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Family Conflict: Managing the Unexpected

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4661-9
208 pages
July 2013, Polity
Family Conflict: Managing the Unexpected (0745646611) cover image


Family Conflict takes a life course approach as it provides an accessible discussion of family conflict issues, processes, and outcomes.  Chapters draw on recent theory and research regarding sub-systems and stages in family life to give readers resource-rich overviews of conflict in contemporary families.  After the initial chapter presents the landscape of family conflict theory and research, chapters focus on conflict in couple relationships, parent-child relationships, sibling relationships, and in stepfamilies.  The book concludes with a discussion of how specific work, health, and disability challenges facing today’s families influence, and are influenced by, conflict interactions.

Family Conflict will be essential reading for students of family communication, family researchers, professionals who work with families in various stages of life, and anyone who desires a deeper understanding of their own family conflict processes.
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Table of Contents

Detailed Contents viii

Tables and Figures x

Preface xi

1 Introduction to Family Conflict 1

2 Marital Conflict 22

3 Interparental Conflict, Post-Divorce, and Stepfamilies 52

4 Conflict between Parents and Children 82

5 Siblings in Conflict 113

6 Conflict in the Face of Family Challenges: Work-Family Interface, Health & Disability, and Family Resilience 141

Appendices 166

References 175

Index 197

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Author Information

Heather Canary is assistant professor in the department of communication at the University of Utah. Her co-edited book Communication and Organizational Knowledge: Contemporary Issues for Theory and Practice was nominated for Book of the Year Award, Organizational Communication Division, National Communication Association, 08/2011.

Daniel Canary is professor of human communication at Arizona State University. He has co-authored or edited 10 books and over 50 articles, book chapters and essays. Dan is a past president of the International Network for Personal Relationships.
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The Wiley Advantage

  • Student-friendly introduction to the topic of conflict in families.
  • Brings together key research from family communication in a digestible form for the classroom.
  • Covers conflict between different kinds of family members, key settings in which conflict tends to occur, and communication strategies for family conflict management.
  • Written by two leading scholars in this area.
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"Scholars and students alike will appreciate this highly accessible volume. The authors masterfully weave together multiple perspectives to cogently capture the state of the art on family conflict."
Brett Laursen, Florida Atlantic University

"This is an excellent piece of well-balanced, integrative scholarship. The writing is precise yet engaging and the book will be an excellent introduction to family conflict for people new to the area and a useful resource for people already familiar with the topic."
John Caughlin, University of Illinois
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