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.

Variations in Separation and Uncoupling

Variations in Separation and Uncoupling

Variations in separation and uncoupling

Describing divorce as a process, as opposed to an event, points to the complex and varied nature of marital uncoupling (Duck, 1982). It recognizes that separating lives and households takes time. The divorce process is multifaceted and often involves changes in multiple areas of one's life, including household structure, personal identity, daily routines, social networks, and financial resources. It is fraught with uncertainty, ambiguity, and unpredictability, and although divorce may be considered a normalized process in many cultures, the experience of divorce is rarely “normal” for those going through it.

At the same time, describing divorce as a process can be problematic. It can bring to mind a series of linear steps or stages that individuals march ...

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