Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Families in Troubled Times. Adapting to Change in Rural America by Rand D. Conger and Glen H. Elder Jr

Academic journal article Family Relations

Book Reviews -- Families in Troubled Times. Adapting to Change in Rural America by Rand D. Conger and Glen H. Elder Jr

Article excerpt

New York: Walter de Gruyter. 303 pp. Cloth ISBN 0-202-30487-6, price $46.95; Paper ISBN 0-202-30488-4, price $23.95.

Families in Troubled Times is about economic hardship and its influence on parents and children. It is a report of a collaborative research project called The Iowa Youth and Families Project, based at Iowa State University. Respondents in the study were Iowa parents and their adolescent children who live in small rural communities or on farms. The study had two main purposes: (a) to investigate the relationships among economic hardship, well-being of individual family members, and the quality of family relationships in families who have come through a major economic crisis; and (b) to develop realistic measures of theoretical constructs and ways of accurately measuring relation. ships among constructs in the family stress process. In my view, the book more than fulfills these objectives.

The precise crafting of the book reflects the careful organization of the research project itself. In Part I, the authors outline the theoretical and methodological approaches taken in the study. Their conceptual framework is a model of family economic stress that sets out interconnections among objective economic circumstances, such as low family income; economic pressure, such as inability to pay bills; emotional distress, such as depression; marital conflict; and disrupted parenting. The methodological approaches taken in the study are thoroughly presented. In particular, the authors discuss the use of multiple measures of concepts, the inclusion of several members of each family as respondents, and path-analytic techniques to model family data. …

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