Handbook of Family Development and Intervention / Edition 1

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Like all complex living systems, a family, during its life course,proceeds through predictable stages of development. Yet everyfamily is different, its uniqueness defined and continuallyredefined by an open-ended array of structural, biological, andsociocultural variables. And, as with all living things, afamily’s continues well-being depends upon its ability toadapt to changes arising from both within the family system andwithout. First postulated in the 1940s, these basic ideasconstitute the conceptual core of modern family development theory.From them has blossomed an impressive body of knowledge aboutfamily health and illness, without which much of the progressoccurring in family therapy over the past half-century would nothave been possible. This book does much to promote continuedprogress in the practical application of family development theoryby affording family therapists an unparalleled opportunity toacquaint themselves with the most important trends in familydevelopment theory to emerge over the past decade. In it you willfind contributions from leading theorists, researchers, andclinicians, arranged so as to provide a systematic treatment of thelatest thinking on family development seen from both the systemicviewpoint and that of individual members of the system.Comprehensive in scope, this book explores the patterns, processes,and dynamics inherent in "traditional" families, as well as inimportant structural variants—such as single-parent and gayand lesbian families—and families with special needs andproblems, including divorce, physical abuse, and disabilities.Since progress in the social sciences is as much about formulatingviable new ways of seeing as it is about determining quantifiablefacts, the editors offer equal time to an array of influential andsometimes radically conflicting schools of thought, includingsociobiology, social psychology, constructionism, multiculturalism,post-modernism, and feminism. Mainstream family therapists willfind much in this handbook that they will consider controversial.In some cases readers may even be outraged by the views expressed.Yet,thanks to the high caliber of scholarship, intellect, andprofessionalism evidenced throughout, none of the ideas advanced inHandbook of Family Development and Intervention can be easilydismissed, and all have something of value to offer the thoughtful,dedicated family therapist. Handbook of Family Development andIntervention is a valuable professional resource for all couplesand family therapists. It is also must reading for graduatestudents in family psychology, family therapy, social work, andcounseling.

The book contains black-and-white illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A well conceived and worthwhile resource for the family therapyacademic or practitioner." (The Family Journal, January 2002)

"The expertise made available by the authors is both broad anddeep. All hold clinical as well as scientific credentials. Theeditors' broad network was an important resource in recruitingauthors. Bill Nichols and Mary Anne Pace-Nichols are long timeauthors, academicians, and leaders in the fields of family studiesand MFT. Dorothy Becvar is a well-known leader and author. GusNapier is near legend among MFT's as a result of the "FamilyCrucible". This group of Editors did an excellent job of organizingthe authors' work into a text that fills a large gap in theliterature." (Journal of Marriage and Family, Feb 02)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

WILLIAM C. NICHOLS, EdD, is President of the International FamilyTherapy Association and author of several books on familypsychology.

MARY ANNE PACE-NICHOLS, PhD, is a veteran human development andfamily development teacher and consultant.

DOROTHY S. BECVAR, PhD, is the author of five books on variousaspects of family development and intervention.

AUGUSTUS Y. NAPIER, PhD, is an acclaimed family therapist andcoauthor of the classic The Family Crucible.

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Table of Contents


Family Development and Family Therapy (W. Nichols & M.Pace-Nichols).

Evolutionary Psychology (W. DeKay).

The Limits of Change: Heredity, Temperament, and Family Influences(J. Efran & M. Green).

Human Development as a Process of Meaning Making and RealityConstruction (D. Becvar).


Socialization of Gender Roles (C. Philpot).

The Development of Children and Families of Color: A SupplementalFramework (K. Hardy & T. Loszloffy).

Socialization of Socioeconomic Status (M. Rank).


Making a Marriage (A. Napier).

Childless Married Couples (W. Nichols & M. Pace-Nichols).

Families with Young Children: A Developmental-Family SystemsPerspective (N. Kaslow, et al.).

The Midlife Family: Dealing with Adolescents, Young Adults, and theMarriage in Transition (E. Berman & A. Napier).

Aging and the Family: Dynamics and Therapeutic Interventions (A.Davey, et al.).


Families by Choice: Adoptive and Foster Families (L.Schwartz).

Gay and Lesbian Families (J. Bigner).

Diversity of New American Families: Guidelines for Therapists (R.Gates, et al.).

Single-Parent Families: Dynamics and Treatment Issues (C. Everett& S. Everett).

Families Experiencing Divorce (F. Kaslow).


Remarried Families of 2000: Definitions, Description, andInterventions (R. Berger).

Families Experiencing Violence (M. Harway).

Families with Learning Disabilities, Physical Disabilities, andOther Childhood Challenges (S. Rigazio-DiGilio & D.Cramer-Benjamin).

Families with Chronic Physical Illness (J. Barth).

Families Experiencing Death, Dying, and Bereavement (D.Becvar).


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