This completely updated second edition presents an integrated, multidisciplinary account of children's experiences of divorce from historical, cultural and demographic perspectives. The author highlights children's resilience, but is sensitive to children's pain throughout the divorce process and afterwards. In addition he reviews the psychological, social, economic and legal consequences of divorce, and examines how children's risk is predicted by parental conflict, relationships with both parents, financial strain, custody disputes, and other factors. The author uses his family systems model to integrate research findings into a theoretical whole and to evaluate psychological interventions with divorcing and divorced families.

Some Cultural, Historical, and Demographic Perspectives

Some cultural, historical, and demographic perspectives

This chapter examines some views on families from the broad perspectives of anthropology, history, and sociology. This brief overview serves several purposes in setting the stage for a discussion of more focused psychological research in later chapters. The broad context is critical to understanding current social, legal, and psychological assumptions about children and families. In addition, the demographic literature confronts us with realities about the prevalence of divorce and other family structures in the United States today and how divorce rates are influenced by such factors as age, race, education, and children themselves.

Perhaps most important, a consideration of families across cultures and time indicates that the family is not a single, fixed entity. Rather, ...

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