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Monday, December 6, 2010

Beyond the Average Divorce, by Professor David Demo

Divorce is frequently in the news as we learn about the new demographics of divorced couples or read about celebrity divorce cases. Quite recently, The Huffington Post even started a new section on its blog devoted to divorce. But what is typical when it comes to divorce? In his new book, UNCG Professor David Demo, Human Development and Family Studies, posits that there is no "average" divorce and explores the diversity of how people experience the dissolution of a marriage.

According to the publisher's webiste, Beyond the Average Divorce "provides marriage and family scholars and students a rich depiction of how children and adults of all ages respond to diverse divorce experiences. Rather than emphasizing means and averages in looking at 'typical' family reactions to divorce, authors David H. Demo and Mark A. Fine (University of Missouri Columbia) emphasize variability and change over time in the pre-divorce, divorce, and post-divorce process."

The book explores in depth what a family might look like both before and after a divorce, and how divorce is experienced as much more than a single transition. As the authors describe in the book's introduction, "There has been a strong tendency in previous work to treat divorce and other family structure changes in a static manner (i.e., either they happen or they do not; an individual either is in a single-parent family or is not), whereas the more complex reality (and more difficult problem to research) is that children and parents tend to experience a variety of changes in family composition over time."

The book concludes with recommendations for future studies and a consideration of the policy implications of the research.

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