Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 3

By Marc H. Bornstein | Go to book overview

9
Parenting in Divorced
and Remarried Families
E. Mavis Hetherington
University of Virginia
Margaret Stanley-Hagan
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

INTRODUCTION

The definition of family has become increasingly complex over the past 30 to 40 years. Marriage rates, particularly among adolescents, have declined significantly, and adults are older when they first marry, an average of 24 years of age for women and 26 years for men. The current 43.5% divorce rate represents a continued modest decline from the peak in the early 1980s (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1998). It may be tempting to suggest that delayed first marriages and declining divorce rates represent a return to traditional views of families. However, these changes are accompanied by dramatically escalating rates of cohabitation and births outside of marriage. More than half of adults cohabit before their first marriage, and almost two thirds of divorced adults cohabit before entering a second marriage (Seltzer, 2000). By the late 1990s, 25% of children born in the United States were born outside of marriage (Teachman, Tedrow, and Crowder, 2000), in part a product of changed attitudes about cohabitation and single-parent lifestyles. Families headed by single parents have always been part of the demographic landscape, but before the 1960s the most some common cause of single parenthood was death (Weinraub, Horvath, and Gringlas, in Vol. 3 of this Handbook). In contrast to the uncontrollable and unintentional nature of death, the voluntary nature of divorce and having a child out of wedlock have led some politicians, social critics, and scholars to view single parenthood as an ethical problem. This problem is seen as a moral issue in which the self-indulgent behavior of parents places their own well-being above that of their children (Amato, 2000).

As parents move in and out of intimate relationships, their children are exposed to the stresses associated with multiple family transitions. Only 68% of children under the age of 18 years live with their married biological parents, a decrease of 4.4% between 1990 and 1998 (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1998). It is estimated that 40% of children born to married parents will experience their parents' divorce. However, approximately 65% of divorced women and 75% of divorced men eventually remarry (Bumpass and Raley, 1995; Cherlin and Furstenberg, 1994). In 1998 the number of remarriages equaled the number of first marriages. Approximately 27% of all married couples in

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Handbook of Parenting - Vol. 3
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents of Volume 3: Being and Becoming a Parent vii
  • Preface xi
  • Contents of Volume 1: Children and Parenting xv
  • Contents of Volume 2: Biology and Ecology of Parenting xvii
  • Contents of Volume 4: Social Conditions and Applied Parenting xix
  • Contents of Volume 5: Practical Issues in Parenting xxi
  • About the Authors in Volume 3 xxv
  • Part I - The Parent 1
  • 1 - Mothering 3
  • References *
  • 2 - Fathers and Families 27
  • References *
  • 3 - Coparenting in Diverse Family Systems 75
  • References *
  • 4 - Single Parenthood 109
  • References *
  • 5 - Grandparenthood 141
  • References *
  • 6 - Adolescent Parenthood 173
  • References *
  • 7 - Nonparental Caregiving 215
  • References *
  • 8 - Sibling Caregiving 253
  • References *
  • 9 - Parenting in Divorced and Remarried Families 287
  • References 310
  • 10 - Lesbian and Gay Parenthood 317
  • References *
  • 11 - Parenting and Contemporary Reproductive Technologies 339
  • References *
  • Part II - Becoming and Being a Parent 361
  • 12 - The Transition to Parenting 363
  • References *
  • 13 - Stages of Parental Development 389
  • References *
  • 14 - Personality and Parenting 415
  • References *
  • 15 - Parents' Knowledge and Expectations: Using What We Know 439
  • References *
  • 16 - Parental Monitoring and Knowledge of Children 461
  • References *
  • 17 - Parent Beliefs Are Cognitions: the Dynamic Belief Systems Model 485
  • References *
  • 18 - Parental Attributions 509
  • References *
  • 19 - Parental Attitudes Toward Childrearing 537
  • References 559
  • 20 - Psychoanalysis and Parenthood 563
  • References *
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