GROWING UP IN THE DIVORCED FAMILY
Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D.
Stressful parent–child relationships in the post-divorce familytogether with the enduring effects of the troubled marriage and breakup lead tothe acute anxieties about love and commitment that many children of divorcebring to relationships in their adult years. Findings from a 25-year study of 131children call for a paradigmatic change in our theoretical understanding and inour interventions with these youngsters as children and as adults. Revisedclinical and educational strategies with parents and children are proposed.
divorce; children; adult children of divorce; long-term effects.
GROWING UP IN THE DIVORCED FAMILY I begin with a favorite quote from a distinguished family judge.Rosemary Pfeiffer of the San Mateo Court in Northern California, inan address to the Family Court Services Regional Conference in 1985,told us, ‘‘If one were to use situation comedies as an analogy for ourwork with families, then the long running show M.A.S.H. would be mychoice. Like the legendary M.A.S.H. unit, our lives in both a profes-sional and a personal sense are marked by drama, comedy, and trag-edy. We live our lives within a frontline emergency situation, in which
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 isknown nationally and internationally. Her four best selling books have been translated intomore than 10 languages. She is Founder of the Judith Wallerstein Center for the Family inTransition, a non-proﬁt research, counseling, and educational center in Northern Califor-nia. 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.
Correspondence should be directed to Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D., Berkeley School of Law, New York; e-mail: email@example.com.
Clinical Social Work Journal, Vol. 33, No. 4, Winter 2005 (
2005 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.