Divorce in Psychosocial Perspective: Theory and Research, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Divorce in Psychosocial Perspective

Theory and Research, 1st Edition

By Joseph Guttmann

Psychology Press

268 pages

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Many books deal with divorce and its aftermath -- some deal with the impact of divorce on children and families, others with the legal or sociological aspects of divorce, and a few focus on divorced mothers and fathers. Most of these books are characterized by their practical orientation toward the issues and problems posed by divorce. None of these, however, have attempted to offer an integrated view of the massive amount of theoretical and research literature on divorced adults and their children. In addition, none present a comprehensive view of divorce as a psychological process within its larger social context.

Filling that void, this book:

* offers a comprehensive view of divorce as a social, interpersonal and psychological phenomenon,

* reviews the theory and research on divorce focusing on the major protagonists of the divorce drama: the mother, the father and the children, and

* introduces a social-psychological theory of divorce process.


"In reading this creative and scholarly review of divorce studies one can only congratulate the author on performing a herculean task….It would be quite helpful to family researchers, teachers of family science, and students in the family life education area in North America. The manuscript allows us to examine divorce in a concentrated scholarly and well-organized manner."

Journal of Marriage and the Family

"…an impressive analytical review of the major models of divorce and an excellent summary of each approach….Highly recommended for advanced undergraduates and above, and for practitioners."


"Guttmann masterfully reviews the existing literature on divorce and provides a new framework for conceptualizing divorce and examining how divorce affects children, mothers, and fathers….It offers compelling evidence of the complexities of the divorce process and new ways of understanding the effects of divorce on children and parents."

Contemporary Psychology

"With this work, Guttmann has performed a distinct service for the field of family studies. He has identified relevant issues, made a good selection of the literature, and offered clear and well-written analyses. Both the beginner and the specialist will find this a valuable work."

The Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease

"A major contribution that comprehensively examines the increasing complexities of the divorce process and its effects on children, adults, and the family. By combining research, theory, and practice, Joseph Guttmann provides an invaluable resource for all those interested in the family. This book brings together diverse research and theory on the phenomenon of divorce, beautifully analyzing strengths and weaknesses. Not only does Guttmann discuss the research on divorce, but he carefully provides a scholarly analysis and summary of the divorce process. He uses a wide angle lens to bring in a cross-cultural perspective and also zooms to provide an insightful view of the psychosocial process of divorce. Guttmann has provided a superb reference book for students, clinicians, and family theorists. His writing is scholarly yet jargon free, suitable for all disciplines interested in the phenomenon of divorce. Divorce in Psychosocial Perspective: Theory and Research is certain to be a major text in family studies."

Constance R. Ahrons

Associate Director, Marriage and Family Therapy Program, Professor of Sociology,

"Joseph Guttmann's book is well-written, well-organized, and comprehensive. This important text fills a unique role through its integration of theory, research and clinical experience. Dr. Guttmann calls on over-arching dynamic and social-environmental theories in his comparisons and linkages to divorce stages and influences. An accurate and insightful integration of the breadth of research findings is woven into every aspect of the text. Finally, clinical experience serves as a criterion for the relevance and pertinence of the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of the work. Dr. Guttmann's text has significant utility to the clinician and the scientist. This work will help clinicians understand and anticipate expected divorce adjustment reactions and identify the underlying influences, and develop treatment directions. The scientist will find this text useful as a comprehensive reference on current research on divorce. Finally, Dr. Guttmann's insights into current research and requisite future directions will further expand scientific explorations."

Arnold L. Stolberg

Associate Professor of Psychology and Principal Investigator, Divorce Adjustment

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Divorce in Its Social Context. Theoretical Models of the Divorce Process. The Psychosocial Model of the Divorce Process. Divorced Mothers. Divorced Fathers. Children of Divorced Parents: Theoretical and Research Considerations. Parental Divorce and the Reaction of Children.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology