For Better Or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2002 - Family & Relationships - 307 pages
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Mavis Hetherington, "without doubt the world's preeminent researcher on the family processes that surround divorce,...has distilled the wisdom growing out of her many studies of the short-term and long-term impact of divorce on family members" (Eleanor Maccoby, Stanford University). Offering "a welcome corrective to misleading and simplistic accounts," Hetherington "not only provides scientifically sound and wonderfully sensible guidance but dispels the myth that divorce is always negative" (Ross D. Parke, University of California, Riverside). This "widely-heralded study" (Time) is a "reader-friendly guide to how people can build success out of the stress and adversity of divorce" (Michael Rutter, Institute of Psychiatry, London), presenting a more nuanced picture of marital breakup—not as a momentary event but as a life process. Hetherington identifies the kinds of marriages that predispose a couple to divorce or not and also pinpoints "windows of change" that allow some to fashion the challenges of divorce into an opportunity for themselves and for their children. "Gold standard [research] aimed at clearing up confusion among moms and dads worried about divorce."—USA Today "Sure to become a classic in the field!"—Constance R. Ahrons, author of The Good Divorce "Without doubt the world's preeminent researcher on the family processes that surround divorce."—Eleanor Maccoby, Stanford University "A welcome corrective to misleading and simplistic accounts...dispels the myth that divorce is always negative."—Ross D. Parke, University of California, Riverside
 

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Contents

A New Story About Divorce
1
THE EXPERIENCE OF DIVORCE CHILDREN AND ADULTS IN THE FIRST SIX YEARS
17
The His and Her Marriage the His and Her Divorce
19
Leaving and Letting Go Changes and New Chances in the First Two Years After Divorce
43
The Balance of Happiness Why People Succeed or Fail After Divorce
67
Six Ways to Leave a Marriage The Pathways Men and Women Take Out of Divorce
94
Incompetent Bullies and Undisciplined Disciplinarians Children and Parents in the First Two Years After Divorce
110
What Helps and What Hurts Childrens Adjustment Six Years After Divorce
124
Building a Stepfamily
181
Welcome to Peer World Why Teens from Divorced and Remarried Families Leave Home Earlier and Get into Trouble More Often
203
IN THE HOME STRETCH ADULTS AND CHILDREN TWENTY YEARS LATER
225
Mostly Happy Children of Divorce as Young Adults
227
Win Lose and Draw Adults Twenty Years Later
254
Lessons Learned in Fortyfive Years of Studying Families
275
The Three Studies
281
Selected References
289

REMARRIAGE AND STEPFAMILY LIFE ADULTS AND CHILDREN AT ELEVEN YEARS AFTER DIVORCE
161
Repartnering High Hopes and Crossed Fingers
163

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About the author (2002)

John Kelly is a writer in New York City.

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