Marriages and Families in the 21st Century

Marriages and Families in the 21st Century
A Bioecological Approach

Second Edition
Experience with SAGE edge

August 2017 | 744 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Marriages and Families in the 21st Century puts contemporary relationships and family structures in context for today’s students. Using a bioecological framework, the book reveals how families are shaped by multiple influences, from biological to cultural, that interact with one another. Chapters cover topics from parenting to gender issues within an interdisciplinary context, weaving in stories, visuals, and examples of diverse families to dispel longstanding myths. The book creates a personalized learning experience with frequent self-assessments and strengths exercises, while ensuring that students come to understand the research and build scientific analysis and critical thinking skills along the way. Robust digital tools and resources including SAGE edge and an interactive eBook with SAGE Premium Video help readers develop a multi-layered understanding of "what makes families tick" while challenging them to re-evaluate their own assumptions and experiences.

SAGE Premium Video included in the Interactive eBook!

Families Today videos boost comprehension and bolster analysis—easily accessible via the interactive eBook. Your students save when you bundle the interactive eBook with the new edition. Use bundle ISBN 978-1-5063-9879-2. Learn more

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SAGE coursepacks makes it easy to import our quality instructor and student resource content into your school’s learning management system (LMS). Intuitive and simple to use, SAGE coursepacks allows you to customize course content to meet your students’ needs. Learn more.  

Chapter 1: The Changing American Family
What Is a Family?  
Family Structures vs. Family Processes  
The Evolution of American Families  
The Approach and Organizational Structure of this Book  
Chapter 2: How We Study the Family: Theories and Research Methods
Overview: The Need for Good Theory and Research Design  
Theoretical Frameworks  
Research Methodology  
Demographic Issues in Research  
Chapter 3: Sex and Gender
Overview: A Bioecological Approach to Sex and Gender  
What’s the Difference Between Sex and Gender  
The Importance of Gender for Living in Families  
Gender and Sexual Orientation  
Gender Discrimination and Sexism  
Theories of Gender Role Development  
Our Development into Boys and Girls and Men and Women  
Chapter 4: Sexualities
Overview of Influences on Sexuality  
Macrosystem and Historical Influences on Sex and Sexualities  
Trends in Sexual Behavior and Attitudes About Sex  
Sex Organs: The Way They Work and How Things Go Awry  
Sexual Orientation  
A Closer Look at Current Issues in Sexuality  
Chapter 5: Dating and Mate Selection
Development and Change in Courtship, Dating, Hooking up, and Mate Selection  
A Bioecological Examination of Dating and Mate Selection  
Theories of Dating and Mate Selection  
Diversity in Dating and Mate Selection  
Contemporary Trends Around the World  
Chapter 6: Love
What Is Love?  
Is Love Universal?  
Biological Aspects of Love  
The Social Contexts of Love  
A Final Note: Enhancing the Quality of  
Chapter 7: Marriages and Committed Partnerships
Overview of Contemporary Marriage Trends  
Health Benefits of Happy Marriages  
A Historical Examination of Marriage  
Types of Marriage  
Marital Problems  
Healthy Processes in Marriages  
Chapter 8: Living Single
Overview of Singlehood  
Unique Challenges Facing Singles  
The Normative Life Cycle Model  
The Diverse Lives of Single People  
Macrosystem Forces Against Singlehood  
The Psychological and Physical Health of Single People  
Single through Commitment to God  
Final Reflections  
Chapter 9: Reproduction and Parenting
Overview: To Parent or Not to Parent  
Historical Trends in Parenting  
Reproduction and Birth  
The Transition to Parenthood  
Infertility and Innovative Ways to Become a Parent  
Parenting Infants and Children  
The Many Faces of Parenthood  
Community Development and the Macrosystem  
Chapter 10: The Economy of Working Families: Balancing Mental, Physical, and Financial Health in the Twenty-First Century
Overview of Economic Trends  
Diversity in Work and Family Life  
Balancing Work and Family  
Living on the Extremes of the Socioeconomic Continuum: Poverty and Wealth  
Chapter 11: Families in Crisis: Violence, Abuse, and Neglect
Overview: The Pervasive Nature of Violence  
Elder Abuse and Neglect  
Animal Abuse  
Intimate Partner Violence  
Child Maltreatment  
Chapter 12: Divorce and Remarriage
Overview: Trends in Divorce and Remarriage  
The Complexities of Divorce  
The Effects of Divorce  
Reducing the Negative Impact of Divorce  
Chapter 13: Growing Older in Families
Overview: Historical and Cultural Beliefs About Aging  
Multidimensional Changes with Age  
Family Life Across Generations  
Chapter 14: The Evolution of Families in the Twenty-First Century
Five Key Ideas for Understanding Marriages and Families  
General Trends in Multiculturalism  
Gender and Sexual Orientation in the Twenty-First Century  
An in-Depth Look at Immigration  
Final Reflections on the Future of Families  
About the Author


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    A customized online action plan that includes tips and feedback on student progress through the course and materials
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material
  • Chapter-specific study questions that allow students to engage with the material
  • Exclusive access to influential SAGE journal content that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
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Instructors: The following online resources accompany this text. For a brief demo, contact your sales representative today.

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  • Our content delivered directly into your LMS 
  • An intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort
  • Assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, and offer a more complete way to measure student engagement:
    • Diagnostic chapter pre tests and post tests identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives
    • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation
    • Activity and quiz options allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want 
    • Instructions show how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content
  • Assignable SAGE Premium Video available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks
    • Families Today videos are tied to learning objectives and bring concepts to life 
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options automatically feed to your gradebook
    • A comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the Coursepack for every video resource lists the chapter to which the video content is tied with matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions 
  • EXCLUSIVE, influential SAGE journal content, built into course materials and assessment tools, that ties important research and scholarship to chapter concepts to strengthen learning
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • Sample course syllabi with suggested models for structuring your course that give you options to customize your course in a way that is perfect for you
  • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for your students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources, including SAGE Premium Video 
  • All tables and figures from the textbook

“Howe does a superb job of keeping students reminded of the multiple influences on family and individual. Many textbooks are missing this organizational element.”

Alicia Drais-Parrillo
The Pennsylvania State University

“I like that the author blends history, anthropology, psychology, biology & sociology into one text.  It is how this topic must be addressed.” 

Andrea G. Weyermann
Georgia State University

“I like how the author is careful to address different ethnicities and types of couples (e.g., multi-racial; gay/lesbian; etc.), esp. vis-à-vis the standard North American family.”

Mo Therese Hannah
Siena College

“The author found ways to bring ‘the self’ into the discussion on relationships. Students really need to relate, and the author finds many ways to open that up for students.”

Carol Fealey
Farmingdale State College
Key features

  • Up-to-date coverage includes discussions of changing social policies affecting families, such as the legalization of same-sex marriage in the US and the long-term effects on family functioning of the economic downturn and the slow recovery from it.
  • Hundreds of new references from 2009 through 2016 span multiple disciplines and offer an increased focus on LGBT populations, families of color, and international families.
  • A completely updated final chapter focuses on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals and an analysis of the global impact of the refugee crisis.
  • An accompanying interactive eBook with SAGE Premium Video makes it easy for students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text.
  • SAGE coursepacksallows you to import our quality instructor and student resource content into your school’s learning management system (LMS).
  • Free SAGE edge online resources include a password-protected Instructor Teaching Site and open access Student Study Site with tools that make teaching and learning easier.

  • Recent research in neuroscience, medicine, and biopsychology examines how family relationships are shaped and influence individuals' biological functioning.
  • Focus on My Family boxes profile real families through personal essays about their diverse experiences.
  • How Would You Measure That? sections enhance students' critical thinking skills and their ability to analyze research designs and conclusions.
  • Building Your Strengths exercises help students analyze their own families' strengths and include psychometrically sound self-assessments.
  • Balanced coverage integrates contemporary real-world examples with important theory and research.


Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: The Changing American Family

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ISBN: 9781506340968