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The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study Paperback – Sep 19 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 351 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (Sept. 19 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786886161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786886166
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 13.1 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #134,791 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Karen James's visit drove me to continue probing the long-term effects of divorce on children. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This book offers a sorely needed perspective of the children's. It's for parents who are divorced or considering it, children whose parents are divorced and spouses of children of divorce. Our divorce culture inadvertently places the emphasis on the parents, on their rights and their time with kids, their feelings and their perspectives. Few people are able to understand what the children really feel and go through unless they have been through it themselves.
Here, Wallerstein does a masterful job of describing how divorce affects children both immediately after the divorce and 25 years later based on first-hand accounts. She also compares those children to their neighbors and friends who grew up in intact families. She points out what struggles they have in relationships and life afterward and what they need to mend properly.
A must read for anybody involved with or affected by divorce!
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Format: Hardcover
The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce is an important book. Using a twenty-five year study the author debunks all of the myths of the divorce culture in which we now live. These lies: that children are resilient and will 'bounce back', that little children don't know what's going on, that when parents are happy their children will be happy, that not fighting in front of children shields them from the effects of divorce, that divorce is a temporary crisis in the child's life, and that as soon as the splitting parents stabalize their lives the children will recover, are demolished point by point.
The author demonstrates, through examples in her case studies, that: very little children experience very big feelings about divorce (including rage and fear), that each lifestage a child goes through causes them to re-live the divorce again in some new way, that divorce causes personal and relationship issues for the children well into adulthood, and that the divorce culture is creating a new generation of people who choose not to marry and risk reliving their parents mistakes.
The author also takes on the important, if uncomfortable, truth that parents do not usually want to do the work of taking on the issues that their divorce creates for their children. Not fighting in front of the children isn't enough. Children need to be given opportunities to express their anger at having their lives torn apart, their homes and friends snatched away, and time with their parents disappear. The author points out that parents are usually more concerned with dealing with their own issues surrounding the divorce, working on new relationships, and rebuilding their personal social lives. The children of divorce are typically left on their own emotionally, sometimes literally.
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Format: Hardcover
Case studies make for compelling reading, and you can't helpbut be moved by the experiences of these children of divorce. But thisbook will not give you point by point advice, even though it can behelpful if you are able to learn by example. I see another reviewerrecommends Relationship Rescue, and I agree that couples need to makemore effort in getting back to what brought them together. ... We allknow, however, that every story is unique; it's another of thosethreshold situations.
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By Jim Turner on Oct. 4 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is just another book filled with data that we've been reading in magazines for decades, with the same biased slant.
Wallerstein fails to disclose that the cause for 90% of divorces is that judges guarantee that the mothers will get custody!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30 2003
Format: Paperback
I mostly decided to write this review to warn others not to trust reviews by people they don't know...
For example, martinlady from Pennsylvania rated this book two stars, although it is plainly obvious that she did not read the entire book because otherwise she would understand that the book was written in such a way that each TYPE of family was REPRESENTED by the "story of one child of divorce's life" (ie. Karen, Larry, etc.). The author makes clear in the beginning of the book that these are her best/extreme/generalized cases. They are not real people, but a conglomerate of many children's lives who were all raised in similar familes. Obviously, there are divorced families in which one or both of the parents aren't emotionally unhealthy and/or don't slack on parenting after divorce. The author recognizes this, and states numerous times that children of divorce who had one parent who recovered well and kept parenting as their main concern did indeed adjust better as adults. People who skim books should not write reviews.
I did read the book cover to cover, and I in fact am a child of divorce who had a WONDERFUL childhood. Even though I didn't have to take over as caretaker as "Karen" did, or witness violence/disrespect between my parents as "Larry" and "Paula" did, I still found the book to be extremely comforting and eye-opening. I also found it to be very well-written - the idea to personify different types of extreme divorce situations in separate characters makes the book very easy to read. How else would you put together and generalize the results of a 25 year study on over 100 unique individuals from over 100 different families? A must read for all children of divorce.
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