Recent studies have shown that as many as a third of all school children show some signs of school dysfunction, and an increasing body of evidence strongly indicates that aspects of family life are basic determinants of children's school adjustment. In ""Contemporary Families: A Handbook for School Professionals"", 21 contributors examine the changing nature of American families, discuss the relationship of home life to school and the critical role of familial experiences, and develop and recommend interventions. In Part 1, family configurations are discussed - dual wage, single-parent, and step-families. Such families have become far more prevalent in recent years, and are more vulnerable to other social strains. The authors of Part II examine the dimension of ethnic and cultural diversity. Hispanic, African-American, and Korean families are considered, the ways in which cultural behaviours influence school-related behaviours, the effects of language socialisation and discrimination. Parts III and IV examine families facing the highly stressful situations of poverty, death and divorce, and the long-term stressors of learning disability, chronic illness and psychological disturbances in both children and parents. Part V is devoted to varying personal and social resources among families. ""Contemporary Families"" attempts to provide a theoretical framework from which school professionals can develop an understanding of each child's unique family circumstances on school adaptation, and from there begin to take remedial steps. Truancy, drug and alcohol abuse, fighting, illiteracy, school phobia, low academic performance, dropping out - ""Contemporary Families"" aims to show how preventive efforts directed toward the family can stem these maladaptions before they reach critical levels in children.