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.

Variation and Fluidity in Children's Adjustment to Divorce

Variation and fluidity in children's adjustment to divorce

Unlike the majority of adults who divorce more or less voluntarily, parental divorce is imposed upon children. Some children, particularly older ones, may have seen it coming, whereas others are completely unprepared and do not know what to expect or how to act. Initial reactions include feelings of shock, anger, confusion, disappointment, and even distress. How long do these feelings last and how common is it for children to suffer more serious adjustment problems, such as blaming and doubting themselves (e.g., low self-esteem), becoming depressed or anxious, performing poorly in school, or acting out (e.g., lying, cheating, stealing, alcohol and drug use)? How much variation is there in children's adjustment ...

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