Exceptionally comprehensive, innately interesting, and extremely readable, this best-seller introduces readers to the study of contemporary marriages and families in ways to which they can easily relate. It examines the diversity of American families–giving equal attention to all racial, ethnic, and other societal groups–and examines not only the choices, but the constraints that often limit our family-related choices today. This open-minded approach, combined with a set of practical guidelines presented in each chapter, encourages learners to think and act for themselves–and thereby join the effort to resolve some of the crucial issues confronting 21st century families. A six-part organization places marriage and the family in perspective, looks at the individual and developing relationships, as well as the individual and marital commitments, considers parents and children, explores conflicts and crises, and offers an understanding of changes and transitions. For those interested in a complete and current study of marital and family relationships in America.