"For Better or For Worse: Divorce Reconsidered," by E. Mavis Hetherington and John Kelly (Norton, 307 pp., $26.95
Mavis Hetherington is one of the nation's most respected research psychologists. Her new book (with writer John Kelly) has been marketed as a rebuttal to divorce critics, who -- she believes -- have overestimated the negative effects of divorce and downplayed its benefits.
All the headlines have gone to Hetherington's bottom line: The majority of children of divorce, she reassures worried parents, are functioning in the normal range 20 years later: "Most were successfully going about the chief tasks of young adulthood: establishing careers, creating intimate relationships, building meaningful lives."
But E. Mavis Hetherington is too good a scholar to have 20 years of research summed up in sound bites. This book is a report for lay readers on three different -- and important -- long-running studies designed to assess the effects of divorce. The studies ultimately involved 1,400 families; in other words, when it comes to the case against the case against divorce, this is as good as it gets.
For the complete article go to the National Review Online website.