• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Beyond the Average Divorce provides marriage and family scholars and students a rich depiction of how children and adults of all ages respond to diverse divorce experiences. Rather than emphasizing means and averages in looking at “typical” family reactions to divorce, authors David H. Demo and Mark A. Fine emphasize variability and change over time in the pre-divorce, divorce, and post-divorce process. The book's three parts explore theoretical and methodological tools for studying divorce, the divorce process and its multiple pathways, and future directions in research.

Key Features

  • Includes cutting-edge research on how children are affected by multiple transitions in family structure and parenting arrangements during the divorce process
  • Covers the most common causes of divorce and how the family environment deteriorates during the years leading up to divorce
  • Provides easy-to-understand descriptions and examples of how specific research methods can be used to study divorce
  • Offers a dynamic theoretical model of divorce and how it is experienced by family members in a wide variety of family situations
  • Discusses policy implications as well as directions for future theoretical, research, and clinical work in this vital area

Beyond the Average Divorce is intended as a core textbook for use in upper-level undergraduate or graduate courses in Family Stress and Divorce, Dysfunctional Families, Sociology of the Family, and Couples, Marriage, and Family Counseling.

Introduction: Variations in and Fluidity of Divorce Experiences and Outcomes
Introduction: Variations in and fluidity of divorce experiences and outcomes

There is perhaps no more appropriate adjective to describe the divorce process than stressful. Few individuals who have been touched by divorce would express any doubt that the divorce process is stressful for family members. The degree and duration of the stress may vary within and across individuals and families, but even for those who benefit from divorce, the experience is characterized by multiple stressors. Many argue that it is the single most stressful life experience, even more stressful than other major stressors such as job change, unemployment, chronic illness, or widowhood (Braver, Shapiro, & Goodman, 2006; Dohrenwend & Dohrenwend, 1974).

Not only is the divorce process ...

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