Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce

Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce

Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce

Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce

Synopsis

Based on the Children of Divorce Project, a landmark study of sixty families during the first five years after divorce, this enlightening and humane modern classic altered the conventional wisdom on the short- and long-term effects of family dissolution.

Excerpt

This book is addressed to several audiences. It is addressed of course to our professional colleagues in many fields -- in health and mental health, in law and education, in psychology and social work and family counseling -- to all those whose professional lives bring them into contact with divorcing families and who, because of that, share our concern for the children of divorce. It is addressed as well to those individuals who are turning to divorce as the remedy to the failed marriage and who are seeking guidance on how best to mitigate the potentially harmful impact on their children. And in addition, it is addressed to those interested individuals concerned to know more about how social remedies to major societal problems can be kept from inflicting undue and unintended individual suffering.

Most of the early findings of the California Children of Divorce Project, together with the details of the project design and its methods, as well as the nature of the intervention services which we developed out of our experiences, have been published in the technical literature, in professional journals, and as chapters in professional books. Appendix B has the full listing of the project bibliography as published to date in the professional literature, and we are grateful to those journals and book editors, especially the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry and the Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, for permission to use material and case illustrations from those sources in telling our story here. But most of this book, the follow-up findings at a year and a half and again at five years, the story of the vicissitudes of the parent-child relationships during those years as well as the separate accounts of the experiences of the parents and of the children, the consequences even into early years of remarriages as well as in stabilized divorces, all these are presented here for the first time. Some of the more technical aspects of the data from these follow-up intervals and during our longitudinal time span will likewise appear in the professional journals.

This book itself represents the combined endeavors of a devoted interdisciplinary team held together by common purpose and commitment over many years. The initial members of the research team, Angela Homme, Ph.D., Susannah Roy, LCSW, Doris Juvinall Schwarz, LCSW . . .

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