As the world heads into the twenty-first century, individuals and their families are being confronted with a more diverse array of possible life experiences than has ever existed before. Changes in longevity, marriage, fertility, employment, and many other areas have created new opportunities for individual and family choice and variability in life course experiences. American Families and the Future discusses a variety of issues that face and will continue to families in coming years and describes various strategies families can use in their decisionmaking processes.This enlightening book is divided into five main sections: Demographic Issues; Social and Economic Issues; Technological Issues; Family Process in Shaping the Future; and Family Vision in Creating the Future. Individual chapters view family problem solving from a variety of perspectives and disciplines.American Families and the Future:

  • describes recent demographic trends and considers their implications for how individuals and their families plan and prepare for their later adult life
  • reviews health care issues and concerns for the elderly and addresses strategies for self-health promotion and illness prevention
  • provides examples illustrating the uses and abuses of data to promote partisan views and agendas
  • outlines a conceptual framework that can be uses to understand problem solving and decisionmaking by individuals and family groups
  • presents a model that explores family decisionmaking, focusing on the conditions under which decisions are made
  • presents findings from a study of early adolescents’perceptions of their role in family decisionmaking

    The book closes with an upbeat discussion of possible solutions to current pathologies affecting human societies and cultures. Professionals who work with families will find this book an enlightening and encouraging guide for helping families cope with the myriad issues and choices they face in planning for their futures.

Contents Expanding Choice in Long Term Planning for Family Futures
  • I. Demographic Issues
  • Recent Demographic Change: Implications for Families Planning for the Future
  • II. Social and Economic Issues
  • Present and Future Health Care for an Aging Society: A Proactive Self-Health Approach
  • Intergenerational Issues in Long Term Planning
  • Social Programs for Families in Poverty: Past Impacts and Future Prospects
  • III. Technological Issues
  • Issues of Technology’s Possible Futures
  • Technological Change, Sexuality, and Family Futures Planning
  • IV. Family Process in Shaping the Future
  • Theoretical Issues in Researching Problem Solving in Families
  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making as Central Processes of Family Life: An Ecological Framework for Family Relations and Family Resource Management
  • Rethinking Family Decision Making: A Family Decision Making Model Under Constraints on Time and Information
  • Adolescents’ Contributions to Family Decision Making
  •  V. Family Vision in Creating the Future
  •  Family Futures: Possibilities, Preferences and Probabilities
  • The Family Peace Connection: Implications for Constructing the Reality of the Future
  • The Heart of the Story: Mythology in Service of the Past, Contemporary, and Future Family
  • VI. Epilogue
  • Families in Time to Come:Taking a Position on Trends and Issues
  • Reference Notes Included