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The Family Dynamic: Canadian Perspectives, 7th Edition

By Margaret Ward, Marc Belanger
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Soft Cover
ISBN-10: 0176700005
ISBN-13: 9780176700003
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 7th

The Family Dynamic: Canadian Perspectives provides a comprehensive, down-to-earth, overview of the constellations of family forms in Canada in the twenty-first century. It broadens students’ understanding of the pluralism of family forms in Canada by including lived experiences in the form of first-person narratives at the beginning of every chapter and real case studies at the end of each chapter--helping future human service workers, social workers, early childhood educators, child and youth care workers, and sociologists understand the wide range of family issues with which they will come into contact. Uniquely, this text paints a vivid picture of family life in this moment in time through comprehensible, straightforward, conversational language that captures students’ imaginations as they explore family forms beyond their own.


  • Each chapter opens with a vignette followed by "Where Do I Fit In?" questions. These reflection questions encourage students to connect with the story, characters, or situations discussed within the vignette.
  • Class and Personal Assignments are included in the end-of-chapter material--presenting opportunity for students to apply chapter concepts to their own lives.
  • To encourage critical reading, the learning objectives have been reworded as questions and are tied to the chapter summaries.

Table of Contents

  • Part One: The Family
  • Chapter 1: What Is a Family?
  • Chapter 2: History, Culture, and Canadian Families
  • Part Two: The Couple Relationship: Merging Differences
  • Chapter 3: Getting Together
  • Chapter 4: Wedding Bells ? or Not
  • Part Three: The Expanding Family
  • Chapter 5: Children?Yes or No?
  • Chapter 6: Bringing Up Baby
  • Part Four: The Middle Years of the Family
  • Chapter 7: The Middle Years of the Family and the Not-So-Empty Nest
  • Chapter 8: Grey Power and the Sunset Years
  • Part Five: Changes in the Family
  • Chapter 9: The Lone-Parent Family?The Future Majority?
  • Chapter 10: Coming Apart?The Divorce Experience
  • Chapter 11: The Second Time Around
  • Chapter 12: The Family, Work, and Caregiving
  • Part Six: Problems in the Family
  • Chapter 13: The Family Beleaguered?When Problems Come
  • Chapter 14: Home Dangerous Home?Violence in the Family
  • Chapter 15: Poverty and the Family
  • Part Seven: The Future of Canadian Families
  • Chapter 16: The Crystal Ball?Predicting the Future of the Family

Author Information

Marc Belanger

Marc Bélanger is currently a Sociology instructor at Vanier College. He completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees at McGill University and has previously taught at the American International School in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. To the Family Dynamic: A Canadian Perspective, Marc brings a deep understanding of family life in Quebec.

Margaret Ward

Margaret Ward, PhD, CFLE, has studied human development from conception to death, with an emphasis on family life. Before her retirement, she taught at Cambrian College, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. Her particular interest is in adoption, especially adoptions of older children and the impact they have on the life of the adoptive family. She has made a number of presentations at conferences and has had numerous articles on adoption published. Margaret's blog can be linked to at