Surviving the Breakup
How Children & Parents Cope with Divorce

by Judith S. Wallerstein and Joan B. Kelly

This is the first book in a series that the author conducts on a group of families of divorce over the period of a number of years. It has been one of the recent pioneering studies of the effect of divorce on children.

The sample is basically of middle class, white families who have separated and that have generally sole maternal custody. There is initially no children living with their father full time. Certainly the authors implicitly figure that this is the way things are supposed to be, and are quite negative when later this changes somewhat. The authors also implicitly assume that all access lapses are strictly due to men, although they identify as well what came to be called "parental alienation" in some of the mothers.

However, the study does show how important the fathers are to the lives of their children. If read it closely and through the authors presumption of female custody, the book actually tells you that children with thrive after divorce only with on-going contact and input from both parents are all stages of life. It more explicitly states that the children themselves feel that they would be happier and better adjusted if their parents stayed together in spite of their differences, rather than getting divorced.

This book is well worth reading.