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The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study [Paperback]

By Judith S. Wallerstein (Author), Julia M. Lewis (Author) & Sandra Blakeslee (Author)
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Item description for The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study by Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis & Sandra Blakeslee...

A landmark study of the long-term impact of divorce explores its effects on children into adulthood, marriage, and their own parenthood, revealing how they cope with their own fear of failure in relationships.

Publishers Description
Finally in paperback, the New York Times bestseller that has fundamentally changed the way children of divorce see themselves as adults -- updated with a new preface by the author.

Divorce is at once a widespread reality and a painful decision, so it is no surprise that this landmark study of its long-term effects should both spark debate and find a large audience.

In this compelling, thought-provoking book, Judith Wallerstein explains that, while children do learn to cope with divorce, it in fact takes its greatest toll in adulthood, when the sons and daughters of divorced parents embark on romantic relationships of their own. Wallerstein sensitively illustrates how children of divorce often feel that their relationships are doomed, seek to avoid conflict, and fear commitment. Failure in their loving relationships often seems to them preordained, even when things are going smoothly. As Wallerstein checks in on the adults she first encountered as youngsters more than twenty-five years ago, she finds that their experiences mesh with those of the millions of other children of divorce, who will find themselves on every page.

With more than 100,000 copies in print, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce spent three weeks on the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Denver Post bestseller lists. The book was also featured on two episodes of Oprah as well as on the front cover of Time and the New York Times Book Review.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study by Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis & Sandra Blakeslee has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • New York Times - 12/23/2001 page 16

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Hyperion
Pages   351
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.5" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.72 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 19, 2001
Publisher   Hyperion
Age  18
ISBN  0786886161  
ISBN13  9780786886166  

Availability  0 units.

More About Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis & Sandra Blakeslee

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Judith S. Wallerstein is the founder and executive director of the Center for the Family in Transition. She is senior lecturer emerita at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has taught for twenty-six years. She has spoken with more divorced families than anyone in the nation, and lectured to thousands of family court judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, mediators, and educators. She has appeared on Oprah, the Today show, and Good Morning America, among others. She is the author, with Sandra Blakeslee, of the national bestsellers The Good Marriage: How and Why Love Lasts and Second Chances: Men, Women, and Children a Decade After Divorce; with Blakeslee and Julia M. Lewis of the bestseller The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study; and, with Dr. Joan Berlin Kelly, of Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce. She lives in Belvedere, California.

Sandra Blakeslee is an award-winning science writer who contributes regularly to the New York Times. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Judith S. Wallerstein currently resides in Belvedere, in the state of California.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > Social Psychology & Interactions
3Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology
4Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Relationships > Divorce

Reviews - What do customers think about The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25 Year Landmark Study?

very good  Mar 12, 2008
this book provides an excellent examination of some of the ways in which divorce affects children whose parents have divorced. it provides outstanding longitudinal data over, is it 25 years, for many people. the text goes into great detail on the authors' observations and descriptions of individuals' developmental struggles. it is acknowledged by the authors that development can be challenging for all children, whether parents are happily married, whether they are bitterly married, or they divorce. most of the text discusses perhaps half dozen of the dozens of children included in the study. while a fascinating qualitative text, i yearn for more hard data comparing all children, those whose parents remained married, and those whose parent divorced. i also wish that the text would have elaborated upon, or even mentioned, the other dozens of children not discussed. the authors cite that economic struggles plague many families of divorce. the effects of economics on problems developed by the children, while difficult to isolate, should have, at least, been mentioned. overall, the conclusions reached are logical, consistent with the findings throughout the text, and (perhaps most importantly :)) they are consistent with my beliefs. overall, this is an excellent qualitative book that describes the authors' impressions of the effects of divorce on select children.
Unexpected Legacy of Divorce . . .  Dec 28, 2007
What a great book! I love that the study was done over 25 years and that children of divorce were measured against functional and dysfunctional intact families. I totally recommend this read. It is an immense help to read of others who understand what a child of divorce experiences, especially when people who haven't experienced it can't seem to put themselves in the shoes of those who have.

As for the business side, the book came in decent timee, but I do not remember ordering a used, but rather a new, book. I read one or two other reviews that mentioned this particular book seller (not this site, but rather BORDEBOOK) did not coordinate their available product to the order particulars in regards to CONDITION of the book.

If you are going to buy from BORDEBOOK, I recommend that you buy those items whose condition you will not care too much about. If you are particular about product condition, you will either have to order from someplace else, or just learn to overlook the condition of what you receive. The book was valuable enough to me to lump the condition. I will probably buy a second copy, just not from BORDEBOOK.
The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce  Dec 26, 2007
This is the best research and factual information regarding the effects of Divorce on children who are natural psychological victims of their parents'Divorce. Unfortunately, well meaning parents are fairly helpless to alleviate the problems Divorce creates for their children. Many books talk about Divorce in a different light in terms of the effects, this book clearly states the consequences to children, many of which I have seen in my 30years plus as a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. Divorce creates many negative effects for children that remain with them for all of their lives.
Hello? Divorce Ain't Good for Kids!  Nov 27, 2007
This is an invaluable study, simultaneously profound and deeply disturbing. Researchers/authors Wallerstein, Lewis, and Blakeslee describe a quarter century societal shift of monumental proportions. By the year 2000, 25% of adults under the age of 44 were children of divorce. By and large, however, society had chosen to ignore the elephant in the room of the long term impact of divorce on children. Instead, we comforted ourselves with "myths":
* "The first holds that if parents are happier the children will be happier, too....many adults who are trapped in very unhappy marriages would be surprised to learn that their children are relatively content. They don't care if Mom and Dad sleep in different beds as long as the family is together....Children in postdivorce families do not, on the whole, look happier, healthier, or more well adjusted even if one or both parents are happier....children from divorced and remarried families are more aggressive toward their parents and teachers. They experience more depression....more learning difficulties...more problems with peers....two to three times more likely to be referred for psychological help at school....More of them end up in mental health clinics and hospital settings. There is earlier sexual activity, more children born out of wedlock, less marriage, and more divorce. Numerous studies show that adult children of divorce have more psychological problems than those raised in intact marriages....the myth that children always benefit from divorce that makes parents happier...continues to exert subtle, unconscious influences" (p. xxiii)
* "A second myth is based on the premise that divorce is a temporary crisis that exerts its most harmful effects on parents and children at the time of the breakup. Adult children of divorce are telling us loud and clear that their parent' anger at the time of the breakup is not what matters most. Unless there was violence or abuse or unremitting high conflict, they have dim memories of what transpired during this supposedly critical period" (p. xxv).
Makes you think  Apr 2, 2007
The author clearly demonstrates (to her own surprise) that divorce is always and permanently harmful to children. She still thinks that couples sometimes need to divorce, but her studies demonstrate that children from divorced parents will always be handicapped by the divorce, sometimes in surprising ways.

Some of the reviewers are angered over this because for whatever reason they have had to come to terms with a divorce- either their own or their parents. Divorce is like chopping off a hand of your child. Yes, sometimes it is the only option or the best option, but your child is still permanently damaged. Your child can compensate and lead a good and happy life, but it will never be the same as if you had not chopped off her hand.

It does no one any good to deny the consequences of divorce. Sometimes it must still happen, but it always and permanently damages the children. It doesn't help to deny the truth because you don't want people to feel guilty.

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