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At the conclusion of the chapter, a case illustration is provided to demonstrate the multifaceted issues involved in clinical work with this population of children.
Within the last two decades, the divorce rate in the United States has increased substantially.
And if that couple winds up divorcing, the tree splinters even further.
Because there is no biological bond that obligates a step-family member to stay in contact with other steps, the rules of engagement can be confusing and tense.
Based on the increase of divorces over the last three decades and the prospect that a similarly high number will occur in the future, it remains imperative to understand the effects of divorce on children's adjustment.
At a basic level, it can be stated with assurance that all divorces involve change for children.
Paul Hokemeyer, a New York therapist, says couples and children need to determine if they want those relationships to continue after divorce.Since 1958, when there were 2.1 divorces per 1,000 population, a gradual increase in the number of divorces has occurred, peaking at 5.3 per 1,000 population in 19 (Glick & Lin, 1986), and stabilizing at 4.7 as of 1990 (US Department of Health & Human Services, 1990).According to projections based on 1990 census data, 40% of all children can expect to live in a single-parent household because of divorce before the age of 16 (Cherlin, 1992).In a recent article, marriage experts explain how to navigate the rocky road of step-relationships after divorce.Take, for example, the case of an ex-wife who spent decades raising her step-children.