Families' Growing Pains

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(6), 479. Reviews the book, Family Careers: Developmental Change in Families by Joan Aldous (1978). This book about family careers makes very few concessions to popularity, either in illustrations or in writing style. Its emphasis is on research findings, presented in far more detail than is common in current jazzier texts on the family. The author goes beyond a purely descriptive analysis of family life cycles to suggest an approach through propositions that can then be formulated as testable hypotheses. Unfortunately, such propositions tend to be silly, trite, or exceedingly local in time and place. Fortunately, the book does not stick to propositions and thereby gains in richness. A strengths of the text are its emphasis on the interplay of family roles throughout the life cycle, its sensitivity to class difference and economic issues and its rare attention to sibling relationships. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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