Relationships and Well-Being over the Life Stages

Relationships and Well-Being over the Life Stages

Relationships and Well-Being over the Life Stages

Relationships and Well-Being over the Life Stages

Synopsis

Guided by recent social trends, including the increased employment of women, the dramatic growth in single-parent households, heightened attention to the aging of the population and to older families, and changing attitudes toward gender roles, this study considers personal characteristics and family relationships and how they are linked with well-being over the life course. Groups investigated here include one and two-career families, both single parents and their married counterparts, older and younger couples, and modern and traditional spouses.

Excerpt

In this book we consider personal characteristics and family relationships and how they are linked with well-being over the life course. Increasingly, individuals, families, and scholars are seeking to understand how interpersonal behavior may contribute to well-being in a variety of circumstances. From this interest has come the recognition that behavior that seems to facilitate well-being and is rewarding at one life stage may be less productive at others. Furthermore, the contribution of relationships to well-being may vary by personal and social circumstances. These personal and social circumstances often reflect the stage or period of the individual life course or of the family cycle. It is the variation in relationships and well-being for individuals and families in particular stages that is of primary interest here. But relationships between spouses are affected by responses of families to trends in the larger society. Some social trends that especially may shape relationships between spouses and have far-reaching implications for families guide the focus of this book.

Social trends identified as having long-range significance include (1) the increased employment of women, (2) the dramatic growth in single- parent households, (3) heightened attention to the aging of the population and to older families, and (4) changing attitudes toward gender roles (Piotrkowski,Rapoport &Rapoport, 1987). The social, demographic, and economic implications of these changes account for some of the major concerns of the groups investigated in this book. Throughout, the focus is on variation in well-being (e.g., self-concept, role strain . . .

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