Divergent Realities: The Emotional Lives of Mothers, Fathers, and Adolescents

Reed E. Larson, Author, Maryse H. Richards, With
Reed E. Larson, Author, Maryse H. Richards, With Basic Books $26 (333p) ISBN 978-0-465-01662-4
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
This report's empirical treatment of family dynamics is the result of an innovative research procedure called ESM (experience sampling method). The authors examine the lives of 55 middle-class, two-parent, European-American families in the Chicago area by gathering family members' ongoing accounts of their daily experiences. Through subjects' responses to periodic contact made with them via beeper devises, the authors trace the effects of unchecked emotions from one family member to another; at intervals the authors intervene with helpful suggestions on how families might surmount emotional hazards. Making the family a cohesive unit in contemporary society, the authors emphasize, takes effort, and there is no single way to do it successfully. This is a significant scholarly contribution to the understanding of family relationships. Larson chairs Family Studies at the University of Illinois, Richards teaches psychology at Loyola University. Illustrations not seen by PW. (June)