Article

Postdivorce living arrangements, parent conflict, and long-term physical health correlates for children of divorce

Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, United States
Journal of Family Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.89). 07/2007; 21(2):195-205. DOI: 10.1037/0893-3200.21.2.195
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The authors tested a biopsychosocial model in which young adults' long-term relationships with fathers and ongoing distress surrounding their parents' divorces mediated the relationship between disrupted parenting (i.e., exposure to parent conflict before the divorce and up to 5 years after, and amount of time with father postdivorce) and indicators of their physical health. University students whose parents divorced before they were 16 (n = 266) participated. Findings supported the model. The more time children lived with their fathers after divorce, the better their current relationships were with their fathers, independent of parent conflict. The more parent conflict they experienced, the worse their relationships were with their fathers and the more distress they currently felt about their parents' divorce, independent of time with father. Poor father-child relationships and more distress in turn predicted poorer health status. There was no interaction between exposure to parent conflict and time with father; thus, more time with father was beneficial in both high- and low-conflict families, and more exposure to parent conflict was detrimental at both high and low levels of time with father.

3 Followers
 · 
464 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Family transitions, such as stepfamily formation, can be a source of stress for adults and children. Yet, the stepfamily literature lacks a focus on factors that influence child stress levels while transitioning to stepfamily life. Using a social support perspective, the purpose of this study was to assess the independent and additive influence of closeness with three common parental figures on retrospective reports of stress experienced by children during stepfamily formation. A sample of 1139 emerging adults from a retrospective, US-based national quota sample, the Stepfamily Experiences Project, was analysed. Results indicated that parental relationships have independent, not combined, effects on stress. More specifically, we found that greater closeness with resident stepparents and resident biological parents was associated with less stress in children, whereas greater closeness with non-resident biological parents was associated with slightly greater levels of stress. These findings reflect (i) the primacy of residential relationships in children's stress reduction; (ii) the benefit of parental relationships to children as sources of social support during stressful family transitions; and (iii) the potential for children to experience stressful loyalty binds during stepfamily formation. Implications for social work practice, limitations and future directions for research are discussed.
    Child & Family Social Work 06/2015; DOI:10.1111/cfs.12237 · 0.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mental health in Swedish children living in joint physical custody and their parents' life satisfaction: A cross-sectional study. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. This study compared the psychological symptoms of 129 children in joint physical custody with children in single care and nuclear families, using a nationally representative 2011 survey of 1,297 Swedish children aged between four and 18 years. The outcome measure was the Strengths and Difficul-ties Questionnaire (SDQ) and its association with three dimensions of parental life satisfaction was investigated. Linear regression analyses showed higher SDQ-scores for children in joint physical custody (B = 1.4, p < 0.001) and single care (B = 2.2, p < 0.001) than in nuclear families, after adjustment for socio-demographic variables. The estimates decreased to 1.1 and 1.3, respectively, after being adjusted for parental life satisfaction (p < 0.01). Our findings confirm previous research that showed lower symptom scores for children in nuclear families than children in single care and joint physical custody. Parental life satisfaction should be investigated further as a possible explanation of differences in symptom load between children in different living arrangements.
    Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 07/2014; 55(5). DOI:10.1111/sjop.12148 · 1.29 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The current study examined the associations between child mental health problems and the quality of maternal and paternal parenting, and how these associations were moderated by three contextual factors: quality of parenting by the other parent, interparental conflict, and the number of overnights parents had with the child. Data for the current study came from a sample of divorcing families who are in high legal conflict over developing or maintaining a parenting plan following divorce. Analyses revealed that the associations between child mental health problems and positive maternal and paternal parenting were moderated by the quality of parenting provided by the other parent and by the number of overnights children spent with parents, but not by the level of interparental conflict. When parenting by the other parent and number of overnights were considered together in the same model, only number of overnights moderated the relations between parenting and child-behavior problems. The results support the proposition that the well-being of children in high-conflict divorcing families is better when they spend adequate time with at least one parent who provides high-quality parenting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
    Journal of Family Psychology 10/2013; 27(6). DOI:10.1037/a0034449 · 1.89 Impact Factor