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CDFR Ch 14 Rebuilding Family Life

by: AmberNicole

CDFR Ch 14 Rebuilding Family Life CDFR 1103

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About this Document

Key: Yellow: Key Terms Green: Important Concepts Blue: Important Stats These notes cover all of chapter 14 Rebuilding Family Life notes covered by Dr. Taylor in Lecture. Hope these ...
Marriage and the Family
Dr. Alan C. Taylor
Class Notes
CDFR, Child, development, family, relations, rebuilding, life, rebuilding family life, divorce, health, married, married men, married women, minimize stress, former, spouse, Relationships, former spouse relationships, perfect pals, cooperative col
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by AmberNicole on Friday April 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CDFR 1103 at East Carolina University taught by Dr. Alan C. Taylor in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 35 views. For similar materials see Marriage and the Family in Child Development at East Carolina University.


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Date Created: 04/15/16
Important Terms Important Concepts Important Stats Chapter 14 Rebuilding: Family Life Divorce is hazardous to a person’s health  Becoming single shortens a person’s lifespan by up to 7 years  Married men  Half as likely as divorced men to die prematurely from heart disease.  Divorced women  more likely to suffer acute conditions, which makes them lose 50% more time off work due to sick days  Divorced/separated adults are 4.5x more likely to become addicted to alcohol  Risk of becoming seriously ill is 12x greater for divorced or separated adults. Ways to minimize stress when going through a divorce  Set realistic goals  Family reorganization takes time  Not able to get over a divorce overnight  Set priorities  Can’t accomplish every-thing at once  Related to realistic goals  Talk about your feelings w/ someone you trust  Helps to talk through different situations  Cry when you need to  Do not bottle up emotions!  Eliminate blame, criticism, “should have”, “could have”, “would have” from vocabulary: won’t change reality of the situation  Ex: If I would have _______, he would have never left!  Exercise and get plenty of rest.  Keeps the body healthy  Let others help.  Do not have to go through a divorce alone Former Spouse Relationships “Perfect Pals”  Divorced parents who remain friends  Children benefit from shared parenting and decision making  Sometimes maintain extended family relationships; spend holidays together  Very rare “Cooperative Colleagues”  Not friends, but able to cooperate  Work to keep conflicts at a minimum  Often do this to minimize the effects of divorce on the child  Shared parenting becomes a priority, over differences of opinion or anger  The child always comes first!  Will consult counselors to help children through divorce  A considerable # ex-spouses fall into this category “Angry Associates”  Anger is integral part of the relationship  Harbor feelings of resentment, bitterness  Children are caught in the middle of parents’ battles  Parent badmouthing the other parent  Children often feel loyalty conflicts between parents  Who to live with  Effective parenting is not a goal for these parents  Plays significant role on child  Child does not come first  A significant # of divorced couples fall into this category “Fiery Foes”  Incapable of cooperating  Relationship is marked by litigation  Unable to remember anything positive about the marriage  Blame each other for every problem associated with the marriage  Children become pawns in their parents’ ongoing battles  Significant # of divorced couples in this category “Dissolved Duos”  Break off any contact  One partner, typically man, just disappears  Mother left with the burdens of reorganizing the family  In rare cases, non-custodial parent may kidnap children How divorce affects children and adolescents Each year, 1 million children experience the divorce of their parents. Children experience adverse effects in 3 distinct areas: 1. Externalizing difficulties  Children may exhibit the following (boys more commonly exhibit than girls): – Aggressive misbehaviors – Noncompliance – Disobedience – Delinquency – Increased absences from school – Increased aggressiveness 2. Internalizing Difficulties  Results in emotional problems such as (girls more than boys): – Worry – Feelings of unhappiness – Anxiety – Depression – Distress – Guilt – Poor self concept – Less intimacy with parents – Difficulty in trusting others .3. Cognitive Deficits and Academic Difficulties  Children who experience their parents divorce have more difficulty in the classroom – Inability to concentrate in school – Negative affects on their ability to meet scholastic expectations – May affect ability to interact with teachers and peers – Probably due to the emotional toll divorce has on children internally. Children’s and adolescents adaptation Not the divorce that ultimately influences post-divorce adaptation for kids. Several mediating factors:  Interparental Conflict: – Parents constantly fighting  Will account for more negative outcomes in children, than any other factor  Separation from attachment figure: – May trigger difficulties in interpersonal relationships – friendships and love relationships – Based on the loss of an attachment figure  Temporal influences – Passage of time may play a role in children’s long-term adjustment.  “Time heals all wounds” – Conflicting evidence. – Some research shows that children still have the same sense of vulnerability and fear as adults two decades later. – Child’s age at time of divorce affects overall adjustment How children understand divorce Infants:  Can sense stress o May show loss of appetite, changes in sleep, become more fussy when they sense parental stress. Toddlers:  Know when a parent is absent, but can’t comprehend why.  May cry more and be clingier. They may regress. Preschoolers: “forgotten mourners”.  They know something is wrong  grieve the loss of the missing parent, but can’t put feelings into words.  Often blame themselves for their parents’ breakup. School-aged:  Understand their parents don’t love each other.  May fantasize about how to get parents to reunite.  They worry about the future/ who will care for them. Preteens/Adolescents:  Understand the permanence of divorce, but don’t like it and don’t readily accept it.  They often feel angry, rejected and abandoned.  Not uncommon for children to act out and become rebellious.  Parents shouldn’t make adolescents their confidantes. Relationship between custodial parent and child Custodial Parents’ Behavior Changes: “diminished parenting”. • Less frequent display of affection • Ability to communicate declines • Parenting may be more negative, less consistent • Children assume household responsibilities • Children exhibit greater independence • Many parents become more permissive Relationship between noncustodial parent and child • Success or failure of relationship depends on – Frequency of visitation: • About 40% children of divorce have no contact or visitation with their fathers following divorce. – Quality of interaction: • Not as much time spent w/ noncustodial parent • The more time that passes after a divorce the less time spent. • Most important factor in that relationship is a closeness and intimacy, not quantity of time spent. • Remarriage of parent – Child will often act out • Children feel stress – Anger, lonely, abandoned • Have to face more adjustments – Having a new “mom or dad” • Visitation may decrease – Results in loss of relationship • Family Economics – Economic hardship is post-divorce for many families – Child support is rarely sufficient to meet the living expenses of mother and children Co-parenting in Binuclear families • Factors Impacting Parenting post divorce – Parents’ education level – Income level – Time elapsed since divorce – Remarriage of on or both parents – Who initiated the divorce – The legal process of the divorce Father-Child Relationships Following Divorce • Children who experience a warm post-divorce relationship with their fathers have – Higher self esteem – Fewer behavioral problems – Better social skills – Better cognitive skills – Better academic skills • Noncustodial fathers tend to be – More permissive – A recreational, companion father – Less sensitive to children’s emotional needs – Less supportive in times of crisis and stress – Overwhelmed with the parenting role especially with infants and pre-school children • Overall, divorced fathers – Spend more time with sons than daughters – Are less involved with older children than younger children – Are more involved with their first born than their later born children – Stay involved with infants born prematurely – Stay involved with children with difficult temperaments • Ways in which mothers discourage children’s contact with noncustodial fathers – Children not ready when father comes to pick them up – Engage in conflicts at time of pick up – Criticize noncustodial father in front of children – Increase geographical distance – Take fathers back and forth to court Single Parent Families 25% of all U.S. Families Process of Becoming a Single Parent Family after a Divorce • Authority Structure Changes • Gender Equity (Greater Shared Power) Concerns for single parents • Acting Alone Role Overload/Role Conflict Increased Worrying/Less Satisfaction More single parent parents seek help for depression • Time for Parenting Roles • Relaxed Standards • Grandparents – Positives and Negatives 75% of Homeless Are Female-Headed Single Parent Families Child support payments  51.3% full payment  23.9% no payment  24.9% partial payment Dating for single parents • Awkward for Many • Less Time with Children • Family Communication • Family Closeness • Jealousy Among Children Signs of positive adjustment • Developing Independence • Developing Self-Confidence • Gaining the Support of Others Single parent families – media Does the media ACCURATELY portray single parent families?  Magazines (Family Fun, Parenting….)  TV  Movies  Music TV and Movies • 50s My Three Sons • 70s One Day at a Time, Kramer vs. Kramer • 80s Different Strokes • 90s: Hopes Floats, Parent Trap, Two and ½ Men • Today: iCarly…, • Disney: Jasmine, Ariel, Cinderella, Belle, Nemo, Lilo… • Disney TV: You all remember Zach and Cody, Hanna Montana, Sister-Sister, Why people remarry • Desire for Companionship • Intimacy • Another Parent in the Home • Sexual Needs Other Facts Divorced women under 25: 90% remarry Divorced women in their 30s: 60% remarry Divorced women over 40: 33% remarry The greater the income of divorced men, the MORE likely they are to remarry………. HOWEVER… FOR DIVORCED WOMEN, the greater the income and education level, the LESS likely they are to remarry Remarriage: some basic facts SOME BASIC FACTS • 75% of all divorced women remarry within ten years. • 83% of all divorced women remarry after 15 years. (meaning most do so within 10 years) • 1/5 of all marriages are between two formerly divorced people. • 20% more likely to end in divorce. Remarriage Stability • 60% of remarriages end in divorce • Couples often do not understand building and maintaining an identity of their step families • There is a breakdown in commitment, cohesion, and communication The traditional exchange in remarriage • Ex-wives are likely to gain financially by being remarried. • Men’s remarriage rates are higher than women’s particularly after age 30. • Children lower the likelihood of remarriage for both men and women. nd 2 Marriages TEND TO BE….. Less romantic More cautiously organized More flexible regarding marital roles More flexible regarding household responsibilities Homogamy in Remarriage • Remarriages are less homogamous than first marriages. • Partners vary in age, educational background and religious background. Remarriage • Remarriage • when one or both of the spouses have been previously married • Early remarriage • refers to early stages of the new relationship • Stepfamily • newly merged family • Middle remarriage • 3 – 5 years into the new relationship, family becomes more cohesive • Late remarriage • 6 – 10 years after the remarriage Step Families Today Blended families  term used to soften negative connotations of step family 1. Biological mother/stepfather 2. Biological father/stepmother 3. Complex stepfamily 4. Joint biological-stepfamily Children in stepfamily households • Siblings • share the same two biological parents • Stepsiblings • not biologically related but parents are married to one another • Half-siblings • share one biological child • Mutual child • child is born to remarried couple • Residential stepchildren • live in remarried couples’ household majority of time • Nonresidential stepchildren • live in the household less than half time Stepfamily characteristics • Children are members of two or more households • Family boundaries are ambiguous • Family roles are ambiguous • Disparity of individual, marital and family life cycles • Several loyalty conflicts • Society promotes widespread negative connotation of stepfamilies • Experience more stress than nuclear families Stepfamily characteristics • Loss of parent or partner – Adults grieve losses of partner, the marital relationship, dreams, and those associated with new ‘everything’s’ – Children grieve losses of parent, stability, parent’s accessibility, and fantasy family. Stepfamily challenges • Challenges for Adults – Financial difficulties – Establishing discipline – Bonding as a couple – Grieving past losses • Challenges for Children – Loss of power and control – Guilt – Loyalty conflicts – Anger – Fear Stability in Remarriage • People who divorce: – Are from lower middle and lower-class groups with higher divorce rates. – Are already more accepting of divorce. – Receive less support from families and are less integrated with parents and in-laws. Why Step Parenting is Difficult 1. Financial strains o husbands feel caught between demands of former and present family. 2. Role ambiguity o roles of stepchild and stepparent are not understood by stepfamily members. 3. Stepchildren’s hostility o some don’t want the new marriage to work out. Challenges for Step Families • Believing in and adhering to “stepfamily stereotypes” • Living with ambiguous norms • Expecting instant closeness • Striving to remain loyal to 1 and 2 ndfamilies Stepfamily Development: 7 Stage Model 1. Fantasy o Adults expect a quick adjustment o Children expect stepparent to disappear so their parents can reunite. 2. Immersion o Conflict emerges between the stepfamily's two biological subunits. 3. Awareness o Family members realize their early fantasies are not becoming reality. 4. Mobilization o Family members initiate efforts toward change. 5. Action o Remarried adults form a solid alliance. 6. Contact o Stepparent becomes a significant adult family figure. 7. Resolution o Stepfamily achieves integration and appreciates it’s unique identity as a stepfamily. Successful Stepfamily Living • Key characteristics of families who successfully adapt to the changes of divorce and remarriage – Develop realistic expectations – Allow time for mourning – Couples nurture a strong relationship – Accept that becoming a stepparent takes time • Stepparents develop the role of disciplinarian • Develop a stepfamily history • Work cooperatively with the absent parent


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