Annual Editions: The Family 14/15
Unit 1: Evolving Perspectives on the FamilyUnit Overview
1. The Changing Face of the American Family, Tim Stanley, History Today, November 2012
The media often portrays an idealized image of families, focusing on traditional values, structures, and gender-roles. At the core has been the idea of the nuclear family. Taking a historical perspective, how have political, social, and economic forces shaped our view of family in the U.S.? Are our views of family liberal and inclusive or are they still shaped by conservative notions valuing the traditional, nuclear family over other forms?
2. 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, and care of the elderly, and moving and migration.
3. 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.
4. Relationships, Community, and Identity in the New Virtual Society, Arnold L. Brown, Futurist, March/April 2011, 45(2), 29-34
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
5. 12 Rude Revelations About Sex, Alain de Botton, Psychology Today, January/ February 2013
Are most sexual problems mechanical, as some sex experts have led us to believe? Alaine deBotton ponders this question and others, offering insights from his new book How to Think More About Sex, exploring a variety of questions about sexual behavior, desire, pornography, adultery, and sex within marriage.
6. There's No Such Thing as Everlasting Love (According to Science), Emily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic, January 2013
What is love? Is it romance and commitment or something less substantial, like "micro-moments" of positive feelings we experience with others during the day? Smith discusses the nature and experience of love using insights from scientific research.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, 24-27
The average age individuals wed in the U.S. 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" effects your sex life and the emotional sacrifices of commitment are explored.
9. The End of Courtship?, Alex Williams, The New York Times, January 11, 2013
What does it mean to go out on a date today? Is the idea of traditional dating, going out one-on-one for a dinner and a movie dead? The dating world of millenials differs significantly from that of their parents, punctuated by hook-ups, hanging out, group dates, and social encounters by texting. Is courtship really dead or just re-invented?Part C. New Parenthood and Family Formation
10. You Got Your Sperm Where?, Tony Dokoupil, Newsweek Magazine, October 2, 2011
Assisted reproductive technologies are allowing many single and lesbian women to become pregnant and create families. What are some of the ethical dilemmas and challenges created by artificial insemination and sperm donation? Should sperm donation be regulated or should men be allowed to donate sperm independently and for free? This article examines the motives of donors and experiences of women navigating the free sperm market.
11. Getting it Right From the Start, Thomas G. Sticht, American Educator, Fall 2011, 35-39
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. 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.
14. Are You With the Right Mate?, Rebecca Webber, Psychology Today, January/February 2012, 57-65
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?
15. How to Stay Married, Anne Kingston, Maclean's Magazine, October 10, 2011, 50-52
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 separate and in the context of the marriage.Part B. Relationships between Parents and Children
16. Parenting Wars, Jane Shilling, New Statesman, January 2013
Parents are flooded with conflicting media messages about how to raise healthy, happy, successful children. Is there one right way to raise a child? Shilling discusses familial, societal, cultural, historical, and media influences on parenting, highlighting the role of love, character, and identity development.
17. Why Chinese Mothers are Superior, Amy Chua, Wall Street Journal, January 8, 2011, C1
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.
18. Parental Responsibility and Obesity in Children, Søren Holm, Public Health Ethics, January 2008, 1(1), 21-29
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
19. Sibling Rivalry Grow Up, Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal, March 20, 2012, D1
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.
20. Support Needs of Siblings of People with Developmental Disabilities, Catherine Arnold, Tamar Heller, and John Kramer, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, 2012, 50(5), 373-382
As siblings with developmental disabilities age, what are the concerns and worries of adult siblings? How do family relationships, roles, and responsibilities change as parents age and the responsibility of caregiving falls to adult siblings? This article explores adult sibling's support needs, ways to facilitate positive family relationships, decrease caregiver stress, and aid in transition planning in families.
21. Supporting Siblings of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Ling-Ling Tsao, Randy Davenport, and Cynthia Schmiege, Early Childhood Education Journal, 2012, 40, 47-54
What is it like to have a sibling with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? How are sibling relationships affected? This article explores the challenges and potential benefits of having a sibling with special needs and supports needed by families to promote healthy sibling relationships and positive family adaptation.Part D. Intergenerational Relationships
22. 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.
23. The Accordion Family, Katherine S. Newman, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 29, 2012
More and more adult children are returning home to live with their parents or never leaving home in the first place. Why are adult children boomeranging back home or delaying their departure from the comfort and security of their parents' home? This article looks at the historical, economic, cultural, and social factors contributing to these "accordion families".
24. Daddy Issues, Sandra Tsing Loh, The Atlantic Monthly, March 2012, 84-93
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
25. Terrorism in the Home, Victor M. Parachin, The Priest, January 2013, 13-16
What is domestic violence? The article discusses 11 common myths about domestic violence. Topics addressed include the signs of domestic violence, causes, and the challenges involved in assisting victims.
26. Anguish of the Abandoned Child, Charles A. Nelson, Nathan A. Fox, and Charles H. Zeanah Jr., Scientific American, April 2013, 308(4), 62-67
How do early experiences of neglect, trauma, and deprivation affect a child? Using data from a study of orphans in Romania this article explores differences in the outcomes of children reared with families, foster care, and state-run institutions.
27. We Are Family: When Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Financial Exploitation Hit Home, Jeannie Jennings Beidler, Journal of the American Society on Aging, Fall 2012, 36(3), 21-25
Using a case study, this article details the individual, family, and contextual factors which underlie elder abuse. The practical, legal, financial, and emotional complexities and difficulties encountered in trying to intervene to protect elderly adult family members discussed.Part B. Substance Abuse and Mental Health
28. Alcohol and Drug Misuse: A Family Affair, Alex Copello, Healthcare Counseling and Psychotherapy Journal, October 2010, 10(4), 4-8
What is the best strategy to assist those with drug and alcohol problems? Should we only be concerned with the individual and trying to reduce their risk of physical harm resulting from addiction problem? Or, might a family focused approach be better and more effective? This article discussed three types of family interventions which can be used with substance abusers and their families.
29. 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.
30. A Guide in the Darkness, John Leland, The New York Times, February 8, 2013
Many who struggle to support mentally ill family members face challenges in accessing support and needed services. This article discusses the legal, medical, family, and practical challenges faced by families as they navigate the mental health system in the U.S.Part C. Infidelity
31. From Promise to Promiscuity, Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today, July/August 2012
Why do spouses cheat? It was once thought that infidelity resulted from deficits in relationship or problems in the marriage. New thinking suggests multiple causes including opportunity, personality, affluence, corporate culture, and brain chemistry.
32. Financial Infidelity, Alexia Elejalde, 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
33. International Perspectives on Work-Family Policies, Alison Earle, Zitha Mokomane, and Jody Heymann, The Future of Children, Fall 2011, 21(2), 191-200
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 U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in affording benefits such as paid maternity and paternity leave to employees.
34.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?
35.Homeless in the Suburbs, Jenny Deam, Parenting School Years, parenting.com, July 2009, 60-65
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
36. 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, 90(4)
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.
37. The Coming Special Needs Care Crisis, Michelle Cottle, Newsweek Magazine, April 30, 2012
Parents of children with special needs experience a host of both daily and long-term challenges in raising their children. This article looks at the experiences of families and costs of caring for the large and growing population of special needs children in the U.S.
38. Family Members' Informal Roles in End-of-Life Decision Making in Adult Intensive Care Units, Jill Quinn, Madeline Schmitt, Judith Gedney Baggs, Sally A. Norton, Mary T. Dombeck, and Craig R. Seller, American Journal of Critical Care, January 2012, 21(1), 43-51
When a family member is critically ill, there are many decisions to be made. While one person is usually legally designated to make decisions, a variety of different family members often are informally involved in end-of-life decision-making. What roles do they play and how can conflicts be effectively resolved?Part F. War, the Stress of Separation
39.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.
40. Evaluating the Needs of Military and Veteran's Families in Polytrauma Setting, Kathryn P. Wilder Schaff, Jeffrey S. Kretzer, Steven J. Danish et al., Rehabilitation Psychology, 2013, 58(1), 106-110
Many military personnel experience severe or life-threatening impairments as a result of their military service. Issues can include brain injuries, loss of limbs, and psychological trauma. What kinds of help and assistance do families need when their soldiers are in inpatient and rehabilitation settings? How can we help families manage the stresses of hospitalization?Part G. Single Parenting, Divorce and Remarriage
41. Why Do Marriages Fail? Joseph N. Ducanto, American Journal of Family Law, Winter 2013, 26(4), 237-239
A divorce lawyer in practice for 56 years discusses the reasons he believes marriages end and partners decide to formally and legally divorce. What can be done to encourage to partners to recommit and reconnect in their marriages? Or, is marriage dead, as the author suggests?
42. Helping Children Endure Divorce, Marlene Eskind Moses, Tennessee Bar Journal, January 2013
A legal professional considers how divorce influences children. She includes guidelines for parents to help children adjust and adapt when parents decide to legally end their unions.
43. Strengthening Fragile Families, Sara McLanahan, Ron Haskins, Irwin Garfinkel, Ronald Mincy, and Elisabeth Donahue, The Future of Children, Fall 2010, 20(2), 1-6
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 Future
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. Back to the Dinner Table, Mary Beth McCauley, The Christian Science Monitor Weekly, June 25, 2012
Having dinner together as a family has been lauded as having important benefits for children and youth. Three families are profiled, giving us a diverse and varied picture of what family meals look like in for modern American families. Suggestions for making dinner a family ritual are detailed.
47. Goy Meets Girl, Anna Weaver, U.S. Catholic, December 2011, 12-17
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.
48. 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.
49. The Child's Advocate in Donor Conceptions: The Telling of Their Story, Kris A. Probasco, Pediatric Nursing, May/June 2012, 38(3), 179-182
Reproductive technology is changing how children are conceived and families formed. If children are conceived via donor sperm, eggs, or embryos, what are legal considerations? What are children's rights and what should they know? How should parents handle children's questions about how they were conceived and about their biological parents?
50. Family Unplugged, Shawn Bean, Parenting School Years, parenting.com, October 2011, 92-96
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?