous book chapters, and over 50 research articles. She currently serves as Editor of Family Relations, published by the National Council on Family Relations.

    Tara S. Peris is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Virginia. She received her BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1997. Her research interests center on family conflict and related policy issues. She is particularly interested in how hostile and enmeshed family dynamics shape the course of child psychopathology.

    Maureen Perry-Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Past Director of the University of Massachusetts Center for the Family. She received her doctorate in human development and family studies from Pennsylvania State University. She has numerous publications in Journal of Family Issues, Journal of Marriage and Family, and Journal of Family and Economic Issues that explore work and family issues for working-class families. Her current research involves a 10-year, longitudinal study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health that examines the transition to parenthood and transition back to paid employment for working-class couples and for African American and European American single mothers. She is exploring how these multiple transitions are related to family members well-being and relationships and what risk and resilience factors differentially shape how well family members cope.

    Mark R. Rank is the Hadley Professor of Social Welfare in the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. His research has addressed various topics dealing with poverty, social welfare, and families. His recent work has estimated the probabilities of experiencing poverty across the American life course. In addition, he has been developing a new conceptual approach for understanding the nature and causes of American poverty.

    Karen Ripoll is a doctoral student in the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. She is originally from Colombia, South America. She holds a degree in psychology and a masters degree in education from universities in Colombia and a masters degree in marriage and family therapy from Syracuse University. Her research focuses on how family-of-origin experiences influence the cognitive orientations that adults bring to their intimate partnerships.

    Roger H. Rubin, PhD, is Associate Professor of Family Studies and Acting Department Chair at the University of Maryland, College Park. He has published in the areas of interpersonal lifestyles, human sexuality, family policy, and African American family life. His research interests include how penal and religious policies affect the family. He has served as President of the Groves Conference on Marriage and Families, Vice-President for Public Policy of the National Council on Family Relations, and Public Member, Commission on Supervision, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Currently, he is examining the relationships between diagnosed schizophrenics and their families.

    Ronald M. Sabatelli is a Professor in the School of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut. He teaches courses dealing with family patterns of interaction and functioning and the patterns of adjustment and satisfaction found within adult intimate partnerships. His current research focuses primarily on how family-of-origin experiences influence the structure and experience of parenthood and adult intimate partnerships.

    John Scanzoni is Professor of Sociology at the University of Florida. He has published widely in the realm of households (families, marriages, and relationships). He has been particularly interested in the consequences of shifts in broad societal trends (economic, political, gender, community) on the internal patterns and processes of households. His approach to diversity is to treat it as an opportunity for households of varied compositions to build mutually reinforcing linkages. His latest book is Designing Families: The Search for Self and Community in the Information Age (Pine Forge/Sage, 2000).

    Judith A. Seltzer, Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles, studies kinship institutions that are in flux, such as marriage and cohabitation in the contemporary United States, or divorced and nonmarital families, in which family membership and co-residence do not coincide. Her research also explores the effects of social policies on U.S. families, including child support, nonresident fathers involvement with children, and joint legal custody.

    Bahira Sherif-Trask is an Associate Professor of Individual and Family Studies at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on work-family-gender issues, intergenerational relations, and culturally diverse families. She has conducted anthropological research in Germany, Austria, Egypt, Turkey, and the United States.

    Saskia K. Subramanian is an Assistant Research Sociologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Culture and Health in the Neuropsychiatric Institute. She has participated in a variety of family studies, including an investigation of the effect of child abuse prevention programs on high-risk populations, an evaluation of community-based projects designed to stem unplanned teen pregnancy, and the 21-city Study of Families and Relationships. She has taught at UCLA, the University of Pennsylvania, St. Josephs University, and Mt. St. Marys College.

    Jay Teachman is Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology at Western Washington University. He is a Fellow of the National Council of Family Relations and received the Reuben Hill Award in 1982 for his research on childlessness. Currently, he is engaged in a long-term study of the effects of childhood living arrangements on early adult outcomes.

    M. Belinda Tucker is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the Center for Culture and Health in the Neuropsychiatric Institute. Tucker directed the 21-city Survey of Families and Relationships in 1995 and 2002 and co-directed the landmark National Survey of Black Americans in 1979. She has written extensively on changing patterns of family formation and personal relationships, including The Decline of Marriage Among African Americans (1995). She also serves on the Family Research Consortiums national faculty.

    Elizabeth Turner is a graduate student in clinical psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research interests include (a) the relationship between marital quality and aspects of infant and child development and (b) early sibling relationships.

    Alexis J. Walker holds the Jo Anne Leonard Petersen Chair in Gerontology and Family Studies at Oregon State University, where she is Professor of Human Development and Family Sciences. Her research is focused on the influence of gender and generation on family relationships. She is the author of more than three dozen scholarly publications and is a Fellow of both the Gerontological Society of America and the National Council on Family Relations. She is the editor of Journal of Marriage and Family.

    Susan Walzer is Associate Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Skidmore College and was formerly a clinician. Her research and teaching interests include the sociology of families and gender as well as social psychology. She is the author of Thinking About the Baby: Gender and Transitions Into Parenthood (1998) as well as a number of articles about family changes and interactions.

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