June 1980

The Divorced Family

Author Affiliations

Wilson Health Center 800 Carter St Rochester, NY 14621


by Francine Spilke, 80, 82, and 32 pp, $6.95 each, New York, Crown Publishers Inc, 1979.

Am J Dis Child. 1980;134(6):626. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1980.02130180082030

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Current statistics are sobering: approximately 40% of marriages end in divorce. Five years after a divorce, 37% of children display severe psychiatric symptoms. The commonplace nature of divorce, its acceptance in everyday life, and its frequent treatment by television programs and popular movies have not diminished the need of parents and children for specific advice in coping with the stress associated with family disruption.

Francine Spilke, a discussion leader for groups of divorced parents and children, has written a set of three short books, the stated purpose of which is to "try to prevent children from becoming victims of their parents' divorce." The set is composed of a storybook for preschoolers, a book intended for older children and adolescents, and a parents' manual.

The storybook is entitled The Family That Changed, and violates Ms Spilke's own recommendation to avoid overloading the child with too much information at one sitting.