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Families & Change

Families & Change
Coping With Stressful Events and Transitions

Fifth Edition
Edited by:

January 2016 | 432 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Families & Change is an excellent resource for students to learn about stress and crisis within families.” 
- Carrie LeFevre Sillito, University of Utah  

Learn how contemporary families respond to and handle common stressful life circumstances.  Integrating research, theory, and applications, Families & Change: Coping With Stressful Events and Transitions, Fifth Edition offers students an in-depth understanding of family change. Each chapter of this bestselling text presents the latest scholarship from leaders in the field on family change and stressors as well as resources for intervention. Timely topics such as resiliency, LGBT families, and military families are addressed.

Part I: Theoretical Foundations
Kevin Bush, Christine A. Price, Sharon J. Price (Patrick C. McKenry Posthumously)
Chapter 1: Families Coping With Change: A Conceptual Overview
The Study of Family Stress and Change

Family Stress Theory

ABC-X Model

Part II: General Family Stress
Heather Helms, Natalie D. Hengstebeck, David Demo
Chapter 2: Everyday Hassles and Family Relationships
What Are Everyday Hassles?

Methods for Studying Everyday Hassles and Family Relationships

Understanding the Links Between Everyday Hassles and Family Well-Being

Intervention: Toward a New Family-Responsive Policy Agenda

Part III: Developmental Family Forms
Gary Peterson
Chapter 3: Conceptualizing Parental Stress with Family Stress Theory
Pragmatic Realism: Conceptions of Parental Stress

Conceptualizing Family Stress Theory and Parental Stress:

Stressors or Stressor Events for Parents: Factor A

Parents’ Recovery Factors: Resources, Coping, and Adaptation: Factor B

Parental Definitions: Factor C

Briana Nelson Goff, Jessica High, Adam Cless, Kelsey Koblitz, Natira Staats, Nicole Springer
Chapter 4: Families with Special Needs: A Journey from Coping and Adaptation to Resilience and Hope
Definition of Terms

Theoretical Frameworks: Families with Special Needs as Complex Systems

External Context: Resources and Support Systems in Coping, Adaptation and Building Resilience

Implications for Research and Professional Practice

Abbie Goldberg
Chapter 5: LGBQ-Parent Families: Development and Functioning in Context
Coming Out and Being Out

Same-Sex Relationships

Becoming Parents, Forming Families

LGBQ-Parent Families: Experiences and Challenges

Aine Humble, Christine Price
Chapter 6: Stress and Coping in Later Life
The Aging Family

Demographic Trends

Stress in Later Life

Stressful Events in Later Life

Models of Coping and Adaptation

Part IV: Transitional Family Forms
David Demo, Mark Fine
Chapter 7: Divorce: Variation and Fluidity
Theoretical Perspective

History and Context

Factors that Predict and Cause Divorce

Divorce and Its Aftermath


Chelsea Garneau, Kay Pasley
Chapter 8: Stress and Resilience in Stepfamilies Today
Prevalence and Demographic Characteristics of Stepfamilies

A Family Systems Approach to Stress and Resilience in Stepfamilies

Stepfamily Resilience

Working Professionally With Stepfamilies

Kevin Ray Bush, Bertranna A. Abrams-Muruthi, Stephanie A. Bohon, Hyoun K. Kim
Chapter 9: Adaptation Among Immigrant Families: Resources and Barriers
Immigrant Families in the United States

Acculturation and Adaptation

Common Barriers and Stressors Experienced by Immigrant Families

Common Resources and Adaptation Among Immigrant Families

Latino, Asian and Afro-Caribbean Immigrant Families

Kyung-Hee Lee, Shelley McDermid Wadsworth
Chapter 10: The Newest Generation of U.S. Veterans and Their Families
Theoretical Framework: Life course

Part V: Violence in a Family and Community Context
Margaret Wright, Lucy Allbaugh
Chapter 11: Promoting Pathways to Resilient Outcomes for Maltreated Children
Rates of Resilience Among Maltreated Children

Longitudinal Studies Examining Resilient Outcomes for Maltreated Children

How Interventions Can Foster Resilience in Maltreated Children

Interventions at Specific Levels of the Ecosystem

Interventions Targeting Multiple Systems

Lyndal Khaw
Chapter 12: Stress and Coping with Intimate Partner Violence
Types of Intimate Partner Violence

Explaining Violence by an Intimate Partner

Contextual Model of Family Stress

Leaving Abusive Partners and Postseparation Coping

Interventions for IPV

Amity Noltemeyer, Courtney L. McLaughlin, Mark R. McGowan
Chapter 13: Family Responses to School and Community Mass Violence
Mass Violence: The Context

Theoretical Framework

Resilience in the Midst of Mass Violence

Implications for Professionals Working with Families Exposed to Mass Violence Preparedness

Part VI: Families Encountering Sickness, Poverty, and Death
Jeremy Yorgason, Kevin Stott
Chapter 14: Physical and Mental Illness and Family Stress
Illness Characteristics

Theoretical Framework

When a Child is Ill

When a Spouse/Partner is Ill

When Aging Parents Are Ill

Kevin Lyness, Judith Fischer
Chapter 15: Families Coping with Alcohol and Substance Abuse
Children and Substance Abuse Problems

Adolescents and Youth and Substance Abuse Problems

Bidirectional Processes

Issues in Prevention and Treatment

Suzanne Bartholomae, Jonathon Fox
Chapter 16: Economic Stress and Families
Defining and Measuring Economic Stress

Economic Conditions of the American Family

Measures of Family Economic Well-Being

The Family Economic Stress Model

Coping with Economic Stress

Family Financial Planning as a Coping Resource

Colleen Murray
Chapter 17: Death, Dying and Grief in Families
Etiology of “Invisible Death” and Its Consequences

Theories of Grieving

Factors Related to Family Adaptation to Death

Specific Losses



Instructor Teaching Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:


  • A Microsoft® Word® test bank is available containing multiple choice, true/false, short answer, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Classroom Exercises cover key concepts, and may be used for individual or group settings.
  • Chapter-specific Discussion Questions allows students to delve more deeply into the subject matter.

Families and Change is an exceptional compilation of work that provides a comprehensive overview of some of the most pressing stressors experienced by families today. The strength and resiliency of the family is emphasized throughout the text. It is an excellent handbook for students, practitioners, clinicians and family stress researchers across disciplines.”

Steve A. Wages
Abilene Christian University

“An excellent choice of a textbook – content is thoroughly researched, depth and breadth are substantive, and topics clearly relate to modern concerns and issues for families in contemporary society. A ‘must have’ textbook for students to acquire and apply specialized knowledge of families and coping with change.”

Kathleen A. O’Rourke
Eastern Illinois University

Families & Change is an excellent resource for students to learn about stress and crisis within families.”

Carrie LeFevre Sillito
University of Utah

Families and Change tackles current and critical topics such as race, cultural, LGBT that allows us to better prepare our human services students for work in the front lines. The chapters’ unique approach and web resources encouraged students to raise questions and stretch their thinking further.”

Debbie Benoit
Liberty University

“The authors have once again provided a comprehensive overview of stressors influencing both individuals and families. The writing style is ideal for upper-level undergraduates and masters’ students.”

Jessica Troilo
West Virginia University

Gives a good comprehensive overview with supplemental materials. Thoroughly researched material that is update and covers a variety of family types and events.

Dr Anne Y. Branscum
Human Environmental Stds Dept, Southeast Missouri State Univ
August 17, 2016
Key features


  • Four new chapters have been added to address child maltreatment, intimate partner violence, family response to school and community mass violence, and families raising special needs children.
  • Consistent integration of illustrated vignettes and case studies to better examine family stressors and family resilience.
  • The reorganization of chapters into thematic sections resulting in the following:
    • Updated statistics, sources, and contemporary issues and problems facing families in each chapter.
    • Greater emphasis on stressors, risk, and protective factors as well as intervention methods.
    • Improved discussion of family resilience, implications for research and practice as well as recommendations for future research or family intervention.


  • The volume editors and contributing authors include highly respected scholars, each representing a particular area of expertise.
  • Differing perspectives provide readers with an interdisciplinary approach to the topic.
  • Chapters open or weave throughout illustrative vignettes and brief case studies, include intervention suggestions, and close with implications for research and practice as well as practitioner suggestions, enhancing the utility of the book in classroom settings.
  • The book has proven to be popular and successful within the classroom through four editions since 1994, establishing a well-earned reputation for its content and effectiveness.

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 13

Chapter 5

For instructors

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