Chapter 14 Family Relationships

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Refined divorce rate
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the number of divorces that occur out of every 1,000 married women, doubled between 1960 and its peak in 1979, declined throughout the nineties
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crude divorce rate
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declined 30 percent since 1979 and has not been so low since around 1970, the number of divorces that occur out of 1,000 people in the population
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divorce divide
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Divorce rates are much higher for less educated people; Differences in divorce rates by educational attainment is the divorce divide –> Due to the association between a college education and future stable employment and earnings……..25% of college-educated women who married in 1990s will eventually divorce, 50% of less educated women
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redivorce
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a consequence of remarriages that have higher divorce rates than first marriages
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independence effect
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Employment might contribute to a divorce by giving an unhappily married woman the tools (economic power, increasing independence, and self confidence) to help her decide on divorce
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income effect
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a result of women’s employment, among low income couples, a wife’s earnings may actually help to hold the marriage together by counteracting the negative effects of poverty and economic insecurity and marital stability
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barriers to divorce
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function to keep marriages intact even when attractiveness of the marital relationship is low and the attractiveness of alternatives to the relationship is high
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no fault divorce laws
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exist in all 50 states;have eliminated legal concepts of guilt and are a symbolic representation of how our society now views divorce
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commitment to marriage hypothesis
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Amato and deBoer’s study; evidence for a hypothesis about the intergenerational transmission of divorce; when parents remained married, they served as models of optimism about solving marital problems
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hypothesis of parents as models of relationship skills and interpersonal behavior
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it is actual termination of the marriage rather than the disturbed family relationships that affects children. Divorce, rather than conflict, undermines children’s faith in marriage
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demographic and behavioral factors that might be related to divorce rates
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remarried mates are more likely to divorce; premarital sex and cohabitation before marriage (only when takes place with someone other than partner); premarital pregnancy; remaining child-free; race and ethnicity
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as of 2001, the duration of marriage to particular anniversary dates was lower for what races?
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black, asian, and hispanic women than for non hispanic whites
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Levinger’s model of divorce decisions
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one model of deciding about divorce, it posits that spouses assess their marriage in terms of the rewards of marriage, alternatives to marriage, and barriers to divorce
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in a study of the Marital instability Over the Life Course, what 3 barriers were associated with a lower likelihood of divorce
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when the wife’s income was smaller percentage of the family income, when church attendance was high, or when there was a new child
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rewards of marriage
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love, respect, friendship, and good communication– most effective in keeping marriages together
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alternatives to marriage
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the 3rd element of Levinger’s theory (found to be the least important in decisions to divorce); not all people want to remarry
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Emotional Divorce
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involves withholding positive emotions and communications form the relationship, typically replacing these with alienating actions and words; undermine partners self esteem through endless large and small betrayals; responding with blame rather than comfort
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legal divorce
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the dissolution of the marriage by the state through a court order terminating the marriage; the purpose is to dissolve the marriage contract so that emotionally divorced spouses can conduct economically separate lives and be free to remarry;
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no fault divorce
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a major change in the legal process of divorce; this revision was intended to reduce the hostility of the partners and to permit an individual to end a failed marriage readily. sometimes called unilateral divorce
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unilateral divorce
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also no fault divorce; called this because sometimes one partners can secure the divorce even if the other wants to continue the marriage
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divorce mediation
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an alternative, nonadversarial means of dispute resolution by which a couple, with the assistance of a mediator or mediators, negotiate the settlement of their custody, support, property, and visitation issues; it is hoped that the couple with learn a pattern of dealing with each other that will enable them to resolve future disputes; recommended or mandatory in all states for child custody and visitation disputes before litigation can be commenced; report better relationships with ex-spouces
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community divorce
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ruptures of relationships and changes in social networks that come about as a result of divorce
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relatives of divorce (and relatives of remarriage)
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the kinship system included these; familial connections established through networks of marriage and remarriage: grandparents of half siblings, for example
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economic divorce
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a couple becomes a distinct economic unit, each with its own property, income, control of expenditures, and responsibility for taxes, debts, and so on
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the divorce revolution book (1985)
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by sociologist Lenore Weitzman, she addressed the financial plight of divorced women; she compared the post divorce economic decline of women with children to the improved standard of living of ex husbands; women hand children experience declines in family income of between 27 and 51 percent
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income to needs ratio
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how well income meets financial needs; women and children experience a decline of 20 to 36 percent in their income to needs ratio
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spousal support (maintenance)
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awarded short term to financially dependent spouses in the form of rehabilitative alimony, in which the ex husband pays his ex-wife maintenance for a few years while she prepares to reenter the job market
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entitlement
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activist have argued that wives who left the labor force to raise children or help their husbands career deserve this; the equivalent of severance pay for the work they did at home during the length of the marriage
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child support
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involves money paid by the noncustodial to the custodial parent to support the children of a now ended marital, cohabiting, or sexual relationship
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custodial parent
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many times the child support was not paid to the custodial parent; states made little effort to collect it then too… there have been concerns for child poverty and economic consequences of divorced women and welfare costs that led to a series of federal laws that have changed the situation a lot. with better child support enforcement, the poverty of custodial parents and children dropped from 33 percent in 1993 to 26 percent in 2003
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guaranteed child support
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based of the principle of society wide responsibility for children; it is a policy adopted in france and sweden, the government sends to the custodial parent the full amount of support awarded to the child. it then becomes the governments task to collect the money from the parent who owes it.
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children’s allowance
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provides a government grant to all families, married or single parent, regardless of income, based on the number of children they have. they don’t really have this in the US.
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wallerstein research
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in a study of cauldrons postdivorce adjustment, wallerstein and kelly interviews all of the members of 60 families with one or more children who had entered counciling at the time of the parents separation in 1971. a year later they reinterviewed them and did th same thing again at 2 years, 5 years, 10 and sometime 15 or 25 years. children appeared worst in the aftermath of divorce at one year, but by two years the household had somewhat stabilized and at five years many seemed to have come through the experience well. 37 percent coped with anger, 34 percent coped well, and 29 percent were adequately functioning ( when this took place in the early 1970s, there were less women in the labor force than there are now)
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reasons for negative effects on divorced children
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life stress perspective, parental loss perspective, parental adjustment perspective, economic hardship perspective, inter parental conflict perspective
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life stress perspective
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negative effect of divorce on children, just as divorce is know to be a stressful life event, it must also be for children. it is a series of events that may involve changing schools, giving up pets, loosing contact with other relatives; a cumulation of negative stressors results in problems for children of divorce
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parental loss perspective
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assumes that a family with both parents living in the same household is the optimal environment for children development. both parents are important resources, providing children love, emotional support, guidance, information, supervision, and modeling social skills. absence of a parent from a household is problematic for children socialization
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parental adjustment perspective
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notes the importance of the custodial parents psychological adjustment and the quality of parenting; supportive and appropriately disciplining parents facilitate their children’s well being; stress from divorce may impair a parents child raising skills, with probably negative consequences for children. divorced parents spend less time with children and are less supportive, have fewer rules, harsher discipline, less supervision, and engage in more conflict with their children
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economic hardship perspective
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assumes that economic hardship brought about by marital dissolution is primarily responsible for the problems faced by children whose parents divorce;they tend to lag behind
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inter parental conflict perspective
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holds that conflict between parents is responsible for the lowered well being of children of divorce; many studies, including wallersteins, say that negative results for children may also be generated exposure to parental conflict during prior and during divorce
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family instability perspective
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an additional theory of children negative outcomes of divorce that has emerged since Amato’s original article
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instability hypothesis
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stresses that transitions in and out of carious family settings are the key to children’s adjustment
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custody
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which parent will assume primary responsibility for caring for the children and making decisions about their upbringing and general welfare
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interference with visitation
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• A legal term for actions of a custodial parent that hinder the noncustodial parent’s scheduled visitation with a child • Some states have legislated penalties for interference with visitation
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1998 visitation rights enforcement act
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requires states to recognize and enforce visitation orders of another state
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joint custody
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Both divorced parents continue to take equal responsibility for important decisions regarding the child’s general upbringing; california was the first state to enact a statue on joint custody; currently it is either recognized, presumed, or mandated in most states and provinces of the United States and Canada;
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joint legal and physical custody
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the parents or children move periodically so that the child resides with each parent in turn on a substantially equal basis
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joint legal custody
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both parents have the right to participate in important decisions and retain a symbolically important legal authority-with physical custody going to just one parent; parents with higher income and education are more likely to have joint custody
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co-parents
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parents will continue to raise their children as co-parents. they are likely to need help in meeting this challenge.
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stress related growth
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-For parents as well as kids -Personal growth and maturity attained in the context of a stressful life experience such as divorce -it can take different paths: crisis related pathway and stress relief pathway
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crisis related pathway
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marked with a traumatic event generates an ultimate result that makes a person stronger
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stress relief pathway
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occurs when the end of a marriage and its problems being relief to one or both partners
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covenant marriage
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an alternative to standard marriage that couples may select at the time of marriage or later; requires spouses to to prove fault to to live apart for a long period of time
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social policy support for children of Divorce
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sharon houseknecht and jaya sastry examined the relationship between \”family decline\” and child well being in sweden, USA, the former west germany, and italy
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6 factors of how child wellbeing was measured in the study
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education performance, percent in poverty, infant deaths from child abuse, teen suicide rates, juvenile delinquency rates, juvenile drug offense rates
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the binuclear family study
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led by Constance Ahrons (1994); interviewrd98 divorcing couples about a year after their divorce… 90%were followed to 5 yr point. At one year, 50 percent of the ex spouses had friendly relations and the other half didn’t; in half the cases the divorce was a bad one and harmful to family members
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perfect pals
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Ahrons termed divorced couples this when they acted as friends who called each other often and brought their common children and new families together on holidays or for outings or other activities; minority pattern among the good divorces
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Cooperative Colleagues
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couples who worked well together as co-parents but did not try to share holidays to be in touch constantly
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binuclear family
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produced by a good divorce, two households, one family
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psychic divorce
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refers to the regaining of physiological autonomy through emotional separation from the personally and influence of the former spouse
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divorce extended family
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a continued post divorce partner connection; divorce and the new relationships that follow

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