Divorce and Remarriage: International Studies

Article excerpt

Everett, C. A. (Ed.). (1997). Divorce and Remarriage: International Studies. New York: Haworth. 228 pages. Hardcover ISBN 0-7890-0319-8, price $49.95.

This book is a reprint of the Journal of Divorce and Remarriage (1997), Vol. 26, Nos. 3/4 in hardcover. The collection covers 12 countries in 15 papers. The international sources come from Australia, Chile, China, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Wales. The lengths of the contributions range from three to thirty-six pages. The authors come from the behavioral sciences, demography medicine, pastoral psychology, psychology, sociology, social sciences, and social work.

The variety of topics include a demographic analysis of divorce (Australia); children of divorce (Chile); parental lifestyles and single parent families (Iceland); the deceased spouse in remarriage (Israel); stepfamily lifestyles (Netherlands); marriage and divorce (Japan); marital dissolution as a stressor (Norway); single parents' stress (China); and infant-mother attachment in separated and married families (United Kingdom).

There is no unifying theme, nor comparative analysis of divorce and remarriage in any of the articles. Thus, it is an international collection of papers which deals with some aspects of the topic at hand. Each chapter stands by itself. The editor has a oneparagraph introduction in which he states that "it was not possible to assemble manuscripts under specific themes" (p. 1).

The longest study is from Australia, which gives a detailed statistical analysis by three demographers from Canberra. The presentation includes nine tables, which illustrate divorce trends, legislation, rates and age at divorce and a discussion of "The Family Law Act." Up-to-date divorce statistics were not well kept, but the authors attempt to present a realistic picture of Australian divorce.

The shortest chapter compares divorce rates in Hungary and the United States using 1985 data. The findings are that divorce rates were higher in regions where marriage and suicide rates were higher. …