This interdisciplinary compilation treats an array of topics directly and peripherally related to the concepts of marriage and the family. "Abortion", "Bankruptcy", "Family Values", "Homeless Families", "Mate Selection", "Stress", "Substance Abuse", and "Work & Family" are a few of the 169 entries, ideas for which came from existing curricula, high-school and college texts, scholarly and professional publications, and media coverage of relevant issues. All varieties of families in twentieth-century America are treated: single parent, gay and lesbian, step, adoptive, and foster. Some entries discuss children ("Child Care", "Juvenile Delinquency"); others, the relationship between adult children and their parents ("Elder Abuse", "Filial Responsibility"). The extended family is well covered, with articles on in-laws and intergenerational relationships. Some topics, such as "Divorce", have multiple entries with different approaches (legal, economic, emotional, etc.). Though written for an academic audience, most of these entries are accessible to laypeople
The signed articles are two to ten pages in length and include lengthy bibliographies of scholarly materials. Some entries, such as "Demography" and "Name Selection", have tables and charts. Cross-references appear at the ends of entries and in the detailed index. The list of contributors provides their institutional affiliations but not their credentials. Though the editor is vice president of the Human Relations Area Files, this new title does not take a cross-cultural approach; it addresses marriage and family in the U.S. context. According to the preface, Levinson has taught courses on marriage and the family and has done research on family violence; the advisory editors come from the fields of anthropology, gerontology, home economics, law, psychiatry, sexology, and sociology
Designed to be a single reference "bringing together and summarizing what we know and pointing out what we do not know" on topics of interest to a broad range of readers, this two-volume set presents good overviews of the subjects covered and should be useful in high-school, academic, and public libraries. "The Encyclopedia of Marriage, Divorce and the Family" (Facts On File, 1989) has similar coverage but is a more popular treatment and entries are briefer.
A comprehensive source of interdisciplinary information on relational issues and the psychological, cultural, and societal forces that influence them, for a general readership from high school age on. Using a broad and inclusive definition of both marriage and the family, 169 signed articles address the general topics of marriage and family types; emotions; interpersonal dynamics; economics; health and illness; family law; sexual beliefs and behaviors; reproduction; socialization; parenting; and sociocultural influences on marriage and the family. Entries are organized alphabetically by subject, are cross-referenced, and contain bibliographies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)