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no fault divorce

a divorce in which neither spouse blames the other for the breakdown of the marriage

correlates of divorce

certain social and socioeconomic characteristics that affect the longevity of a marriage and the probability that a marriage will end in divorce

age at marriage, premarital pregnancy, parental separation, premarital cohabitation

what are the predictors of divorce?

maturity effect

young teenagers often have unrealistic expectations about marriage, and they are also more likely than those in their 20s to misjudge their mate's qualities and characteristics

destabilizing effect

a factor that disrupts the stability of a marital relationship

socialization hypothesis

puts forward the notion that because children of divorce have less experience with successful marital role models, their inability to adequetely cope with the difficulties of marital living puts them at greater risk for divorce

intergenerational transmission

those who experience the end of their parents' marriage are more likely to divorce than those whose parents do not divorce

process of relationship decline

Steven Duck's model of relationship deterioration emphasizes both intrapersonal dynamics and interpersonal dynamics

de-escalation of intimacy

decline in intimacy

dyadic breakdown

first phase of duck's breakdown in couple's relationship, refers to the breakdown of the couple's established relational patterns

intrapsychic phase

second phase of duck's breakdown in couple's relationship, it can be called individual cognition, refers to the point at which couples begin to focus on those aspects of the relationship with which they are dissatisfied or disappointed, feelings are rarel mutual

dyadic phase

third phase of duck's breakdown in couple's relationship, occurs when couples discuss their dissatisfaction with their marriage and attempt to find either a resolution or decide to end the relationship

social phase

fourth phase of duck's breakdown in couple's relationship, refers to this transition as family metacognition, the spouses begin to openly share with others the problems in their marriage and the possibility that it may come to an end

grave dressing

fifth and final phase of duck's breakdown in couple's relationship, the couple must come to terms with the breakup of the marriage

emotional divorce

following the decision during the intrapsychic or individual cognition phase, and the announcement during the social phase or the family metacognition phase, at some point the couple decides to separate

separation period

a time marked by a disruption in the norms of family relationships


norms of family relationships that are disrupted

disorderly separation

characterized by its abruptness and is usually not the result of careful consideration

orderly separation

putting the family first and taking into consideration what the divorce should look like and plan it out more than disorderly separation

family law

establishes policies and regulations to ensure that married or divorced couples fulfill their obligations to each other and their children

community property settlement

current and future earnings, current standard of living, individual contributions to the marriage, the length of the marriage, age and health


refers to who is responsible for the children's financial, physical, and emotional well-being

legal custody

refers to which parent has the right to make decisions about how the child is reared, such as decisions concerning education or religion

shared legal custody

both parents have an equal say in the child's upbringing

joint custody

parents share the decision making on behalf of their children

3 types of joint custody

joint legal custody, joing physical custody, joint legal and physical custody

physical custody

a parent is granted the legal right to have the child live primarily with him or her, making this parent the custodial parent

noncustodial parent

parent that is granted the right to have child visitations on a schedule determined by the parents or by the courts if the co-parents cannot agree

sole custody

one parent is the primary parent legally, physically, or both

divorce mediation

a process that helps ex-spouses resolve child support, child custody, and property settlements for themselves and for their children, rather than just having a judge determine these issues for them

divorce mediator

an objective third party to the divorce, the divorcing couple determines the terms of their divorce settlement

transissions associated with divorce

the decision, the announcement, the separation, the formal divorce

binuclear family

refers to the separate, distinct households that form after marital separation or divorce

five former spouse relationship styles

perfect pals, cooperative colleagues, angry associates, fiery foes, dissolved duos

primary divorce stressors

such as custody arrangements, visitation, and child support, they are demanding and that they exert a number of strains on the entire family

secondary divorce stressors

things that occur following the divorce

perfect pals

divorced partners that remain friends after they divorce

cooperative colleagues

able to cooperate as parents, but they do not feel that they are friends

angry associates

effective co-parenting is not a goal of these divorced parents; children are usually caught in the middle

fiery foes

incapable of co-parenting, anger is so intense that they will not allow the other to parent

dissolved duos

these couples break off all contact with one another after the divorce, in some cases one partner literally disappears and leaves the other with the children

externalize difficulties

children demonstrate this through their behavior when they grapple with the inner turmoil, confusion, anger, and hurt they feel in the aftermath of their parents divorce

acting out

children and adolescents externalize their feelings about the divorce, typically through aggressive misbehaviors, noncompliance, disobedience, delinquency, increased absenses from school, and increased aggressiveness

internalizing difficulties

results in emotional problems such as worry, feelings of unhappiness, anxiety, depression, distress, guilt, and poor self-concept

early remarriage

refers to the early stages of the new relationship, and brings with it not only the development difficulties of a traditional marriage, but also carries with it difficulties unique to stepfamilies


when one or both of the married partners bring children from a previous relationship into the new marital relationship

middle remarriage

takes most families about 3 to 5 years to complete, the family becomes a more cohesive system and functions less along strictly biological lines

late remarriage

approximately 6 to 10 years after the remarriage, the family's boundaries and roles are restructured to the point where there is a greater deal of "authenticity" in interactions and shared intimacy within the family system

blended families

when two family systems join together

biological mother/stepfather

the household comprises the mother's biological children and her stepchildren

biological father/stepmother

the household comprises the father's biological children and his stepchildren

complex stepfamily

both partners have children from previous relationships or marriage, although the children may reside in different households

joint biological stepfamily

the couple has at least one biological child that is the product of both married parents, and at least one biological child of either parent

challenges of a stepfamily

financial difficulties, adjusting to new parenting roles, establishing discipline, bonding as a couple, grieving past losses, loss of power and control, guilt, loyalty conflicts, anger


expected changes that take place throughout the family life cycle


things we cannot predict or anticipate or things that are not commonly experienced by most families


can be either positive stress or negative stress


stressor can last a relatively short period of time


stressor is usually longer in duration

family crisis

stress in the family

general adaptation syndrome

3 stages, describes the physiological responses to eustress and distress

alarm reaction

first stage of stress response, brain perceives the stressor and immediately signals the body to deal with it by neurological and physiological means, our inborn fight or flight tendency the mind and the body is upset

stage of resistance

second stage of stress response, the body continues to battle the stressor and remains in a continued state of elevated arousal


third stage of stress response, the body has depleted every resource it has; often resulting in long-term illness

life change event

typically an event that is forever life altering and requires significant social and psychological adjustment

transactional model of stress

also called interactional model of stress, the impact of the stressor is wholly dependent on our perception and appraisal of the stressor

external locus of control

the perceptio that we cannot control what happens in some aspects of our lives

internal locus of control

the perception that we are in control of our destiny

problem management

strategies that are aimed at directly attacking the stressor or changing the stressor

emotional regulation

strategies that help individuals and families change their perception, interpretation, and the meaning of the stressor

meaning-based coping

strategies which are those coping techniques that produce positive emotions

four categories of family stress

dismemberment, demoralization, accession, demoralization plus dimemberment or accession

ABC-X Family Crisis Model

still considered a major contribution to the area of family stress and family vulnerability research

A factor

the event that initially causes the stress

B factor

refers to the number of family resources that will help the family meet the demands of the stressor or crisis

C factor

refers to the definition the family assigns to the change, transition, stressor, or disruption

X factor

can be thought of as the end product of the initiating event, the family's resources to cope with it, and the meaning they assign to it, the combination of the A, B, and C factors

Doube ABC Model

understanding the effects of the accumulation, or pile-up, of stressors and strains and how families adapt to them

family coping skills

coping skills that families tend to use in times of change and crisis

appraisal-focused coping

families try to understand why the crisis occurred and to find meaning in the circumstances that caused the crisis

cognitive redefinition

occurs when families attempt to reframe the life event or stressor in ways that are more favorable

family resilience

refers to a family's ability to function in a healthy fashion during times of change, stress, adversity, crisis, and transition

cognitive avoidance

(denial) an attempt to deny the seriousness of the situation

problem focused coping

a strategy that allows the family to confront the reality of the crisis head on by seeking and obtaining information about the crisis

emotional focused coping

skills or capacities to maintain hope

progressive desensitization

where family members gradually allow themselves increasing exposure to the varying aspects of the stressor

emotional discharge

another coping skill that includes venting

resigned acceptance

occurs when the family ultimately accepts the situation and recognizes that nothing will change the course their family life has taken


scientists who study aging

lifespan perspective

emphasizes that from the cradle to the grave human beings are in a constant, continuous state of growth-motion

nature-nurture debate

an ongoing controversy as to if the influences of aging determined by nature or by nurture

primary aging

refers to the basic biological processes that are genetically programmed and that take place with the passage of time

Hayflick limit

a time limit that accounts for the aging process and life expectancy

secondary aging

physiological declines that are the result of environmental and behavioral influences that significantly impact how we age


refers to the stereotypical attitudes people hold about the aging and the elderly


people who have a fixed and negavtive mindset about older people

intergenerational ties

refer to the relationships between family members across multiple generations and these relationships are indeed important to the aging population

fictive kin

people who are not biologically related to someone but who fulfill a family role

empty nest

the home with no child

four primary factors influence intimacy between older adults and their adult children

gender, geographic distance, parent's marital status, culture

formal grandparenting

grandparents see their role along common, traditional lines

companionate relationship

grandparents enjoy warm, loving, and nurturing relationships with their grandchildren, but are happy to send them home at the end of the day

fun seeker

grandparents that have a relationship with their grandchildren that is characterized by an informal, spontaneous, playfulness

remote relationship

grandparents are only involved on occasional holidays or birthdays

involved relationship

grandparents take the role of the parent

dispenser of wisdom

grandparents offer information and advice to their grandchildren often whether it is asked for or not

sandwich generation

being in the middle of two generations--parents and children

death anxiety

refers to the tension, feelings of distress, and apprehension associated with discussions and thoughts of death

lingering trajectory

when the transition from life to death takes an extended period of time, like cancer

expected quick trajectory

typically associated with an acute crisis or illness, such as a heart attack or vehicle accident

unexpected quick trajectory

has the elements of time pressure and surprise


refers to the culturally prescribed expressions of the thoughts and feelings of a bereaved person, someone who suffers the loss of a loved one

bereaved person

someone who suffers the loss of a loved one


refers to a person's specific, unique reactions following the news that a loved one has died


a response to the painful, forcible separation that takes place when we are faced with death

more frequently

in comparison to couples who do not live together before marriage, people who participate in premarital cohabitation, which allows the couple to rehearse marital roles, divorce...

dyadic breakdown

during this first phase of decline in a couple's relationship, couples cannot identify precisely what is wrong with the relationship, yet they begin to sense that something is wrong


_____, today more commonly referred to as spousal support, is a monetary payment, typically paid monthly, that one spouse pays to the other spouse during and after the divorce proceedings


when a parent is granted _____ custody, he or she is granted the legal right to have the child live primarily with him or her, making this parent the custodial parent

crude divorce rate

the _____ is the number of divorces that occur per 1,000 population

divorce mediation

______ is a process that helps ex-spouses resolve child support, child custody, and property settlements for themselves and for their children, rather than having a judge determine these issues for them

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