SAGE Journal Articles
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Crippen, C., & Brew, L. (2007). Intercultural parenting and the transcultural family: A literature review. The Family Journal, 15, 107-115.
There has been a significant increase in the number of intercultural marriages over the last several decades. The bringing together of two different cultures can lead to many different hurdles for couples from determining where to live to which religion to raise their children. The birth of a first child is considered to be one of the most stressful times in a marriage. This stress can be exacerbated when there are different cultural expectations for parenting styles, the role of extended family, or communication styles with children. How parents cope with these challenges can have a profound impact on both the quality of their marriage, but also on how their child feels as though they fit in with the two different cultures. One method for helping to ease this transition is to develop new traditions within the family that combine aspects of the two different cultures or are entirely new. The authors provide suggestions for counseling intercultural couples and helping them navigate these challenges.
- How might intercultural couples prevent some of the problems described here from occurring before they even get married or decide to have children? Should these couples be encouraged to seek counseling before they get married?
- Although there can be difficulties, what are some benefits for the children of intercultural marriages?
- Why do you think there has been such a dramatic increase in the number of intercultural marriages over the last several decades?
Lansford, J. E. (2009). Parental divorce and children’s adjustment. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 4, 140-152.
This literature review summarizes the findings regarding how children adjust to their parents’ divorce. Not surprisingly, the results for almost all of the areas evaluated are mixed with some studies finding differences between children whose parents divorced and those who did not. The review suggests there are both immediate and long-term consequences for divorce ranging from academic difficulties to how grown children approach their own marriages. Several moderators, including age at the time of divorce, race, gender, and adjustment before the divorce are described.
- Based on the research described, should parents stay together for ‘the sake of the children’?
- How likely do you think it is that the research described in this review will influence policies for divorce, child custody, and child support? Why?
- What are some outside factors that might help determine how children cope with their parents’ divorce? Do you think this would depend on the age of the child? What type of programs might schools use to help children with this difficult situation?