• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Advancing Family Theories explores two contemporary theories of the family - rational choice theory and transition theory. These diametrically different approaches illuminate what differing theories reveal about families. The book also discusses how meta-theories can assist in building and refining theory and offers insight on the "understanding versus explanation" debate. Advancing Family Theories gives students a precise notion of what a theory is and how theories work in research. The book not only looks at philosophical realms but also examines particular substantive theory to explain and predict family behaviors.Advancing Family Theories Family Theories, Second Edition (SAGE, 2002), or is effective on its own. The book helps students with the task of taking abstract and very general theories and reducing them to a level of specific research models and hypotheses.

Transition Theory
Transition theory

Iimagine that the first reaction by students and scholars to the title of this chapter would be to ask, “What is ‘transition theory’?” They might well add that they have never heard of such a theory in their readings of sociological, psychological, or family theories. This would be true, and indeed, both of these reactions would be totally justified.

The reason they would be justified is that the name “transition theory” has not been used before, and so that name would not cause any especially significant associations to spring to mind. What I am doing in this chapter is creating an extension of family development (Aldous, 1996; Hill & Rodgers, 1964; Rodgers, 1973; Rodgers & White, 1993; White, 1991) and family life course ...

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