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.

Divorce and Family Transitions in Societal Context

Divorce and family transitions in societal context

Divorce is a complex, multidimensional process that unfolds over many years. To understand why couples divorce and how divorce affects individuals and families, divorce needs to be considered in context, including the social, historical, cultural, and legal circumstances affecting individuals throughout the divorce process. In this chapter, we describe a range of important societal contexts surrounding divorce, including a) changing values regarding marriage, divorce, and cohabitation; b) historical changes in divorce; c) the cross-cultural context, including demographic variations in divorce rates among various subgroups; and d) the legal environment in which divorce occurs. Figure 2.1 visually depicts our Divorce Variation and Fluidity Model (DVFM); in this model, these contexts constitute the environment ...

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