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The Family Issues Reader

The Family Issues Reader

Edited by:

December 2016 | 712 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Carefully selected and edited by Constance L. Shehan, The Family Issues Reader is a new anthology of recent articles from one of the leading family science publications, the Journal of Family Issues (SAGE).  The 47 articles in this collection follow the scope and sequence of family sociology and family relations courses, and provide a wide range of perspectives on families and intimate relationships. Focusing on families in the United States, the readings reflect a diversity of family experiences along dimensions of race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, rural-urban residence, gender, age, and sexual identity/orientation.

Part 1: Forming Intimate Relationships
Pamela Braboy Jackson, Sibyl Kleiner, Claudia Geist, and Kara Cebulko
Conventions of Courtship: Gender and Race Differences in the Significance
Summer McWilliams, and Anne E. Barrett
Online Dating in middle and Later Life: Gendered Expectations and Experiences
Christina M. Grange, Sarah Jane Brubaker, and Maya A. Corneille
Direct and Indirect Messages African American Women Receive From Their Familial Networks About Intimate Relationships and Sex: The Intersecting Influence of Race, Gender, and Class
Jennifer M. Grossman, Linda Charmaraman, and Sumru Erkut
Do as I Say, Not as I Did: How Parents Talk With Early Adolescents About Sex
Christopher G. Ellison (Praying), Amy M. Burdette, and Norval D. Glenn
Praying for Mr. Right? Religion, Family Background, and Marital Expectations Among College Women
Brian J. Willoughby, Jason S. Carroll, Jennifer M. Vitas, and Lauren M. Hill
“When Are You Getting Married?” The Intergenerational Transmission of Attitudes Regarding Marital Timing and Marital Importance
Part 2: The Meaning of Marriage
Penelope M. Huang, Pamela J. Smock, Wendy D. Manning, and Cara A. Bergstrom-Lynch
He Says, She Says: Gender and Cohabitation
Sharon Sassler, and Amanda J. Miller
Waiting to Be Asked: Gender, Power, and Relationship Progression Among Cohabiting Couples
Elizabeth A. Sharp, and Lawrence Ganong
“I’m a Loser, I’m Not Married, Let’s Just All Look at Me”: Ever-Single Women’s Perceptions of Their Social Environment
Maria J. Kefalas, Frank F. Furstenberg, Patrick J. Carr, and Laura Napolitano
“Marriage Is More Than Being Together”: The Meaning of Marriage for Young Adults
Tera R. Hurt
Toward a Deeper Understanding of the Meaning of Marriage Among Black Men
Part 3: Dynamics and Quality of Intimate Relationships
Gunner Karakut, Abigail Tolhurst Christiansen, Shelley M. MacDermid Wadsworth, and Howard M.Weiss
Romantic Relationships Following Wartime Deployment
Craig Boylstein, and Jeanne Hayes
Reconstructing Marital Closeness While Caring for a Spouse With Alzheimer’s
Brad van Eeden-Moorefield, Kay Pasley, Margaret Crosbie-Burnett, and Erin King
Explaining Couple Cohesion in Different Types of Gay Families
David G. Schramm, James P. Marshall, Victor W. Harris, and Thomas R. Lee
Religiosity, Homogamy, and Marital Adjustment: An Examination of Newlyweds in First Marriages and Remarriages
Galena K. Rhoades, Scott M. Stanley, and Howard J. Markman
A Longitudinal Investigation of Commitment Dynamics in Cohabiting Relationships
Part 4: Violence in Intimate Relationships
Todd A. Migliaccio
Abused Husbands, A Narrative Analysis
Carrie LeFevre Sillito
Physical Health Effects of Intimate Partner Abuse
Marni L. Kan, Mark E. Feinberg, and Anna R. Solmeyer
Intimate Partner Violence and Coparenting Across the Transition of Parenthood
Peggy C. Giordano, Wendi L. Johnson, Wendy D. Manning, and Monica A. Longmore
Parenting in Adolescence and Young Adult Intimate Partner Violence
Part 5: Instability and Dissolution of Intimate Relationships
Jay Teachman
Wives’ Economic Resources and Risk of Divorce
Kevin Shafer
Unique Matching Patterns in Remarriage: Educational Assortative Mating Among Divorced Men and Women
Charles E. Stokes, and Christopher G. Ellison
Religion and Attitudes Toward Divorce Laws Among U.S. Adults
Yoshie Sano, Margaret M. Manoogian, and Lenna L. Ontai
“The Kids Still Come First”: Creating Family Stability During Partnership Instability in Rural, Low-Income Families
Part 6: Becoming a Parent
Nicholas K. Park, and Patricia Wonch Hill
Is Adoption an Option? The Role of Importance of Motherhood and Fertility Help-Seeking in Considering Adoption
Yuanting Zhang, and Gary R. Lee
Intercountry Versus Transracial Adoption: Analysis of Adoptive Parents’ Motivations and Preferences in Adoption
Rosanna Hertz, and Jane Mattes
Donor-Shared Siblings or Genetic Strangers: New Families, Clans, and the Internet
Dean A. Murphy
The Desire for Parenthood: Gay Men Choosing to Become Parents Through Surrogacy
Regina M. Bures, Tanya Koropeckyj-Cox, and Michael Loree
Childlessness, Parenthood, and Depressive Symptoms Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults
Part 7: Parenting
Akiko Yoshida
Dads Who Do Diapers: Factors Affecting Care of Young Children by Fathers
Melissa A. Milkie, Kathleen E. Denny
Changes in the Culture Model of Father Involvement: Descriptions of Benefits to Fathers, Children, and Mothers in Parents’ Magazine, 1926-2006
Jeanne Holcomb, Kenzie Latham, and Daniel Fernandez-Baca
Who Cares for the Kids? Caregiving and Parenting in Disney Films
Jill K. Walls, Heather M. Helms, and Joseph G. Grzywacz
Intensive Mothering Beliefs Among Full-Time Employed Mothers of Infants
Sinikka Elliott, and Rachel Powell, and Joslyn Brenton
Being a Good Mom: Low-Income, Black Single Mothers Negotiate Intensive Mothering
Clara W. Berridge, and Jennifer L. Romich
“Raising Him . . . to Pull His Own Weight”: Boys’ Household Work in Single- Mother Households
JeffriAnne Wilder, and Colleen Cain
Teaching and Learning Color Consciousness in Black Families: Exploring Family Processes and Women’s Experiences With Colorism
J. Maria Bermudez, Lisa M. Zak-Hunter, Morgan A. Stinson, and Bertranna A.Abrams
“I Am Not Going to Lose My Kids to the Streets”: Meanings and Experiences of Motherhood Among Mexican-Origin Women
Part 8: Work, Economics, and Social Class
Gayle Kaufman and Damian White
“For the Good of Our Family”: Men’s Attitudes Toward Their Wives’ Employment
Penny Edgell, Samantha K. Ammons, and Eric C. Dahlin
Making Ends Meet: Insufficiency and Work–Family Coordination in the New Economy
Masako Ishii-Kuntz, Jessica N. Gormel, Barbara J. Tinsley, and Ross D. Parke
Economic Hardship and Adaptation Among Asian American Families
Laura J. Napolitano, Shelley Pacholok, and Frank F. Furstenberg
Educational Aspirations, Expectations, and Realities for Middle- Income Families
Anisa M. Zvonkovic, Kyung-Hee Lee, Erika Brooks-Hurst, and NaYeon Lee
Recession Jitters Among Professional Class Families: Perceptions of Economic Strain and Family Adjustments
Part 9: Intergenerational Relationships
Candace L. Kemp
Married Couples in Assisted Living: Adult Children’s Experiences Providing Support
Katherine R. Allen, Rosemary Blieszner, and Karen A. Roberto
Perspectives on Extended Family and Fictive Kin in the Later Years: Strategies and Meanings of Kin Reinterpretation
Melissa L. Walls and Les B. Whitbeck
The Intergenerational Effects of Relocation Policies on Indigenous Families
Kristy Y. Shih, and Karen Pyke
Power, Resistance, and Emotional Economies in Women’s Relationships With Mothers-in-Law in Chinese Immigrant Families
Esther J. Calzada, Catherine S. Tamis-LeMonda, and Hirokazu Yoshikawa
Familismo in Mexican and Dominican Families From Low-Income, Urban Communities
Key features


  • The articles draw from a number of disciplines, including sociology, psychology, and family studies, and include application of a wide range of theoretical perspectives used in the study of families and intimate relationships.
  • The editor’s introduction to the book highlights demographic and economic changes in families over the past 25 years, providing a rationale for the selection of articles which reflect these changes.
  • The introduction also guides students through the reading of research-based articles to demonstrate the application of theory and methods in family science research.
  •  A nearly equal split between readings based on qualitative and quantitative approaches to collecting and analyzing data shows how researchers address similar issues from different methodological approaches.
  • The book takes an intersectional perspective that addresses the full range of diversity in families and intimate relationships.
  • An alternative table of contents is provided for instructors who wish to organize their courses according to race, ethnicity, social class, and gender.
  • Discussion questions follow each article and a glossary of key terms appears at the end of the volume to assist students in identifying key themes and concepts.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

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