Annual Editions: The Family, 13/14
Unit 1: Evolving Perspectives on the FamilyUnit Overview
1. The Significant Dynamic Relationship between Globalization and Families, Bahira Sherif Trask
We live in an increasingly globalized world, with different countries and cultures influencing each other. Often the focus in on "big picture" concerns like the economy and politics. This article focuses on the day-to-day decisions that families make with regard to work issues, gender roles, child rearing, care of the elderly, and moving and migration.
2. Matches Made on Earth: Why Family Values Are Human Values, Nancie L. Gonzalez, The Humanist, January/February 2011
What are family values? Who gets to decide? For that matter, what is a family? Although the definition of both terms has often been associated with a conservative perspective, the author argues for a broader view, recognizing the fact that societies differ, as do cultures, and that they also evolve over time.
3. Relationships, Community, and Identity in the New Virtual Society, Arnold L. Brown, Futurist, March/April 2011
The Internet has changed how we develop and maintain romantic and family relationships. Does online communication strengthen connections or serve to undermine our ability to create "real" relationships and weaken our support networks? What role might technology play in the future in altering patterns of family formation and family functioning?Unit 2: Exploring and Establishing RelationshipsUnit OverviewPart A. Love and Sex
4. This Thing Called Love, Lauren Slater, National Geographic, February 2006
What we recognize as passionate love or infatuation shares a chemical profile that is surprisingly similar to that of obsessive-compulsive disorder. In order for relationships to last, we cannot depend on retaining feelings of passionate love throughout the duration of the relationship.
5. Women, Men, and the Bedroom, Terri D. Conley et al., Current Directions for Psychological Science, October 2011
Are there empirically validated differences between the genders in their sexual desires, expectations, and behavior? Six common sexual stereotypes are considered. Have flawed methodological approaches to the study of sex led to misconceptions about gender roles in sexual relationships that pervade our culture?
6. Knowing Your Own Mate Value: Sex-Specific Personality Effects on the Accuracy of Expected Mate Choices, Mitja D. Back et al., Psychological Science, August 2011
How accurate are we in predicting whether someone is interested in us as a mate? A study of speed dating provides insight into how personality, especially aspects related to our sexual behavior, influence mate selection.Part B. Finding a Life Partner
7. The Expectations Trap, Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today, March/April 2010
Many of the expectations we have for what a potential partner can and should do are culturally determined. We may blame our partners for our unhappiness, and continue seek "the one." Choosing the right partner is important, but by looking at oneself and one's expectations, it is possible to become the right partner.
8. Waiting to Wed, Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker, Christian Century, March 22, 2011
The average age when individuals wed in the United States is steadily increasing. However, most plan on marrying at some point. What factors are important in mate selection today and why they are young adults waiting to wed? Young adults ideas regarding how "settling down" affects your sex life and the emotional sacrifices of commitment are explored.
9. Strengthening Connections in Interracial Marriages through Pre-Marital Inventories: A Critical Literature Review, Monica K. B. G. Wong, Contemporary Family Therapy, September 2009
Marriages that unite individuals from different ethnic or racial backgrounds face unique challenges. They may face discrimination and the need to reconcile differences in beliefs and customs. The use of pre-marital inventories with interracial couples as a means to identify risks and promote resilience is discussed.Part C. New Parenthood and Family Formation
10. Why Won't This Mom Wash Her Hair: The Fascinating Postpartum Customs of Women from Around the World, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, Slate.com, April 11, 2011
The transition to parenthood in many cultures is accompanied by a variety of restrictions and taboos associated with the behavior of women and their families. What role do cultural practices play in facilitating family development and promoting maternal well-being during the 40 days after birth?
11. Getting It Right from the Start: The Case for Early Parenthood Education, Thomas G. Sticht, American Educator, Fall 2011
Research highlights the role of the home environment in the development of children's literacy skills and traits such as motivation and persistence, which are important to later success in school. Early parenting education efforts are discussed as a strategy to ensure later school success, especially for first-time parents.UNIT 3: Family RelationshipsUnit OverviewPart A. Marriage and Other Committed Relationships
12. Two Views of Marriage and the Falsity of the Choice between Them, Jason Lee Steorts, National Review, February 11, 2011
Opponents of same-sex marriage highlight marriage as a context for reproduction. However, not all married couples can or desire to procreate. Our current legal definition disproportionally concerns itself with gender and procreation, neglecting to consider marriage as a legal mechanism to formally link two people so they can share their life together.
13. Can Marriage Be Saved?, Frank Furstenberg, Dissent, Summer 2005
The author assures his readers that the institution of marriage is not in trouble. He argues that although there are other issues that affect all marriages, the focus should be on resources, as the often-cited unhealthy marriage and family trends occur only among the most socially disadvantaged.
14. The Polygamists, Scott Anderson, National Geographic, February 2010
This intimate look inside a fundamentalist polygamist community describes attitudes, standards, and beliefs related to plural marriage from the insiders' perspective of members of the community.
15. Are You with the Right Mate?, Rebecca Webber, Psychology Today, January/February 2012
Is it "normal" to be discontent and disillusioned about your marriage and your partner? Marriages are not always sources of personal satisfaction. Some factors are more important to compatibility than others. Does what bother you about your relationship say more about you than your partner?
16. How to Stay Married, Anne Kingston, Maclean's Magazine, October 10, 2011
The author explores Iris Krasnow's work The Secret Lives of Women: What It Really Takes to Stay Married. She suggests that women need to lower their expectations of what marriage can provide and to grow as individuals. Marriage is less about finding someone to "complete you" and more about finding and liking yourself, both separately and in the context of the marriage.Part B. Relationships between Parents and Children
17. Good Parents, Bad Results, Nancy Shute, U.S. News & World Report, June 23, 2008
Parents often struggle to provide needed structure for their children. This article presents eight common mistakes made by parents as they rear their children.
18. Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, Amy Chua, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2011
The author of The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother discusses strategies to achieve success in childrearing, highlighting the techniques of "Chinese" mothers. She argues that raising successful children is less about bolstering their self-esteem and more about instilling disciplined work habits and high standards, values that are important to academic and life success.
19. Fathers' Involvement and Children's Developmental Outcomes: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies, Anna Sarkadi et al., Acta Paediatrica, 2008
From a review of 24 studies the authors argue the importance of active, consistent paternal involvement for children's behavior, cognitive, and socioeconomic development. Their data finds children have better behavioral outcomes when their mother cohabitates with a male partner who is active in their lives than when they live with a single mother without a male partner.
20. Children of Lesbian and Gay Parents: Psychology, Law and Policy, Charlotte J. Patterson, Current Directions in Psychological Science, October 2006
Does parental sexual orientation affect child development? After years of research, little difference in children has been found between parents living in a same-sex and those living in an opposite-sex relationship. This article argues that sexual orientation should not be used as a sole or even significant criterion for determining child custody.
21. Parenting Gay Youth: Creating a Supportive Environment, Linda Goldman, healingmagazine.org, Spring/Summer 2008
Parenting gay children can be challenging, rewarding and ultimately life changing. In this article, the author presents nine myths associated with homosexuality and correct information. In addition, ways parents can support their lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered child are given.
22. Parental Responsibility and Obesity in Children, Søren Holm, Public Health Ethics, January 2008
Family and parental factors are associated with obesity. Using the standard of the best interests of the child, can parents be held morally and legally responsible for what their child weighs? Does it mean they are "bad parents" and that the state or government has the right to intervene on the child's behalf?Part C. Sibling Relationships
23. The Forgotten Siblings, Sally Young, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy, March 2007
In studying families, we often lose sight of siblings and aspects of siblinghood (including sibling rivalry as well as sibling loyalty). Yet siblings maintain a powerful influence on each other that extends throughout life, even if physical contact is broken off.
24. Sibling Rivalry Grows Up: Adult Brothers and Sisters Are Masters at Digs; Finding a Way to a Truce, Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2012
Sibling relationships are an ever present part of our lives. Does the rivalry ever end? What does it look like during adulthood? This article explores sibling rivalry and strife during adulthood, providing some ground rules to address issues before they destroy relationships.Part D. Intergenerational Relationships
25. Building on Strengths: Intergenerational Practice with African American Families, Cheryl Waites, Social Work, July 2009
Intergenerational kinship and multigenerational families are a source of strength for African Americans. Relationships across generations are embedded in an Afro-centric cultural perspective, and provide a safe haven for family members.
26. Daddy Issues: Why Caring For My Aging Father Has Me Wishing He Would Die, Sandra Tsing Loh, The Atlantic Monthly, March 2012
The author discusses real-life the financial and emotional burden of caring for her 91-year old father. Changes in their family and relationship dynamics are discussed as she explains why caring for him has made her wish he would die.UNIT 4: Challenges and OpportunitiesUnit OverviewPart A. Abuse and Neglect
27. Recognizing Domestic Partner Abuse, Harvard Women's Health Watch, September 2006
This brief article provides a concise description of the risk factors for domestic partner abuse, as well as suggestions for how to help someone whom you suspect is in an abusive relationship.
28. Role of Foster Family Belonging in Recovery from Child Maltreatment, Damen Wayne Riggs, Martha Augoustinos and Paul Howard Delfabbro, Australian Psychologist, September 2009
This article presents a model of foster care that is intended to reduce the negative effects of abuse and neglect that children had experienced while also increasing their sense of belonging through such things as cultural identity, ritual, and solidarity between foster parents and foster children.Part B. Substance Abuse and Mental Health
29. Developing Resilient Children and Families When Parents Have Mental Illness: A Family-Focused Approach, Kim Foster, Louise O'Brien and Teija Korhonen, International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, January 2012.
Using a social ecological framework, the risks and protective factors experienced by children of parents with mental illness are considered. The authors, nursing professionals, suggest that family resilience can be promoted through an examination and utilization of family strengths and resources in prevention and intervention efforts.
30. Children of Alcoholics: Risk and Resilience, Cara E. Rice et al., The Prevention Researcher, November 2006
Children of alcoholic parents have a variety of risk factors for developing substance abuse as well as other negative outcomes. This article identifies protective factors that may reduce the risks children of alcoholic parents face.
31. Impact of Family Recovery on Pre-Teens and Adolescents, Virginia Lewis and Lois Allen-Byrd, The Prevention Researcher, November 2006
Beginning with the introduction to the concept of family recovery, this article explores its stages and three distinct types of alcoholic families in recovery. The primary focus, however, is the impact family recovery has on pre-teens and adolescents who are the "forgotten" family members in this radical and traumatic long-term process.Part C. Infidelity
32. Love but Don't Touch, Mark Teich, Psychology Today, March/April 2006
Often seen as less serious than a sexual affair, when one's partner has an emotional affair, it can have a devastating effect on a couple's relationship. Emotional affairs may not even involve sexual contact and may not be seen as "cheating" by the party who is involved in the affair. Yet, the recovery from the deceit and violation of trust that is an integral element of an emotional affair can be just as challenging.
33. Financial Infidelity: Lying About Money and Finances Can Result in Strained Relationships, Sometimes Divorce, Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune, February 11, 2011
One-third of married American couples have committed "financial infidelity," hiding information about what they do with money from their spouse. This article examines family resource management and how not being truthful about our financial practices effects marital relationships.Part D. Work and Economic Concerns
34. International Perspectives on Work-Family Policies: Lessons from the World's Most Competitive Economies, Alison Earle, Zitha Mokomane and Jody Heymann, The Future of Children, Fall 2011
Is it incompatible for a country to economically competitive and family friendly in its workplace and leave policies? The authors compare U.S. work-family policies with those in 15 economically competitive nations. Their analyses finds that the United States lags behind the rest of the world in affording benefits such as paid maternity and paternity leave to employees.
35. Behind Every Great Woman, Carol Hymowitz, Bloomburg Businessweek, January 9–15, 2012
More women are climbing the corporate ladder and becoming primary breadwinners in their families. To create work-family balance, husbands often leave their careers to man the homefront. What effect does this role reversal have on children, marriages, and families?
36. Making Time for Family Time, Tori DeAngelis, Monitor on Psychology, January 2008
As they start their lives together, couples must confront issues associated with bringing their home and work lives together. DeAngelis provides a list of helpful recommendations from early-career experts on how to deal with the complexities of this topic.
37. Homeless in the Suburbs, Jenny Deam, Parenting School Years, parenting.com, July 2009
Homelessness is not just an urban phenomenon. The experiences of three families around the country are profiled, highlighting the economic forces leading to homelessness and the challenges for children, parents, and families to adapt in the face of residential instability.Part E. Illness, Caregiving and Death in the Family
38. The Positives of Caregiving: Mothers' Experiences Caregiving for a Child with Autism, Michael K. Corman, Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, 2009
Although much research on autism focuses on stress and coping, the study reported in this article addresses resilience exhibited by mothers providing care to an autistic child. Mothers identify experiences that are appraised in a positive, even joyous, light. Practical implications are included.
39. Support and Empower Families of Children with Disabilities, Barbara Van Haren and Craig R. Fiedler, Intervention in School and Clinic, March 2008
In this article, the authors identify 28 ways to provide support for and to empower families of children with disabilities. Operating from a family strengths perspective, ways to enhance quality of life for these families are described.
40. Children's Provision of Family Caregiving: Benefit or Burden?, Patricia L. East, Child Development Perspectives, January 2010
Children are increasingly being called on to care for family members, whether younger siblings, parents, or elders. Why do some children assume high levels of caregiving responsibility in their family? Further, what costs and benefits are associated with children taking on household and personal care responsibilities?
41. Bereavement after Caregiving, Richard Schulz, Randy Hebert and Kathrin Boerner, Geriatrics, January 2008
Approximately 20 percent of bereaved caregivers will experience a number of psychiatric symptoms. The authors identify prebereavement risk factors and preventive strategies as well as diagnostic and treatment strategies that can be implemented post-loss.Part F. War, the Stress of Separation
42. Stressors Afflicting Families during Military Deployment, Gina M. Di Nola, Military Medicine, May 2008
This article discusses factors that affect U.S. military families during the time that a parent is deployed. The experience is highly stressful for families, and Family Readiness Groups (FRG), which provide a variety of services to the families, are described.
43. Military Children and Families: Strengths and Challenges during Peace and War, Nansook Park, American Psychologist, January 2011
Throughout history, military children and families have demonstrated remarkable adaptability and resilience. Now, with repeated and lengthy deployments of the service member, these children and families find their adaptability and resilience strained. This article explores the literature on military children and families and identifies their strengths and challenges and identifies areas of study needed.
44. Helping Military Kids Cope with Traumatic Death, Linda Goldman, TAPS Journal, Fall 2008
The life of a military child is unique in the potential for the traumatic death of a loved one. Linda Goldman describes the specific needs of these children and ways in which adults can help. She also provides a list of at-risk behaviors for adults in the lives of these children.Part G. Single Parenting, Divorce and Remarriage
45. A Divided House, Mark Teich, Psychology Today, May/June 2007
An unfortunate and painful result of a divorce may be one parent attempting (and sometimes succeeding) to turn the children against the other parent. This article depicts the effects of this alienation of a child's affection and presents ways in which parents might try to repair the break.
46. Strengthening Fragile Families, Sara McLanahan et al., The Future of Children, Fall 2010
The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study is a national study of families where children are born outside of marriage. Data indicates that despite parents' intention to stay together, most lack the educational, economic, health-related, and personal resources to form stable relationships. Policies are suggested to support fragile families and promote children's positive developmental outcomes.Unit 5: Families, Now and into the FutureUnit Overview
47. Get a Closer Look: 12 Tips for Successful Family Interviews, Ira Wolfman, Writing, November/December 2005
Family interviews can add to one's understanding of family members and can be fun and informative, but they take some preparation and planning. This article describes how one might go about doing such an interview.
48. Meet My Real Modern Family, Andrew Solomon, Newsweek, February 7, 2011
Families come in all shapes and sizes, and the author introduces us to his unconventional family and describes the process by which it came into being.
49. Relative Happiness, Amy Rosenberg, Psychology Today, July/August 2010
What are the attributes of a happy family? Tolstoy said that all happy families are alike. Although this is questionable, there are things that unhappy families can do to improve their lives. This article suggests ways in which families can become happier.
50. The Joy of Rituals: Simple Strategies for Strengthening Family Ties, Dawn Marie Barhyte, Vibrant Life, November/December 2006
Families are strengthened through rituals, and this article presents a variety of strategies for strengthening families through rituals.
51. Rituals in Relationships, Dolores T. Puterbaugh, USA Today Magazine, September 2008
Rituals, including the rites of organized religion are the glue that holds families together. They reinforce identity and meaning and sustain healthy family relationships.
52. Goy Meets Girl, Anna Weaver, U.S. Catholic, December 2011
Interfaith and interchurch marriages are on the increase. This article explores the challenges of unions between Catholics and non-Catholics. The reactions of their families, decisions regarding how to rear their children, and family rituals and celebrations are considered.
53. Where Is Marriage Going?, Anthony Layng, USA Today Magazine, January 2009
Expectations about "traditional" marriage are tied to a surprisingly recent, and culturally specific, version of marriage. This article discusses the evolution of marriage and suggests that marriage will continue to change and adapt to the demands of current society.
54. Family Unplugged, Shawn Bean, Parenting School Years, parenting.com, October 2011
Technology has become ever-present force in the lives of families. By unplugging and giving our family a "digital sabbatical," can we rediscover the simple joys of family activities and face-to-face communication?