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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael S. Goldsby, PhD, CCRP (Family Psychiatry of The Woodlands)
Description: The editors of this book have done a masterful job of presenting the latest research-based literature on couple relations, parenting, and child development. The overriding theme of this book is the relationship between parents, which research indicates has a profound influence on the course of family and child development. The chapter authors present an enlightening examination of research and theory on couples and parenting interventions and on the influence of family processes on children's development.
Purpose: Volumes of research conducted over several decades indicate that the emotional health and bond between parents and the quality of their relationship with each other affects the child's development. The purpose of this book is two-fold: first, to present this body of work through various theoretical approaches to help readers gain a broad understanding of the importance of healthy parent relations as they pertain to optimal child development; and second, to extend an invitation to researchers from developmental psychology, developmental psychopathology, family systems, and other related fields to join in the exchange of ideas that contribute to our understanding of how strengthening couples relationships affects child development.
Audience: The editors emphasize that this book is designed to be of interest to researchers, mental health practitioners, graduate students, and policy experts interested in child and family development and in the development of initiatives designed to improve child and family functioning. More precisely, the research and theory presented here will be helpful to a broad range of family researchers, developmental scholars, and providers of interventions for children and families.
Features: Each of the 13 chapters is authored by luminary experts in the fields of child development, couple relationships, and family dynamics. Clinical interventions with couples are also examined, such that the quality of the couple's relationship can be connected to the development of children and the family as a whole. The book starts with a chapter on the historical background of family research, which sets the stage for the subsequent chapters that are organized into three main parts that cover the implications of couple relationships for parenting and children's development, investigate key domains and determinants of couple functioning, and promote healthy couple and family relationships.
Assessment: No other source to date includes the rich, in-depth research analysis and plethora of ideas that this book has to offer. Noted experts in their respective fields, the chapter authors add their research findings and clinical experience to the growing knowledge base for achieving optimal child development in the context of examining couples and parents relationships. This book is an absolute must-read for researchers, practitioners, and those interested in the field of child development.