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Publisher: Harper SanFrancisco / HarperCollins
Release Date: April 1, 2004
ISBN: 0060545321
Format Reviewed: ARC
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Genre: Nonfiction / Family
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Lynda E. Lukow
Reviewer Notes:  

100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families
What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It
By David Niven, Ph.D.

      Do you envy the closeness Ozzie and Harriet shared with their offspring? Do you sometimes wish you could trade your children in for the Brady kids? Everybody loves Raymond's family-even in its dysfunctional imperfection, right? So what do they know that you don't?

      If interpreting the intellectual vernacular buried in obscure journals isn't your style, The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families may hold your answers. Dr. David Niven has compiled the most recent data from myriad scientific studies on various aspects of family life into one easy-to-read handbook. Each entry, such as getting along with in-laws, accepting individuality, and adapting to change begins with an observation, which is followed by advice and an account of a family that follows the recommended counsel. After each short story, Dr. Niven includes the conclusion and authors of the pertaining studies if readers should want to delve deeper into the sources.

     Though not meant to be read from cover to cover, The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy Families is a wonderful resource for understanding the complexities of family ties and improving relationships. The index makes it easy to find the entry that deals with each specific circumstance. The next time your children roll their eyes while listening to family history, take heart; studies show connecting with the past helps increase your children's concern for others, and it increases their adult happiness quotient by five percent.