Return to Book List

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce -- The 25 Year Landmark Study
by Judith S. Wallerstein, Julia M. Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee © 2000
(Hyperion: New York, NY) [351 pages].
[Answer 18 of 25 questions correctly to receive 22 hours of Continuing Education credit]

 

Chapter One: When a Child Becomes a Caregiver (p. 3-13)
1. When a child of divorced parents forfeits her childhood and adolescence to take on responsibilities for a parent,
a. her capacity to enjoy life and develop close friendships is sacrificed.
b. attending to her own needs and wishes makes her feel guilty and undeserving.
c. she often feels it’s her duty to keep her parent alive. Thus, she is not free to leave home emotionally or to follow her heart in love or marriage.
d. all of the above.

Chapter Two: Sunlit Memories (p. 14-25)
2. When asked to recall childhood memories, a child of divorced parents is likely to mention
a. playing with childhood friends.
b. eating supper together.
c. family vacations.
d. none of the above.

Chapter Three: Growing Up is Harder (p 26-38)
3. In this study, 7 of the original 131 children experienced
a. multiple divorces and remarriages of one or both of their parents.
b. stable second marriages of their parents in which they had good relationships with a stepparent and stepsiblings on both sides of the family.
c. rescuing a parent from the emotional fallout of a divorce.
d. growing up and picking a mate who is irresponsible but who would never leave them.

Chapter Four: What If They’d Stayed Together -- and What If They Can’t? (p. 39-51)
4. When Gary asked his father if he was going to divorce his mother, his father’s answer did NOT include
a. an admission of sadness.
b. a determination to stay married.
c. criticism of his mother.
d. a love for his children.

5. Every parent who is considering divorce should ask the question
a. Are the children doing well in spite of my unhappiness?
b. Is there still a chance that my spouse will change?
c. How well have I focused on the good qualities of my spouse?
d. Can I truly visualize divorce as offering a better life for my children?

Chapter Five: When There’s No One to Set an Example (p.52-70)
6. Two out of three adults in this long-term study of children of divorce decided not to have children of their own. They cited their parents’ divorce as the main reason. They said, “How can I be a parent? Look at the upbringing I had.” However, one-third DID go on to have children. They drew a different conclusion from their parents’ divorce. They said
a. “The past is in the past. I can have children because I am no longer afraid.”
b. “No child of mine is going to experience what I went through.”
c. “I can have children because I am not afraid of marital conflict anymore.”
d. “I can continue to be a caregiver to my parent and raise my own children at the same time.”

Chapter Six: Setting an Example (p. 71-83)
7. Adults from intact families have the following advantages over those raised in divorced families:
a. more self-confidence in choosing a spouse, a sense of continuity with their original family, and a realistic view that marriages change over time.
b. more self-confidence in handling finances, managing a household budget, and controlling their spending.
c. more self-confidence in pursuing higher education even after starting a family.
d. more self-confidence in the workplace and an ability to excel at their careers and make a better living.

Chapter Seven: The Wages of Violence (p. 87-105)
8. Eighty-percent of divorces occur by the ninth year of marriage. From the child’s viewpoint, their parents’ divorce is
a. a remedy for their parents’ unhappy relationship.
b. a logical way to stop destructive behaviors such as alcoholism and physical abuse.
c. the root cause of the trouble that follows, not a solution to a bad marriage.
d. a welcome relief from years of screaming, yelling, and fighting.

9. Which did NOT characterize the marriage of Carol’s parents?
a. daily consumption of alcohol.
b. taking pleasure in conflict.
c. child abuse.
d. one of the parents wanting a divorce.

Chapter Eight: Our Failure to Intervene (p. 106-120)
10. Children who witness their father beating their mother will
a. blame themselves for their father’s violence and for their failure to protect their mother.
b. still try to keep the family together.
c. often form alliances with one parent against the other.
d. all of the above.

Chapter Nine: Order Out of Chaos (p 111-130)
11. Children from both chaotic marriages and chaotic divorces enter adulthood with low self-esteem, a hunger for love and human closeness, and badly skewed views of man-woman relationships. Women who are exposed to the sexual acting out of their parents tend to become promiscuous. The men turn to drugs and alcohol. However, six of the men and women from this study group turned their lives around when they
a. obtained six months or more of therapy.
b. found a mentor.
c. joined a mainstream church.
d. cut off all communication with their parents.

Chapter Ten: Family Ties (p. 131-145)
12. A strange phenomenon is a man who is a good, loyal, decent father to the children born in his second marriage or to stepchildren from the remarriage, but who a few years earlier deserted his children in his first marriage. What best explains how he could behave so differently?
a. He was bitter about having to pay child support.
b. He couldn’t tolerate maintaining ties with his ex-wife.
c. He finally grew up.
d. He wasn’t ready to be a father in his first marriage.

Chapter Eleven: Undoing the Past (p. 146-156)
13. Although Larry eventually married Grace, “a bright, caring and sweet woman” who brought “love and laughter” into his life, he had difficulty with
a. showing her enough affection and even telling her he loved her.
b. resisting the urge to drink.
c. pursuing other women.
d. maintaining a steady job.

Chapter Twelve: Growing Up Lonely (p. 159-173)
14. Which is NOT true?
a. As a group, divorced mothers earn much less than divorced fathers.
b. Paid child support sufficiently covers the cost of raising a child.
c. Women and children who were in the upper economic group prior to divorce suffer a severe decline in income afterwards.
d. The biggest loss for every young child of divorce is the loss of his or her mother, whose full-time job often makes her exhausted and unavailable to her children.

Chapter Thirteen: Court-Ordered Visiting, the Child’s View (p. 174-185)
15. When they reached adulthood, all of the children in this study who had been court-ordered or mediated to visit a parent on a schedule that remained rigidly fixed and unmodified
a. were glad they continued to see their visitation parent.
b. were angry at one or both parents.
c. rejected the parent whom they were forced to visit when they got older.
d. b. and c.

Chapter Fourteen: Sex and Drugs (p. 186-194)
16. Toward the end of this chapter, the author notes that “there were a few women from divorced families who married early and went on to establish happy, lasting marriages.” This is in contrast to the many women from divorced families whose marriages were doomed from
the start because they chose bad husbands, had low expectations of marriage, and thought divorce would be no big deal. What made the difference in the first group?

a. The first group experimented with drugs and alcohol far less than the second group.
b. The first group experimented with sex far less than the second group.
c. The first group came from a higher income and educational level than the second group.
d. The first group received some attention from fathers or stepfathers, making them feel cherished and valued. This helped raise the woman’s expectations of themselves and the men in their lives.

Chapter Fifteen: Evolving Relationships (p. 195-203)
17. In this study, mothers and daughters who had been estranged by a divorce grew closer together when the daughters
a. went back to college.
b. moved in with their mothers.
c. had a baby.
d. made a statement of forgiveness.

Chapter Sixteen: The Custody Saga Continues (p 204-222)
18. According to the author, which is TRUE about mediation?
a. It promotes conflict between the divorced parents.
b. It ignores the child’s needs and desires.
c. Mediators are not well-trained in law or mental health.
d. Mediators are well-trained in child development, especially very young children.

19. Children of divorce who grow up and become divorced themselves
a. make better custody arrangements for their children than they had when they were young.
b. pay much more attention to their children’s questions and concerns than their own parents did.
c. give their children a better quality of life than they had after divorce.
d. make the same mistakes with their children as their parents did with them.

Chapter Eighteen: The Stepfamily (p. 236-253)
20. The author says that the step-father-child relationship is actually composed of four voices: the new husband, the child, the mother, and the biological father. The author advises
a. the step-father to leave the discipline primarily to the mother during the early years of remarriage.
b. the mother to serve as intermediary between her new husband and child, encouraging them to cooperate.
c. the biological father to support the child’s relationship with the step-father.
d. all of the above.

21. Which is TRUE?
a. Children raised in single-parent families have fewer problems than children raised in remarried families.
b. Children raised in remarried families have fewer problems than children raised in single-parent families.
c. There are no significant differences between the psychological and learning problems of children raised in single-parent families and children raised in remarried families.

22. A little less than 30 percent of the youngsters from divorced families received full or consistent, partial support for college compared with almost 90 percent of youngsters from intact families. What explains why fathers from divorced families pay far less for their children’s college education?
a. Divorce weakens the father’s sense of love and allegiance to his child. He feels less obligated to a child he sees at scheduled intervals than one he lives with.
b. Fathers from divorced families place less value on a college education.
c. Fathers from divorced families don’t have the money for their children’s college education.
d. Fathers from divorced families couldn’t agree with their ex-spouse (the child’s mother) on a college payment plan.

Chapter Nineteen: Picking Up the Pieces, One by One (p. 254-266)
23. For the men in this study who grew up in a divorced family, got married, and then divorced, in every case except one, the women left suddenly in anger and the men were stunned and had no idea why their wives had deserted them. The author said the wives left because their husbands did not listen to their ongoing complaints. The author believes the husbands did not listen to their wives because
a. the husbands were unhappy in their marriages and had low motivation to listen.
b. the husbands had learned in childhood that feelings are painful and it’s safer to shut down feelings and not respond to their own or to others.
c. the husbands had a drinking problem which usually led to either violence or neglect.
d. the husbands were secretly engaged in adultery which greatly diminished their interest in listening to their wives.

Chapter Twenty-One: Children of Divorce (p. 282-293)
24. In discussing Lisa’s situation, the author says that “children make moral judgments about their parents. They want and need virtuous parents.” Lisa told the author “It’s not enough that my father loves me. I need to respect him.” Years after her parents divorced, what unanswered question did Lisa still have about her father?
a. Does my dad still love my mother?
b. Did my dad have an affair while he was still married to my mom?
c. Why didn’t my dad help pay for my college?
d. Has my dad become a better person since the divorce?

Chapter Twenty-Two: Conclusions (p. 294-316)
25. After most divorces,
a. both members of the former couple feel better.
b. both members of the former couple feel miserable.
c. one member feels much better while the other feels no better or even worse.