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The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships

ISBN: 978-1-4443-3450-0
512 pages
February 2012, Wiley-Blackwell
The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships (1444334506) cover image
The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Couples and Family Relationships presents original articles from leading experts that link research, policy, and practice together to reflect the most current knowledge of contemporary relationships.  

  • Offers interesting new perspectives on a range of relationship issues facing twenty-first century Western society
  • Helps those who work with couples and families facing with relationship issues
  • Includes practical suggestions for dealing with relationship problems
  • Explores diverse issues, including family structure versus functioning; attachment theory; divorce and family breakdown; communication and conflict; self regulation, partner regulation, and behavior change; care-giving and parenting; relationship education; and therapy and policy implications
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List of Contributors xi

Introduction 1
Patricia Noller and Gery C. Karantzas

Part I Trends in Couple and Family Relationships 9

1 From Form to Function 11
Ruth Weston, Lixia Qu, and Alan Hayes

2 Social Trends and their Impact on Couple and Family Relationships 25
David de Vaus

3 Changing American Families in the 21st Century 36
Suzanne M. Bianchi, Sara B. Raley, and Lynne M. Casper

Part II Families across the Lifespan 49

4 The Role of the Family across the Lifespan 51
Toni C. Antonucci, Kristin M. Wong, and Sarah Trinh

5 Parents and Adolescents 66
Ross B. Wilkinson

6 Family Caregiving 82
Gery C. Karantzas

7 Late-Life Transitions and Interventions 97
Kathleen Piercy

Part III Communication and Conflict Processes in Couples and Families 113

8 Conflict Avoidance in Families 115
John P. Caughlin, Jennifer L. Hardesty, and Ashley V. Middleton

9 Conflict in Family Relationships 129
Patricia Noller

10 Demand–Withdraw Communication in Couples 144
Kathleen A. Eldridge and Brian Baucom

Part IV Individual Differences Perspectives on Intimacy, Love, and Caregiving 159

11 Adult Attachment and Sexuality 161
Phillip R. Shaver and Mario Mikulincer

12 Sexual Dysfunction in Intimate Heterosexual Relationships 175
Denisa Goldhammer and Marita P. McCabe

13 Regulating Incentives and Threats in Close Relationships 193
Shelly L. Gable

14 Attachment and Caregiving 207
Melanie Canterberry and Omri Gillath

Part V Cognitive and Affective Processes in Couple Relationships 221

15 Attachment Insecurities and Relationship Self-Regulation 223
Zo€e J. Hazelwood

16 The Costs and Benefits of Trying to Change Intimate Partners 234
Nickola C. Overall

17 Through the Eyes of Love 248
Garth J. O. Fletcher and Patrick S. G. Kerr

18 Betrayal and Forgiveness in Couple Relationships 259
Julie Fitness

Part VI Education and Intervention in Couple and Family Relationships 271

19 Taking it to the Streets (and Information Super Highways) 273
W. Kim Halford and Samira Hayes

20 Relationship Education 289
Judith A. Feeney and Jennifer Fitzgerald

21 A Common Factors Perspective of Relationship Counseling 305
Ruth Ingrid Sturmey, Patricia Noller, and Gery C. Karantzas

22 The Efficacy of Evidence-Based Couple Therapy 320
Peter Howell

23 Surviving Trauma 333
Susan M. Johnson and Kathryn D. Rheem

24 Children’s Adjustment after Parental Separation 345
Susie Sweeper

Part VII Interpersonal Processes, Families, and Mental Health 361

25 Depression and Self-Harming in Adolescence 363
Kerryn Hurd and Patricia Noller

26 Attachment and Depression Across the Transition to Parenthood 377
Jeffry A. Simpson, W. Steven Rholes, and Sandra Shallcross

27 Recent Advances in Research on Social Support in Couples 392
Carolyn E. Cutrona

28 Chronic Illness and Relationships 406
Gery C. Karantzas, Marita P. McCabe, and Sian F. Cole

Part VIII Implications for Policy 421

29 Promoting Positive Pathways for Youth and Young Adults to Healthy Relationships and Marriages 423
Alan J. Hawkins

30 Improving Child and Family Outcomes through a Collaborative Service Model 437
Michael White and Gail Winkworth

31 Are Governments and Marriage Strange Bedfellows? 453
W. Kim Halford and Elizabeth van Acker

Part IX Integration and Conclusion 467

32 Common Themes in Couple and Family Relationship Research and Practice 469
Gery C. Karantzas and Patricia Noller

Index 481

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Patricia Noller is Professor Emeritus, University of Queensland. She has published extensively in the areas of marital and family relationships, and adult attachment. Dr. Noller is also a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and the National Council on Family Relationships (USA).

Gery C. Karantzas is Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Deakin University, and Convenor of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Psychology of Relationships Interest Group. He has published numerous studies in the area of close personal relationships with a specific interest in investigating couple and family relationships during transitions and in adult attachment.

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“Summing Up: Highly recommended.  Upper-division undergraduates through faculty and professionals.”  (Choice, 1 September 2012)

Perhaps as never before, models of couples and families are changing dramatically in the 21st century. This remarkable and timely collection brings it all together, from description of societal trends to psychological studies of communication, affect, and cognition to implications for health, intervention, and policy. Noller and Karantzas have assembled an outstanding, up-to-date collection of theoretically grounded, empirically rich chapters. This volume is likely to end up one of the most well-worn books on your desk.

-Harry Reis, University of Rochester


This volume provides important, state-of-the art commentaries on the psychological, interpersonal, and social issues that face couples and families. Noller and Karantzas have assembled an excellent group of contributors who skillfully articulate current trends in scholarship and who apply research findings to practical concerns associated with treatment and policy. This is a must read for anyone interested in couple and family relationships.

-Anita L. Vangelisti, University of Texas at Austin

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