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Growing up in the Divorced Family


Stressful parent–child relationships in the post-divorce family together with the enduring effects of the troubled marriage and breakup lead to the acute anxieties about love and commitment that many children of divorce bring to relationships in their adult years. Findings from a 25-year study of 131 children call for a paradigmatic change in our theoretical understanding and in our interventions with these youngsters as children and as adults. Revised clinical and educational strategies with parents and children are proposed.

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Correspondence to Judith S. Wallerstein Ph.D..

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Judith S. Wallerstein holds a Masters Degree in Social Work, a PhD in Psychology, and training in Child Psychoanalysis. Her research on the effects of divorce on children is known nationally and internationally. Her four best selling books have been translated into more than 10 languages. She is Founder of the Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family in Transition, a non-profit research, counseling, and educational center in Northern California. She is Senior Lecturer Emerita at the University of California at Berkeley School of Social Welfare, where she taught clinical courses on children and families for 26 years.

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Wallerstein, J.S. Growing up in the Divorced Family. Clin Soc Work J 33, 401–418 (2005).

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  • divorce
  • children
  • adult children of divorce
  • long-term effects