Exploring Family Theories

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-02-17
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Offering a diverse variety of perspectives, Exploring Family Theories, Third Edition, is a combined text/reader that integrates theory with research and applications. In each chapter, Suzanne R. Smith and Raeann R. Hamon present the history, scholarship, and critiques of one principal familytheory in a concise manner. Numerous examples and illustrations augment and clarify content, while application questions help students relate these theories to the real world. After each chapter, a follow-up journal article exemplifies how that particular theory is used to guide actual research.

Author Biography

Suzanne R. Smith is Associate Professor of Human Development at Washington State University Vancouver, where she serves as the Associate Chair and Program Director. Raeann R. Hamon is Distinguished Professor of Family Science and Gerontology and Chair of the Human Development and Family Science Department at Messiah College in Pennsylvania.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
About the Authorsp. viii
New to the Third Editionp. xi
Introductionp. 1
What is Theory?p. 1
Family Theoryp. 7
Text Organizationp. 8
Symbolic Interactionism Theoryp. 11
Historyp. 12
Basic Assumptionsp. 15
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 17
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 20
Critiquep. 24
Applicationp. 25
Sample Reading: Symbolic Interactionism in Grounded Theory Studies: Women Surviving with HIV/AIDS in Rural Northern Thailandp. 29
Structural Functionalism Theoryp. 42
Historyp. 42
Basic Assumptionsp. 44
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 46
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 48
Critiquep. 52
Applicationp. 54
Sample Reading: Who Now Reads Parsons and Bales?: Casting a Critical Eye on the "Gendered Styles of Caregiving" Literaturep. 57
Family Development Theoryp. 69
Historyp. 69
Basic Assumptionsp. 71
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 72
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 75
Critiquep. 87
Applicationp. 88
Sample Reading: Gender and the Work-Family Interface: Exploring Differences across the Family Life Coursep. 92
Family Stress Theoryp. 114
Historyp. 115
Basic Assumptionsp. 116
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 120
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 122
Critiquep. 126
Applicationp. 129
Sample Reading: Ambiguous Loss and the Family Grieving Processp. 133
Family Systems Theoryp. 145
Historyp. 145
Basic Assumptionsp. 146
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 152
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 156
Critiquep. 160
Applicationp. 161
Sample Reading: The Costs of Getting a head: Mexican Family System Changes after Immigrationp. 164
Human Ecological Theoryp. 185
Historyp. 185
Basic Assumptionsp. 188
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 189
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 192
Critiquep. 196
Applicationp. 197
Sample Reading: Revisiting the Virginia Tech Shootings: An Ecological Systems Analysisp. 201
Conflict Theoryp. 213
Historyp. 214
Basic Assumptionsp. 215
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 219
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 222
Critiquep. 227
Applicationp. 227
Sample Reading: Power and Conflict Resolution in Sibling, Parent-Child, and Spousal Negotiationsp. 231
Social Exchange Theoryp. 249
Historyp. 249
Basic Assumptionsp. 251
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 252
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 255
Critiquep. 263
Applicationp. 264
Sample Reading: Sexual Frequency and the Stability of Marital and Cohabiting Unionsp. 268
Feminist Family Theoryp. 291
Historyp. 291
Basic Assumptionsp. 294
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 298
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 300
Critiquep. 304
Applicationp. 305
Sample Reading: Lesbian Mothers' Constructions of the Division of Paid and Unpaid Laborp. 309
Biosocial Theoryp. 328
Historyp. 329
Basic Assumptionsp. 330
Primary Terms and Conceptsp. 332
Common Areas of Research and Applicationp. 333
Critiquep. 337
Applicationp. 338
Sample Reading: Toward a Biosocial Theory of Offender Rehabilitation: Why Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Work?p. 341
Epiloguep. 373
Indexp. 381
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