American Families in Crisis

A Reference Handbook

by Jeffrey S. Turner


"Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Tolstoy's famous line rings true for families in crisis and those who work to alleviate their problems. With traditional issues such as divorce, addiction, and money problems being compounded by a host of new problems, this work is only becoming more difficult.

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Cover image for American Families in Crisis

March 2009


Pages 307
Volumes 1
Size 6x9
Topics Current Events and Issues/Society

An authoritative reference that helps general readers understand the varieties of crises impacting modern-day families and the intervention techniques designed to resolve them.

An urgent, authoritative resource, American Families in Crisis spans the full spectrum of events and conditions that endanger families, offering the latest research and insights while evaluating current strategies and techniques for dealing with challenging family behaviors.

The handbook begins by analyzing the history of family crises in the United States, then looks at how to identify, prevent, and respond to specific problems—everything from marital strife, teen runaways, and unemployment to school shootings, natural disasters, problems created by the Internet, and extended military deployment. The coverage is backed by hundreds of current key reference sources, plus chapters on notable contributors to the field, important data and documents, and resources for further information.


  • The chronology highlights important moments in the study of family crises over the past 100 years, including statistics related to the topics presented in earlier chapters, notable achievements in family studies research, the formation of professional associations and organizations, births and deaths of notable scholars, and much more
  • The Data and Documents chapter uses clear graphics to provide accurate and meaningful information, helping the reader to better understand the complexities of family stress and crisis


  • Provides current research, giving readers clear insight into the problems and challenges confronting modern-day families
  • Written by an expert in the field who communicates essential theoretical research and statistical content in easy-to-grasp everyday language
  • Addresses issues not covered in other books, including school shootings, natural disasters, and deployed military families
Series Description

Contemporary World Issues

This award-winning series offers comprehensive, one-volume reference handbooks on important topics related to health, education, the environment, and social and ethical issues.

24-hour cable news. Millions of Internet sites. Information overload. How can we sort through the information? Assess the analyses? Trust the sources?

A world of questions demands a library of answers. Contemporary World Issues covers the controversial topics that students, readers, and citizens want to read about, write about, and know more about.


  • Subject coverage spans six main categories:
  • Each volume offers a rich array of resources:
  • A background and history essay that provides essential context and grounding for further study
  • A balanced summary of ongoing controversies and proposed solutions that show numerous paths for further research on pressing, contemporary questions
  • A forum of authoritative perspective essays by experts, offering a broad spectrum of arguments on the issues
  • Carefully selected annotated documents, tables, and graphs that supports statistical literacy and investigation of primary sources
  • A chronology of events, legislation, and movements that place events in sequence and draw connections between them
  • Annotated lists of print, Web, and multimedia resources that power the next steps for in-depth research
  • Profiles of key players and organizations
  • A glossary of key terms
Author Info

Jeffrey S. Turner is a professor in the Human Development and Family Studies Department at Mitchell College, New London, CT. His published works include ABC-CLIO's Dating and Sexuality in America and Families in America.



"It would be appropriate for high school students, undergraduates, and the general public. The entries are well written, clear, and interesting."ARBA

"For high school and college students, scholars, and general readers, Turner (human development and family studies, Mitchell College) offers a guide to specific family crises affecting Americans in the present day, and how they can be identified, prevented, and responded to, with emphasis on their influence on children and how one family member can impact others. The guide focuses on 12 key problems: addiction, adolescent runaways, unemployment, infidelity, divorce, chronic illness and disease, caring for aging family members, domestic violence, school violence, natural disasters, deployed military families, and adolescent suicide. Biographical sketches of seminal figures are included, as are related statistics and documents, a list of organizations, and an annotated bibliography of print and electronic resources, including videos.' "Reference & Research Book News

"[Turner] provides students and families with an excellent starting point for research on many important domestic problems. His guide is recommended for both public and academic libraries."Lawrence Looks at Books

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