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Family Life Now

Family Life Now

Third Edition
Additional resources:

Other Titles in:
Marriage and Family

January 2021 | 696 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Written with a down-to-earth and student-focused approachFamily Life Now, 3rd edition,delivers a comprehensive examination of interaction among family members and intimate partners. With an emphasis on today’s diverse and complex individual, family, and the evolving impact of societal issues, this text engages students through a balanced, integrated approach of the human development and family science disciplines.

Author Kelly Welch uses a first-person narrative style of writing to engage readers, encourage them draw upon their own background and experiences to understand theories and concepts, and to paint a realistic view of families and intimate relationships. 

This text lays the foundation to understanding relationships better, applying research and theory, and promotes the ways in which those considering a helping profession career (such as social worker, therapist, psychologist, teacher, early childhood, childcare provider, or healthcare provider) can employ strengths-oriented, best practices to create and deliver effective, quality couple and family life education.

Chapter 1: Family Life Now
What Is Marriage?

What Is Family?

Contemporary Families

Families in Cultural Contexts

Family Life Education: The Study of Families Through A Family Lens

Family Life Education: Strengthening Families


Key terms

Chapter 2: Understanding Families Through Research and Theory
Understanding Families Through Research

Becoming a Consumer of the Literature

Understanding Families Through Theory

Family Interactions and You

Family Life Education: Creating, Implementing, and Evaluating Effective Family Programming


Chapter 3: Family Communication, Conflict, and Forgiveness
The Communication Process

Communication Between Men and Women

Types of Communication

Cornerstones of Communication

Conflict in Relationships

The Role of Forgiveness in Family and Intimate Relationships

Family Life Education: Forging Family Strengths


Key terms

Chapter 4: Gender in Today’s Society
It Matters: The Biology of Gender

It Matters: The Culture of Gender

Gender Polarization: Complementary Opposites—Or Inequality?

The Theories of Gender Development

It Matters: The Agents of Socialization

It Matters: Gender and Contemporary Issues

Family Life Education: Practicing With Sensitivity and Respecting Diversity


Key terms

Chapter 5: Intimacy: Developing and Experiencing Affectionate Bonds
Intimacy: Do We Have a Need to Relate to Others?

What Do Intimate Relationships Look Like?

The Psychosocial Development of Children

Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Psychosocial Development

Obstacles to Intimacy

Family Life Education: Valuing Diverse Couple Experiences


Key terms

Chapter 6: Love and Loving
Love Is a Cultural and Historical Experience

What Is Love, Actually?

Companionate Love: Experiencing Love as a Commitment

Developing Love

Theories of Love and Loving

Family Life Education: Relating to Others With Respect, Sincerity, and Responsibility


Key terms

Chapter 7: The Path to Commitment: Attraction, Dating, Partnering, and Cohabitation
“Frisky Business”: Interpersonal Attraction Theories

The Path to Commitment

Relationship Development

Nonmarital Cohabitation: Living Together

Family Life Education: Using Reinforcing Strategies to Aid Couple Formation and Maintenance


Key terms

Chapter 8: Singlehood, Coupling, and Marriage
Being Single

The Act of Marriage

The Transition to Marriage: Why It’s So Tough

Satisfying Marriages

Family Life Education: Identifying Social and Cultural Influences Affecting the Marital Experience


Key terms

Chapter 9: You, Sex, and Sexuality
Learning Sexuality: Cultural Contributions

Our Sexual Selves

Sexually Transmitted Infections

Relationships and Sex

Cheating: Sex Outside the Relationship

Experiencing Sexual Difficulties

Family Life Education: Advancing Healthy Sexual Well-Being From a Value-Respectful Position


Key terms

Chapter 10: Becoming Parents: Choices and Challenges
Childbearing Trends: Who’s Having Babies?

Having Children: Now, Later, or Never?

Being Pregnant and Giving Birth

Unexpected Outcomes

Adoption: By Circumstance or Choice

Contraception and Abortion

Family Life Education: Fostering Healthy Family Formation


Key terms

Chapter 11: Parenting Life Now
Change Over Time: Parenting Is a Process

From Partners to Parents: Making the Transition

Today’s Parents

Parenting 101: Best Practices for Parenting

Family Life Education: Guiding and Influencing a Child’s Development


Key terms

Chapter 12: Family Life and Work: A Balancing Act
Working Families: The Transformation of American Homes

A Portrait of Contemporary Dual-Earner Couples

Couples and Work: Just Trying to Make Ends Meet

The Balancing Act: Juggling Family Life and Work

Policies for Working Families

Marriage and Money

Family Life Education: Understanding and Assisting Families’ Decisions


Key terms

Chapter 13: Uncoupling: Relationship Deterioration and Divorce

Emotionally Ending the Marriage/Couple

Legally Ending the Marriage: The Formal Divorce

Avoiding Divorce: Getting a Marriage Back on Track

Family Life Education: Educating and Assisting Families Through Transition and Change


Key terms

Chapter 14: Rebuilding: Family Life Following Couple Dissolution and Divorce
The Aftermath of Divorce: Transitions

How Divorce Affects Children and Adolescents

Challenges for Single Parents

Transitions to Repartnering

Family Life Education: Protecting Children’s and Adults’ Well-Being


Key terms

Chapter 15: Family Change: Stress, Crisis, and Transition
Family Change

Family Crisis

Family Coping and Resilience

The Crisis of Family Violence

Family Life Education: Providing Knowledge and Skills


Key terms

Chapter 16: Family Life and Aging
Aging and the Aged

Marriage Experiences Through Aging

Intergenerational Ties

Family Changes Toward the End of Life

Dying and Death Experiences

Family Life Education: Removing Barriers and Assisting in Transitions


Key terms



Student Study Site
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for students enhances learning, is easy to use, and offers:    

  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime     
  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts       
Instructor Resources

Instructors: SAGE coursepacks and SAGE edge online resources are included FREE with this text. For a brief demo, contact your sales representative today.  

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With SAGE coursepacks, you get: 

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  • lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions;
  • and writing activities that prompt students to reflect on their own experiences and how they relate to the material discussed in the chapter. 

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