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In this fresh, more structural, alternative to other texts for the marriage and family course, Seccombe and Warner provide a comprehensive look at close relationships and the family in just 15 chapters. Examining close relationships and families by placing them in social context, the authors offer a unique emphasis on the structural and relational aspects of the family with a focus on family resilience. The text weaves together a macro view - social structural analysis of close relationships- with the macro - an individualist view. The authors demonstrate the interaction of theory and methodology in family studies in Chapter 2 and blend cutting-edge research and practical applications throughout. Among the highlights of this first edition are the exceptionally thorough exploration of the topics of singlehood and cohabitation in Chapter 7 and the unique six-chapter core (8-13) that focuses on all aspects of parenthood and the challenges and crises that families face today. The authors' emphasis on family resilience and how families can be strengthened is reflected in the Constructing Strong Families" boxes that appear throughout the text. These features encourage students to apply groundbreaking research on what makes a family strong to their own families and in the concluding chapter, Looking Ahead: Helping Families Flourish," which examines the factors that successful families -regardless of ethnicity, culture, or social class—consistently exhibit.
1. Why Study Families and Close Relationships?. 2. Social Science Research and Family Studies. 3. Importance of Gender, Ethnicity, and Social Class. 4. The Meanings and Practices of Love. 5. Sexual Identity, Behavior, and Relationships. 6. Making Commitments: Marriage. 7. Making Commitments: Singlehood and Cohabitation. 8. The Transition to Parenthood. 9. Relationships Between Parents and Children. 10. Working Families: The Intersections of Paid and Unpaid Work. 11. Family Crises and Stress: Poverty, Domestic Violence, Substance Abuse. 12. The Process of Divorce. 13. Family Life, Partnering, and Remarriage After Divorce. 14. Families in Middle and Later Life. 15. Looking Ahead: Helping Families Flourish.