Children in Changing Families: Life After Parental Separation


At time when separation and divorce are increasingly common, this book supplies much-needed insights into why some children survive change in families better than others.

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At time when separation and divorce are increasingly common, this book supplies much-needed insights into why some children survive change in families better than others.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Children in Changing Families is a remarkable and much-needed book.Jan Pryor and Bryan Rodgers' international perspective isunparalleled, including a broad overview of demographic trends andcomprehensive coverage of research on children in changing familiesfrom throughout the English-speaking world. This book isindispensable reading for academics, practitioners, and studentsfrom a variety of disciplines. Robert E. Emery, Director of theCenter for Children, Families, and the Law, University ofVirginia

Children in Changing Families: Life After ParentalSeparation is a remarkable achievement. Spanning studiesconducted in the United States, England, Australia, and NewZealand, this book provides a comprehensive and integrated overviewof research on parental divorce, parental remarriage, andchildren's lives. Because this book is both authoritative andclearly written, it will be valuable not only to family scholars,but also to students, counselors, educators, legal professionals,and policy makers. Although our understanding of these phenomenacontinues to grow, Jan Pryor and Bryan Rodgers have written thebest book yet about the linkages between family structure, familyprocess, and children's well-being. Paul Amato, PennsylvaniaState University

It has long been clear that parental divorce and other majorfamily change upsets children, but the severity of such effects andthe possibility of longer term consequences has been clouded byevidence that has often seemed contradictory and has been open tomisinterpretation. At last we have a clear, authoritative, criticalbut even handed appraisal of the field. Jan Pryor and BryanRodgers' landmark account of the evidence will become the standardreference for practitioners, policy makers, researchers and,indeed, parents. Their book charts the impact of family change onthe emotional, behavioural and educational development of childrenand young people against the relevant demographic and legalbackgrounds. The authors draw on research from the UK, Australia,New Zealand and North America and bring it together in a remarkablycomprehensive and readable account. Martin Richards, Universityof Cambridge

"Pryor and Rodgers cover a broad overview of internationaldemographic trends and a wide range of empirical research on theimpact of changing family structures on children.

Although not a "law book", it is very accessible; the empiricalfindings, where presented as tables, are clear and intelligible andwhere necessary are supported by explanatory text. They outlinesome of the major theoretical and conceptual frameworks currentlyused to discuss family change. These are applied later when theauthors discuss the research evidence. In the final chapter theauthors draw their conclusions for both policy and practice,highlighting where, in their opinion, further research is needed.The book keeps its well-organised structure of nine broadly headedchapters, each of which is further subdivided by clearsubheadings.

Family lawyers eaxmining law in context, rather than in a socialvacuum, should find this book thought-provoking. Perhaps adissemination of such information between different professionalswill even help to develop a better approach to dealing withchildren in changing families." Joanne Beswick, ResearchAssociate, Staffordshire University. Family Law, December 2001,Vol. 31

"This major contribution to the literature on the impact ofseparation and divorce on children is highly recommended". D.A.Chekki, University of Winnipeg, Choice, April 2002

"The book is an essential text for all professionals whose workbrings them into contact with families where parents areanticipating, going through or managing the consequences ofseparation and divorce. Building on their 1998 review of UKresearch, Jan Pryor and Bryan Rodgers bring together additionalresearch from North America, Australia and New Zealand to providethe reader with a comprehensive overview of research findings thataccount for why some children survive family reconstitution andbreakdown better than others." Christopher Vincent, TavistockMarital Studies Institute (London), Child & Adolescent MentalHealth, November 2002

"I see this volume as making a sound contribution to the currentliterature on children and divorce. In fact, it would be goodrequired reading in a graduate course on changing families orfamily diversity, in part because of its inclusiveness in topicscovered, and especially because of the strong emphasis on studiesbeyond the U.S. borders." Kay Pasley, University of NorthCarolina - Greensboro, Journal of Marriage and Family, February2003

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631215752
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/18/2001
  • Series: Understanding Children's Worlds Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Pryor is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at VictoriaUniversity of Wellington in New Zealand. She is a Specialist ReportWriter for the New Zealand Family Court, and an educator forlawyers and others working with families in the court system.

Bryan Rodgers is a Senior Fellow in the Centre for MentalHealth Research at the Australian National University. He haspublished research from the three large British birth cohortstudies of children born in 1946, 1958 and 1970.

In 1998 Jan Pryor and Bryan Rodgers authored areport for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation that reviewed UK researchon outcomes for children whose parents separated or divorced.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables
Series Editor's Preface
Glossary of Studies Frequently Referred to in the Book
Introduction 1
1 The Context of Family Transitions 6
2 Frameworks for Understanding Family Transitions 30
3 Family Transitions and Outcomes for Children 53
4 Children's Perceptions of Families and Family Change 112
5 Families that Separate 139
6 Stepfamilies and Multiple Transitions 167
7 Fathers and Families 197
8 Explaining Outcomes for Children and Young People 222
9 Overview and Future Directions 260
References 278
Index 314
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