Changing Families, Changing Responsibilities

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This book explores the topic of family obligations following changes in family structure caused by divorce and remarriage. Family obligations are commonly defined as the rights and duties that accompany family roles. They have been described as the "glue" that connects generations, as well as the "oughts" and "shoulds" that surround individual family relationships. This book is primarily concerned with normative beliefs about what family members should do for each other. It differs from previous accounts of family obligation norms because it specifically focuses on family responsibilities after divorce and remarriage, two events that affect an increasing number of families today.

The authors draw extensively upon the findings of 13 studies of normative beliefs regarding post-divorce intergenerational family obligations. This book fills a gap in the present literature concerning family obligation. It addresses the weaknesses of prior research by focusing on family transitions and by presenting data from studies that employ contextual methods. The content will provide guidance to policymakers and helping professionals who work with families, and the unique focus and procedures of the studies are likely to set the standard for future assessments of normative beliefs about family obligations.

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