The godmother of the backlash against divorce curls in a couch before a window overlooking San Francisco Bay. "I don't know whether the right word is backlash, she admonishes. "That implies that there's no logic to it. I hope what we're talking about is something more rational." But, yes, Judith Wallerstein allows, "I'm glad people are concerned now."

Wallerstein, 73, was concerned before it was fashionable. In 1970, while at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California,Berkeley, she began a study of 131 children whose parents were divorcing. In the mid-'70s, when popular and academic wisdom held that...

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