Article

Caught Between Parents: Adolescents' Experience in Divorced Homes

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Abstract

This study examined adolescents' feelings of being caught between parents to see whether this construct helps to explain (1) variability in their postdivorce adjustment and (2) associations between family/child characteristics and adolescent adjustment. Adolescents 10 to 18 years old (N= 522) were interviewed by telephone 4 1/2 years after their parents' separation. Feeling caught between parents was related to high parental conflict and hostility and low parental cooperation. Being close to both parents was associated with low feelings of being caught. The relation between time spent with each parent and feeling caught depended on the coparenting relationship. Adolescents in dual residence were especially likely to feel caught when parents were in high conflict, and especially unlikely to feel caught when parents cooperated. Feeling caught was related to poor adjustment outcomes. Parental conflict was only related to adjustment outcomes indirectly, through adolescents' feelings of being caught.

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... The most influential post-tender years development in the BICS was the promulgation of child custody determination criteria in the Uniform Marriage and 5 In fact, this theory has been expressly contradicted by empirical research. Although interaction with the noncustodial parent has not always been shown to increase postdivorce child adjustment (Amato & Keith, 1991;Kline, Tschann, Johnston, & Wallerstein, 1989;Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornsbusch, 1991;Pearson & Thoennes, 1989), many early studies have shown that this is often the case (Wallerstein & Kelly, 1980). Furthermore, children of divorce have uniformly expressed a desire to have more contact with the noncustodial parent (Johnston, 1996;Kelly, 1993;Maccoby et al., 1993). ...
... Some empirical evidence suggests that the type of custodial relationship and the gender of the child interactively influence postdivorce adjustment. Female children seem to show more signs of maladjustment when they are placed in sole-father-custody arrangements than in joint custody or sole-mother-custody arrangements (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornsbusch, 1991;Johnston, 1996;Maccoby et al., 1993). This relationship between gender, custody, and maladjustment has been attributed by some to the fact that especially troublesome children are commonly placed solely with the father (Buchanan et al., 1991;Johnston, 1996). ...
... Female children seem to show more signs of maladjustment when they are placed in sole-father-custody arrangements than in joint custody or sole-mother-custody arrangements (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornsbusch, 1991;Johnston, 1996;Maccoby et al., 1993). This relationship between gender, custody, and maladjustment has been attributed by some to the fact that especially troublesome children are commonly placed solely with the father (Buchanan et al., 1991;Johnston, 1996). When this proposed relationship was statistically controlled, however, the significant adjustment problem remained (Maccoby et al., 1993). ...
Article
In Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , (1993), the U.S. Supreme Court considered the meaning of Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 702 in regard to the admissibility of scientific evidence. In this article, the authors argue that the relevance, reliability, and helpfulness framework adopted by the Court offers little guidance to judges on how to apply its interpretation of FRE 702's admissibility standard. Using child custody decision making as an exemplar, the authors highlight the difficulties inherent in applying the Daubert standard to social science testimony and find no reason to assume that other topics in the behavioral and social sciences will operate differently under Daubert scrutiny. The article concludes by recommending steps that courts can take to improve the ability of judges to apply Daubert to scientific information.
... 222). Scholars proposed that triangulation in interparental conflicts is an additional dimension of postdivorce parental interaction that has considerable relevance to children's well-being (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991;Mullett & Stolberg, 1999). Jamison, Coleman, Ganong, and Feistman (2014) further proposed parental communication as another indicator of the functioning of postdivorce coparental alliance. ...
... On the other hand, cooperative parental alliances maximize the possibility that children have two good parents (Fischer et al., 2005;King & Heard, 1999;Sobolewski & King, 2005) and are least likely to pit a child against one or both parents (Buchanan et al., 1991). Furthermore, cooperative parental alliances promote resilience in children in light of their parents' ability to resolve differences (Kelly, 2007). ...
... Triangulation of children in interparental conflicts was measured using the Caught Between Parents Scale (Buchanan et al., 1991) in children's questionnaires and the triangulation subscale of the Co-parenting Questionnaire (Margolin, Gordis, & John, 2001) in parents' questionnaires. The Caught Between Parents Scale is a 7-item scale with Cronbach's alpha ranging from .64 to .88 (Buchanan et al., 1991;Mullett & Stolberg, 1999). ...
Article
This article reports a survey study on postdivorce coparenting and its relationships with children’s well-being in Hong Kong. Based on data from 142 resident parents and 84 children, the results revealed that interparental conflict and triangulation of children within parental conflict adversely affected children’s well-being, whereas interparental support fostered children’s well-being. Parental communication and interparental support coexisted simultaneously with parent conflicts. These conflicting effects make postdivorce coparenting a mixed blessing for children. Fortunately, residential parent–child intimacy and quality parenting by both parents protected children’s well-being from the effects of negative relational dynamics. Promoting postdivorce coparenting should always accompany effective interventions in conflict resolution, the renegotiation of growth-enhancing boundaries among family members, the support of parental functioning and individual recovery of both parents, and the facilitation of noncompetitive parental involvement of nonresident parents.
... Another factor that can account for the variability in children's adjustment to family dissolution is the degree to which they experience parental loyalty conflict behaviours (Amato & Afifi, 2006;Buchanan et al., 1991); that is, situations in which one parent is trying to turn the child against the other parent (Baker & Brassard, 2013). Because there are several reasons to assume that the impact of parental loyalty conflicts may vary between children living in different physical custody arrangements due to, for example, the closer parent-child relationships in joint physical custody families (Bastaits & Pasteels, 2019), this study aims to contribute to the current body of literature on the effects of family dissolution on children's well-being by investigating the relationship between joint physical custody, children's experiences of parental loyalty conflict behaviours and children's mental health. ...
... While some children adjust comparatively well to a parental break-up, others have a number of (long-term) problems, including with regard to their health and well-being (Amato & Afifi, 2006;Hetherington, 1999). One explanation for these findings is that children in post-separation families experience parental loyalty conflicts (Amato & Afifi, 2006;Buchanan et al., 1991). Following a broad definition, parental loyalty conflicts occur when at least 'one parent (is) interfering with the child(ren)'s perception of, relationship with, or access to the other parent' (Wozencraft et al., 2019, p. 104). ...
... Parental loyalty conflict behaviours in post-separation families 'signal to the child the potential loss or deprivation of one or both parents' (Cotroneo et al., 1992, p. 24). As children usually seek to maintain close relationships with both parents after family dissolution (Amato & Afifi, 2006), parental loyalty conflicts can be a great source of distress (Amato & Afifi, 2006;Buchanan et al., 1991). Thus, getting caught in parental loyalty conflicts can have detrimental effects on children's mental health by making their adjustment to separation or divorce more difficult (Buchanan et al., 1991). ...
Article
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This study investigated the association between joint physical custody (JPC), parental loyalty conflict (PLC) behaviours and children's mental health in a sample of 284 children aged 11 to 14 from the FAMOD survey. The results of the linear regression models indicated that children in JPC families had better mental health than children in sole physical custody families, and that PLC behaviours negatively affected children's mental health. Furthermore, children's experiences of PLC behaviours moderated the association between JPC and their mental health, with high levels of PLC behaviours leading to a noticeable decline in the mental health of children in JPC families.
... According to (Amato, 1994), three basic perspectives exist on the consequences of divorce for children: the lack of parental support/parental absence perspective, the economic disadvantage perspective (Cooper et al., 2009), and the family conflict perspective (Buchanan et al., 1991;Grych et al., 2000). In their extensive metaanalysis, Amato and Keith (1991) and, subsequently, (Amato, 2001) found more support for the family conflict perspective than the other perspectives at a group level. ...
... Postdivorce conflicts are often child oriented, and the risk increases that children will be caught in the middle (Amato & Tamara, 2006) of their parents' conflicts. Feeling caught in the middle (Amato & Tamara, 2006;Buchanan et al., 1991) from the perspective of balance theory (Heider, 1958(Heider, , 2020 points out that holding positive feelings toward two individuals who hold negative feelings toward one another results in a psychological dilemma. Children who attempt to remain close to parents who are hostile toward one another might feel instantaneously loyal and disloyal to both, resulting in an aversive state of dissonance. ...
... Further, direct involvement of children in angry feuds on the phone or between parents in person increases the risk of children "feeling caught in the middle" (Afifi & McManus, 2010). These acts of hostility from parents are creating loyalty conflicts in their children and intolerable stress (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991). Child involvement in postdivorce conflict is more likely to happen in contact with each parent, than by direct exposure to their parents fights. ...
Thesis
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Background: Prolonged conflicts among postdivorce or noncohabiting parents are found to threaten the welfare of children, parents, and functioning in two household families. These family contexts are known in the literature as having intensified psychosocial risk, pressuring subject positions of family members, and having difficulty functioning as a family. Many resources are spent from an array of public institutions—court, health, and child and family welfare institutions—to promote cooperative coparenting, help resolve custody conflicts, and aid the functioning of the family. A need exists for a further understanding of children’s and parents’ positions in prolonged conflict and their views on family life. More knowledge about postdivorce families (in chronic conflicts) is important for policy-makers and various service providers for children and families. Overall aim: This thesis aims to explore the meaning constructions and subject positions of postdivorce families in prolonged conflicts. Social constructionism and the systemic perspective have been a meta-theory in this thesis, combined with a discursive framework and the use of positioning theory. In this thesis, the term postdivorce or separated families involves families with noncohabiting parents, with parents having been married, with others having been cohabiting, and with some having not lived together at all. The main ambition of this study is to expand the knowledge about postdivorce families in prolonged interparental conflicts and how these family circumstances seem to be constructed from children’s and parents’ perspectives. The possible consequences of various positions for the family, the professionals in family services, and society are discussed. Knowledge from the children’s and parents’ perspectives might help us discern how one can support their well‐being in (to them) relevant ways. We also add to the knowledge of how to aid and strengthen families embedded in enduring postdivorce conflicts. Research questions: The following research questions were asked to illuminate the overall aim in three papers. The first paper focused on child subject positions and asked (I) how do children position themselves for challenges in postdivorce family conflicts, and how does family conflict position children? The second paper focused on the parallel storylines and subject positions of conflicted parent couples and asked the following three questions. (II a) What storylines emerge when separated couples in prolonged conflicts talk about their coparenting relationship? (II b) What positions of the self and the other are constructed when talking about the conflicted coparenting relationship? and (II c) What does it mean for the duty of parenthood when separated parents are in prolonged conflict? The third paper focused on fathers’ stories in prolonged conflict and asked the following three questions. (III a) What storylines of parental agency emerge when separated fathers talk about their children who are in distress from the conflict? (III b)What positions of agency do fathers take up in these storylines, and in what kinds of subject positions are fathers other-positioning their children and ex-partner ? (IIIc) How do these storylines legitimize fathers’ own subject positions and actions towards their children and ex-partner? Methods and Data: The ontological and epistemological stance in this research project is from systemic paradigms—that of social construction (Gergen et al., 2015) and bringforthism (Maturana & Varela, 1992; Maturana et al., 1980). The research project uses a qualitative methodology. The empirical material is from in-depth interviews with children and their parents in prolonged-postdivorce families with frameworks from social construction, systemic theory, and the discursive framework of positioning theory. The interviewed families were participants in a family therapy program in Norway that aimed to assist families with parents with a history of more than two years of conflict and who had been unsuccessful in resolving conflict or their coparenting challenges through family mediation, counseling, or legal proceeding/court attendance. Findings: Paper I: Children take up three dominant positions to address family conflict: (1) keeping balance (in the storyline of the family conflict), (2) keeping distance (in the storyline of the troubling parent), and (3) keeping on with life (in the storyline of life—as more than family challenges). Arguably, each position is an act of resistance against threats from family conflict. Paper II: Two typologies of conflicted storylines from an overarching storyline of “The Troublesome Other and I” were prominent in the findings: (1) storylines of violations of trust, positioning the coparents in relation to traumatic events in the past, and (2) storylines of who is bad, positioning the coparent as either a disloyal coparent or a dysfunctional parent. The findings indicate that prolonged conflicts made it impossible to find available positions for cooperation. Paper III: Three positions of father agency emerged in the analyses: (1) The Savior, (2) the Jungle Guide, and (3) a Beacon in a Fog of Uncertainty. Each position exemplifies fathers’ “world views,” “microcosmoses,” or “moral orders” of postdivorce dangers that surround children and shows how fathers typically position their children and their ethical stance in terms of parental agency. Our understanding of fathers’ agency from the perspective of positioning theory is fathers’ storylines (world views) about their obligation to carry through a line of action (perform agency) in response to how they perceive their children and their needs. This could be viewed as an alternative to understanding actions of father`s in high conflict divorce families that are often explained through the lens of psychopathology. Discussion and conclusive reflections: The discussion chapter in this thesis discusses patterns across the individual papers. In addition, some implications for professional practice and methodological strengths and limitations are discussed. The findings highlight how prolonged conflict positions the family system and how different family members typically construct and take up available subject positions to address conflict-related challenges. Such knowledge is relevant for Norwegian family counseling services and all agencies in contact with children and parents of postdivorce families, such as schools and child welfare agencies. It is also relevant internationally for professionals and various forms of behavioral and mental health services that aid children and parents in postdivorce families. This thesis further argues that children with parents in prolonged conflict are not passive victims but agents dealing with conflict challenges. Prolonged postdivorce conflict is found to be a disruptive positioning force and a threat to parents’ agency. This thesis argues that family counseling services should aid postdivorce parents within the boundaries of their joint capacity of cooperation and that parents in prolonged conflict might more successfully practice parallel parenting to reduce conflict exposure. This thesis also states that prolonged postdivorce conflict is a responsibility of society and not of conflicted parents or families alone. Therefore, it is important that welfare institutions, such as family counseling services, apply a nonjudgmental and systemic framework and take into account the different subject positions in the family mean. Furthermore, this thesis also adds to our knowledge of how various subjects’ positions taken up by that family members in families embedded in prolonged conflicts restrain the possibilities of other members from taking up their preferred subject position as a child, as a parent vis-à-vis the child, or in relation to the other parent. This study uses positioning theory to add an interconnected perspective of discourses of postdivorce families and how families negotiate subject positions. In the final reflection, family counseling services are warned against professional diagnostics and the use of terminology that creates a linear and fixed/rigid positioning of family members in prolonged postdivorce conflicts. This thesis has broad relevance for understanding challenges and dilemmas that family counseling services face today, as well as the more specific need for more research that investigates the meaning-making of children and parents as service users and how different welfare services position the postdivorce family with conflict-related challenges.
... The ideology of openness/intimacy has made disclosure the cornerstone of interpersonal communication research, even the synonym of it, as evidenced by the sheer volume of research on the topic of disclosure (Berger, 2005;Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991;Monsour, 1992). Berger (2005) observed the formation of the ideology of openness in the U.S. comes partially from the rise of the encounter group movement of the late 1960s, which embraces "authentic self-presentation and self-disclosure in social intercourse and its distinct aversion to interpersonal manipulation and deception" (p. ...
... Beside selfdisclosure, the amount, frequency, and depth of talk are often essential in the definition of "closeness" in relationships. For example, Buchanan, Maccoby, and Dornbusch's (1991) closeness scale has five items which revolve around "talk" (e.g., How openly do you talk with your [mother/father] and How interested is your [mother/father]in talking to you when you want to talk). Oswald and Clark (2003) also argued a key element in maintaining relationships is frequent communication. ...
Thesis
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This dissertation investigated adult child-parent relationship where the child is a gender/sexual minority, or tongzhi (同志). Building on Jhang’s (2018) model of scaffolding in family, this dissertation theorized the process of chugui (出櫃, exit-closet) for Taiwanese tongzhi and their family. Chugui is a direct translation of coming out of the closet, but it entails a rather different process than disclosure. Thus, this dissertation challenged the conventional coming out as disclosure conceptualization by delineating the coming to terms process. As a Westernized- Confucius society, Taiwan has recently experienced drastic legal changes regarding gender/ sexual minority, including legalizing same-sex marriage in 2019, making it a suitable context to examine chugui/coming out in the family. Using grounded theory (Charmaz, 2006), interview and field observation data are analyzed to find categories to substantiate the coming to terms model. 40 tongzhi young adult (age 20-38) and 17 parents (age 45-69) were included. The findings built the model of coming to terms/chugui in the family as scaffolding. It shows the onset of chugui/coming out is the awareness of difference rather than disclosure. The process of coming to terms is characterized by the psychological constant comparison of relating, a way for people to make sense of relationships by comparing various micro and macro discourses. The process is also influenced by the intersectional identity of the offspring (biological sex, gender performance, and direction of sexual attraction) and the parent (father/ mother, and social class). People then make individual behavioral scaffolding efforts to move forward. Finally, the parents may compartmentalize their acceptance behaviorally, emotionally, attitudinally, and cognitively, while the offspring might accept or reject the discounted acceptance, making the process indefinite. Theoretical implications include establishing the processual and relational nature of coming to terms, legitimizing parental agency, and underscoring the utility of functional ambivalence, the notion of relational selfhood, and intersectional identity. Practical implications include making the idea of polysemy and the constant comparison process explicit and helping people building schemas while avoiding cruel optimism. The transferability of the model is discussed, and this dissertation invites researchers to look beyond “disclosure” in studying LGBTQ+ family relationship.
... In common with these findings, different studies have shown that children more exposed to and more involved in the parental conflict may suffer more harm. Additionally, the more the conflict revolves around the children, the more violent and abusive it is, the more it involves incitement against the other parent, and the more the children feel caught between the parentsthe more the conflict is associated with severe maladjustment over time (Amato & Afifi, 2006;Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991;Lucas et al., 2013). On the other hand, parental conflict that remains between the parents and does not directly involve the children was found to be less harmful. ...
... On the other hand, parental conflict that remains between the parents and does not directly involve the children was found to be less harmful. Various studies have shown that when parents in conflict do not involve the children in loyalty disputes, the children's functioning and well-being are similar to those of children whose parents are subject to a low-intensity conflict or none at all (Buchanan et al., 1991;Kelly, 2003). ...
Article
In recent decades, considerable information has been gathered on the negative implications of divorce for children’s well-being. However, the implications of divorce on the children's quality of life – which is manifested mostly in positive life aspects – have been little studied. This article addresses this gap by examining risk and resilience factors related to self-reported quality of life of children of divorced parents, with particular emphasis on psychological processes: self-blame for the divorce and parental conflict and active coping with it. An online survey for one child and one parent was conducted with 122 children aged 7–17 from 86 Israeli families. The data were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling with mixed models that accounted for the interdependency of the children's data within each family. All the risk and resilience factors were examined from the children's perspective, except parental conflict that was examined also from the parent’s perspective. The findings showed that parental conflict (from both the children and parents' perspective), perceived gap in conflict intensity between marriage and divorce (from the parents’ perspective) and high self-blame were negatively associated with the children's evaluations of their quality of life, whereas active coping was positively associated with it. The study also supported three significant models in which psychological processes moderated the linkage between parental conflict and the children's quality-of-life evaluations. The findings are discussed with relation to the literature on the impact of divorce on children’s well-being and quality of life, and implications for social policy are suggested.
... In addition, Buchanan, Maccoby, and Dornbusch (1991) discovered that parental closeness had an impact on how children view their relationship with their parents and their communication behaviors. Ledbetter (2009) found a direct link between closeness and the impact on family communication patterns in young adults. ...
... Perceptions of participants' closeness with mothers and fathers were assessed using The Closeness to Parents Scale (Buchanan et al., 1991) to understand how close the participant is to their mother and father. This scale consists of ten items ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (often). ...
Article
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The objective of this research was to investigate family communication patterns and interpersonal communication motives that college students use to communicate with their parents. In addition, this study analyzed sex differences among the different family types (e.g., divorced or intact families). The study also analyzed the relationships between family communication patterns and the relationship to parental closeness. These objectives were met over two studies. Findings suggest that there were specific communication motives (i.e., pleasure, relaxation, inclusion, and escape) that sons used to communicate with their fathers and fathers compared to daughters. Also, there were certain communication motives (i.e., escape and inclusion) that daughters used to communicate with their mothers compared to sons. Results showed that there are certain interpersonal motives (i.e., relaxation, inclusion, escape, and pleasure) that young adults use with their parents in divorced versus intact families. Results from this study suggest that family type difference and sex differences have an impact on familial communication.
... The Parent-Child Closeness (PCC) scale, a nine-item, 5-point (1 = not at all, 5 = very) Likert-type measure, was used to assess relational closeness with mother and father (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991). The measure consisted of items such as "How close do you feel to your mother/ father?" and "How confident are you that your mother/father would help you if you had a problem?" Alpha reliability for parent-child closeness with mother was .92 ...
Article
Using relational dialectics theory as the organizing framework, this study examined helicopter parenting and cell-phone contact among college students (N = 529). Participants had more cell-phone conflict, engaged in more avoidance, and had more rules about cell-phone contact with high- compared to low- and, in some cases, moderate-helicopter mothers. Participants with high-helicopter fathers reported more father-initiated contact and cell-phone conflict than moderate- or low-helicopter fathers. Those with moderate- and high-helicopter fathers reported more rules about cell-phone contact but also higher closeness and relational satisfaction than those with low-helicopter fathers. Overall, participants differed on autonomy–connection issues with their mothers and fathers.
... Closeness to Parents [121] CG: Adolescents: 21 males and 4 females (age: M = 15.7, SD = 1.2); ...
Poster
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Introduction In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association included Internet Gaming Disorder in the appendix of the 5th edition of the DSM-5, suggesting more research is necessary for the condition to be officially accepted as mental disorder. Criticisms have emerged as to the viability, validity and reliability of the proposed condition, and researchers have pointed out that the subsuming of Internet addiction under the umbrella term of Internet Gaming Disorder (as is the case in the DSM-5) is highly problematic. Objectives and aims The objective of this talk is to provide a comprehensive and inclusive analysis of clinical research of Internet-use related addictions from a holistic perspective, given the ambiguity of previous research in the field. Methods A systematic literature review was conducted using the database Web of Science, and a total of 44 empirical and clinically relevant studies were identified. Results Results indicated that the published clinical research studies can be categorized into four areas, including (i) treatment seeker characteristics, (ii) psychopharmacotherapy, (iii), psychological therapy, and (iv) combined treatment, each of which will be discussed. Conclusions At the present day, both diagnosis and research of Internet-use disorders appears rather broad. Furthermore, there appears a need for developing a gold standard of clinical assessment. This will support the establishment of efficacious and effective treatments which need to be tailored to the individual help seekers’ needs. Disclosure of interest The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
... Closeness to Parents [121] CG: Adolescents: 21 males and 4 females (age: M = 15.7, SD = 1.2); ...
... For example, Cummings and Davies (2011) found that child-focused, angry, and verbally or physically aggressive conflict is particularly harmful. However, family systems (Emery, Fincham, & Cummings, 1992) and emotional security (Cummings & Davies, 2011) theory, clinical observations (Emery, 2011;Maldonado, 2014), and research on children caught in the middle (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991;Buehler et al., 1997;Vuchinich, Emery, & Cassidy, 1988) all suggest that children do not have to directly observe parental disputes to be harmed by them. Denigration may be one form of harmful conflict in which children do not directly observe a dispute. ...
Article
Objective To assess parental denigration, parents demeaning each other to or in front of their children, and whether denigration is one‐sided or reciprocal, related to distance or closeness between parents and children, and associated with measures of children's well‐being. Background The parental alienation hypothesis argues that denigration is one‐sided and distances children from the denigrated parent. Parental conflict research suggests that denigration is reciprocal and distances children from both parents, particularly the more frequently denigrating parent. Method Convenience samples totaling 994 young adults and including 157 sibling pairs completed a structured measure of denigration as well as several measures of parent–child relationship quality and individual well‐being. Results Parental denigration was measured reliably over time and between siblings. Denigration was highly reciprocal, linked to children feeling less close to both parents—particularly the one denigrating more often—and associated with a variety of measures of ill‐being. Results held both within and between siblings and in the 1% of cases of unilateral denigration. Conclusion Normatively, denigration appears to boomerang not alienate. Children consistently report feeling less close to parents who denigrate more than to parents who are the target of denigration. Implications Parents, and the professionals who work with them, must recognize the damage denigration does to denigrating parents' own relationship with their children. Findings also raise questions about alienation claims, which appear to be rare exceptions to the boomerang rule.
... Self-esteem is measured by the 10-item Self-Esteem Scale (Rosenberg, 1965). Parent-child relationship is measured by the nine-item Closeness to Parents Scale (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991). Emotion regulation is measured by the 24-item Emotion Regulation Checklist (Shields & Cicchetti, 1997). ...
Article
Purpose: Eczema is a pediatric skin disease that affects the psychosocial well-being of both children and their parent caregivers. This paper outlines a protocol for an experimental study that evaluates the effectiveness of a psychosocial empowerment program for children with eczema and their parent caregivers. Method: A multi-center randomized controlled trial is proposed, where parent-child dyads are randomized into two arms: an intervention group and wait-list control group. The intervention is delivered to participants in a parallel group format based on the Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit model which focuses on holistic well-being. Quality of life is measured before and after the intervention is provided, and five weeks after the intervention has been completed. Discussion: The suggested model fills a research gap in existing interventions, and provides new knowledge by evaluating the effectiveness of a tailored psychosocial intervention, delivered in group settings, for parent-child dyads affected by eczema.
... Closeness to Parents [121] CG: Adolescents: 21 males and 4 females (age: M = 15.7, SD = 1.2); ...
Chapter
To date, around 40% of the world population is online. Internet usage has grown almost six-fold over the last decade around the globe. In Korea, 96% of Internet users make use of high-speed Internet connections, in comparison to 78% in the UK and 56% in the US (2012, 2013). Since 2000, the US has more than doubled Internet access and use, and mobile Internet use increased extensively in 2011 (The Nielsen Company, 2012a). These statistics evidence that the Internet has become an integral element in today’s society. In 2012, children and adolescents in Australia spent an average of 24 hours online per month, compared with 65 hours for individuals aged 18–24 years, and 25–34 year olds spend more than 100 hours per month online (The Nielsen Company, 2012b). Accordingly, young adults are the most active Internet users and spend roughly three hours per day on the Internet (Kuss et al., 2014a).
... This can be especially clear in the case of divorce when the issue of conflicting loyalties arises. Studies show that children of divorced parents experience an amplified sense of conflicting loyalties between parents (Amato and Afifi 2006;Buchanan, Maccoby, and Dornbusch 1991) and correspondingly have a lower relationship quality with their parents (Booth and Amato 1994). This occurs more often when there is conflict between the parents, but most divorces, especially those involving children, are plagued with interparental conflict, both during the last months/ years of a marriage and after the divorce (Fischer, de Graaf, and Kalmijn 2005). ...
Article
As a result of the divorce revolution, more children grow up in complex families. Yet, we know little about how family complexity affects relationships when children are adults and parents are ageing. In this article, we use unique survey data to test fundamental ideas about intergenerational ties: the role of biology, partnerships (marriage and cohabitation), residence, and selection. The survey used a register-based oversample of Dutch adults who grew up in nonstandard families, collected data among adult children and their parent figures, and used a double multi-actor design in which adult children reported on their parents and parents reported on their children. Using random- and fixed-effects models, we confirm most hypotheses but the results are highly gendered. For fathers, we find evidence for a partnership premium and no disadvantage of being a stepparent once the length of residence is adjusted. For mothers, the partnership premium is weaker but the effect of biology is strong: stepmother-stepchild ties are much weaker, even after taking residence patterns into account. Biological mothers are the primary kinkeepers, and for fathers of any type, their relationship to children depends on their partnership to the biological mother. Within-family comparisons suggest that selection into divorce and remarriage do not explain these disadvantages.
... Parent-Child Closeness Scale (PCC; Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991). This is a nine-item scale to measure a child's closeness to his/her mother and father separately. ...
Article
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The potential transmission of family violence in adults’ dating relationships was examined in a multiple mediator model among 807 college students in Greece. The Dimensions of Discipline Inventory-Adult Recall form measured students’ retrospective accounts of their parents’ discipline methods used at the age of 10, the Conflict Tactics Scales-Between Parents measured mutual interparental violence (mIV), and the Conflict Tactics Scales-Dating Relationship measured mutual dating violence (mDV). Path analysis indicated that mother’s punitive discipline affected mDV through the mediation of violence approval (VA) and negative relating to others, whereas mIV had a direct effect on mDV and an indirect effect via VA, negative relating to mother, and less closeness to mother. Adverse intrafamilial experiences may increase the risk of adult mDV. Risk and protective factors pertaining to intrapersonal and interpersonal constructs should be the target of prevention and intervention efforts to combat adults’ mDV.
... The fourth dimension, triangulation, refers to the involvement of children in parental conflicts. When parents try to form alliances with a child against the other parent, or when the boundaries between the parental and parent-child subsystems become unclear, children are likely to serve as "allies" or "pawns" in their parents' conflicts (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991;Minuchin, 1985). Triangulation, or feeling caught between parents, has been studied to a lesser extent than the other coparenting dimensions, but has been linked to higher levels of negative affect (Schwarz, 2009;Shimkowski & Schrodt, 2012). ...
Article
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This study examined the association between postdivorce coparenting patterns and adolescent internalizing and externalizing behavior. Children after parental divorce increasingly grow up in shared residence arrangements, making postdivorce coparenting much more pertinent. The Coparenting Behavior Questionnaire was used to investigate the perceptions of 251 Dutch adolescents regarding postdivorce coparenting behaviors. Latent class analysis was used to identify coparenting patterns, and associations with adolescent outcomes were examined. Four distinct postdivorce coparenting patterns were identified: cooperative, negatively engaged, negatively disengaged, and average. Adolescents of parents with a cooperative pattern reported the least amount of internalizing and externalizing problems, whereas adolescents with negatively engaged parents reported the most internalizing problems. In line with family systems theory, interactions in the coparental subsystem are associated with adolescent adjustment and can therefore be viewed as both a risk and protective factor.
... The study also found that interparental conflict and depression perceived by girls were significantly higher than boys. As a possible manifestation of their greater concern with maintaining harmony in close relationships, girls appear to be more likely than boys to respond to high levels of parental discord by blaming themselves [60], taking too much responsibility for repairing family relationships [61], feeling involved in their parents' quarrels [62], and reporting greater impulses to intervene in adult conflicts [63]. Girls, at least before adolescence, are more likely to respond to adult and interparental conflict through more subtle, nondisruptive emotional channels of distress, worrying, and fear [64][65][66]. ...
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The present study examined the association between interparental conflict and adolescent depression, and explored the moderating role of school connectedness in this association, in a Chinese context. Data were analyzed from 867 Chinese adolescents who completed the survey at 2 time points. Cross-lagged analyses indicated that interparental conflict in 7th grade adolescents significantly predicted depression in 8th grade, but adolescent depression in 7th grade was not a significant predictor of interparental conflict in 8th grade. In addition, there was a significant negative moderating effect of school connectedness, as high levels of school connectedness reduced the negative effect of interparental conflict on adolescent depression. Thus, the association between interparental conflict and adolescent depression has a unidirectional prediction. School connectedness can relieve the adverse effects of interparental conflict on adolescent depression.
... One explanation is that children who are exposed to arguments between the parents, and to mutual blaming are liable to find themselves in a conflict of loyalty if one of the parents tries to convince them to form a hostile alliance against the other. In such a situation, the child is "torn in two" or caught in the middle, and the experience creates dissonance, given the natural desire of most children to maintain a good relationship with both parents (Afifi, 2003;Amato & Afifi, 2006;Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991). ...
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The quality of life (QoL) evaluations of children of divorced parents have been little studied. The literature focuses on the consequences of divorce for their wellbeing as reported by adults or examined using tools designed from the adult perspective. This study examines how risk (parental conflict) and resilience factors (perceived overall social support, closeness to grandparents, and open discourse with them about divorce) are related to the self-reported QoL of children of divorce. Cross-sectional online questionnaires for a child and one parent were completed by 122 children aged 7-17, from 86 Israeli families. Hierarchical linear models were employed, with mixed models accounting for the interdependency of children's data within each family. All risk and resilience factors were examined from the children's perspective, except parental conflict that was examined also from the parent's perspective. Parental conflict was found to be negatively associated and overall social support and close relationship with grandparents were positively associated with children's QoL evaluations. The more the children were involved in parental conflict, the more QoL measures were associated with it. The study also supported three models in which perceived overall social support and perceived grandparental support moderated the association between parental conflict and QoL evaluations. The importance of examining the wellbeing of children of divorce from their own perspective is discussed. In terms of practical implications, the findings suggest the need to reduce the involvement of children of divorce in parental conflict and to strengthen their social support systems, particularly their relations with grandparents.
... The Parent-child Intimacy Scale compiled by Buchnan et al. (1991) was adopted to measure parent-child relationship, which has good reliability and validity when applied to Chinese adolescents (Tian et al., 2018). This scale consists of five-point Likert questions (from 1 = far from to 5 = very ) measuring 18 items with two subscales: the Father-child Relationship Scale and the Mother-child Relationship Scale. ...
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Using a three-wave longitudinal design, we examined the relationship between early parent-child relationship and subsequent smartphone addiction (SA) and explored mediating and moderating mechanisms underlying this relation. A total of 527 Chinese adolescents (271 boys and 256 girls, mean age = 11.23 years) completed questionnaires regarding parent-child relationship, smartphone addiction, hope and life satisfaction. The results showed that: (1) parent-child relationship (T1) was positively associated with life satisfaction (T1) and hope (T2); parent-child relationship (T1), life satisfaction (T1), and hope (T2) were significantly negatively associated with SA (T3); (2) After controlling for age, gender, and SA (T1), hope (T2) completely mediated the relationship between parental-child relationship (T1) and adolescents’ SA (T3); (3) life satisfaction (T1) moderated the association between parent-child relationship (T1) and hope (T2). Specifically, as life satisfaction (T1) increased, parent-child relationship (T1) was more likely to promote hope (T2). Moreover, the indirect negative links between parent-child relationship (T1) and SA (T3) via hope (T2) were stronger for adolescents with high level of life satisfaction (T1) than for adolescents with low level of life satisfaction (T1). The results reveal the mechanism of hope and life satisfaction in the effect of parent-child relationship on SA in adolescents, indicating that SA among adolescents can be weakened through the improvement of parent-child relationship, the rise in hope and the increase in life satisfaction.
... How these different microsystems of the adolescent interact can greatly impact outcomes for adolescents in the child welfare system. Drawing from the divorce literature on co-parenting, it has been shown that conflict between the parents of divorced children and adolescents can lead to worse outcomes for the children, specifically in regards to externalizing behaviors (Buchanan, Maccoby, and Dornbusch 1991). Co-parenting relationships also exist within the context of the foster care system. ...
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This review highlights the importance of an ecological approach to understanding delinquent behaviors of youth in foster care. The author provides clarification on the specific aspects of Ecological Theory that are considered in this review. The author highlights how Brofenbrenner’s Ecological Theory can be useful for various professionals working with these youths. Relevance of the theory in regards to implications for both clinical practice and policy are discussed, in addition to research. The author describes how an ecological approach provides a more comprehensive approach to understanding delinquency of youth in care.
... Participants completed the parent-child intimacy scale (Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991). This 9-item self-rated instrument measures the affective state between father and child, and between mother and child, respectively. ...
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The current study intended to better understand how peer alienation might influence adolescents’ cyber flaming, cyber pornography and cyber deception, and examine their mechanisms: The mediating role of core self-evaluation and the moderating role of father-child relationship, mother-child relationship and gender. This model was examined with 644 Chinese high school students by e-questionnaires (mean age = 16.85 years, SD = 1.23). The results showed that: (1) Peer alienation was positively correlated with cyber flaming, cyber pornography and cyber deception; core self-evaluation, father-child relationship and mother-child relationship were negatively correlated with peer alienation, cyber flaming, cyber pornography and cyber deception; (2) Peer alienation had significant positive predictive effects on cyber flaming, cyber pornography and cyber deception, and core self-evaluation played significant mediating roles in these relationships; (3) The mediating paths “peer alienation → core self-evaluation → cyber flaming/cyber pornography/cyber deception” were significantly moderated by mother-child relationship, and the mediation effects were more significant among adolescents with lower quality of mother-child relationship. (4) The direct paths “peer alienation → cyber flaming/cyber pornography/cyber deception” were significantly moderated by gender, and the predictive effects were only significant among boys than girls. The current study is conductive to clarify the risk and protective factors for cyber deviant behaviors of adolescents, and mental health professionals should develop safe social interaction programs for adolescents at risk of cyber deviant behaviors.
... The triangulation of children in inter-parental conflicts was measured using the combined and expanded triangulation subscale of the 4-item Co-Parenting Questionnaire (Margolin et al., 2001) and one item from the Caught Between Parents Scale concerning parents asking private things about the child from the other party (Buchanan et al., 1991). The scale was further expanded to include the parent's own actions of involving the children into inter-parental conflicts, resulting in a total of 10 items. ...
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This article reports an evaluation study of co‐parenting education services in a pilot project on co‐parenting support services in Hong Kong. Based on the Cooperative Parenting Institute (CPI) model, there are two levels of education program: Level 1 is an information‐based program delivered through talks or lecture format; and Level 2 is participatory, interactive workshops. The study results would provide preliminary support to the effectiveness of the CPI‐based education programs in reducing inter‐parental conflicts with additional effectiveness on the reduction of putting children in the middle for parents participating in the Level 2 program. In response to the findings, it is recommended to match the participants’ level of conflicts with the appropriate level of program. Parents with high conflict need more intensive program. Consequently, a range of mutual support and booster sessions is recommended to maintain the parents’ commitment to co‐parenting after the education. The CPI‐based model is recommended to be the reference or protocol for training the social workers of related services. Moreover, cross‐disciplinary training may equip supporting professions such as judges, lawyers, and mediators with a common framework to facilitate appropriate court order or advice on the appropriate level of the education program.
... Closeness to Parents [121] CG: Adolescents: 21 males and 4 females (age: M = 15.7, SD = 1.2); ...
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Aim: To provide a comprehensive overview of clinical studies on the clinical picture of Internet-use related addictions from a holistic perspective. A literature search was conducted using the database Web of Science. Methods: Over the last 15 years, the number of Internet users has increased by 1000%, and at the same time, research on addictive Internet use has proliferated. Internet addiction has not yet been understood very well, and research on its etiology and natural history is still in its infancy. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association included Internet Gaming Disorder in the appendix of the updated version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as condition that requires further research prior to official inclusion in the main manual, with important repercussions for research and treatment. To date, reviews have focused on clinical and treatment studies of Internet addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder. This arguably limits the analysis to a specific diagnosis of a potential disorder that has not yet been officially recognised in the Western world, rather than a comprehensive and inclusive investigation of Internet-use related addictions (including problematic Internet use) more generally. Results: The systematic literature review identified a total of 46 relevant studies. The included studies used clinical samples, and focused on characteristics of treatment seekers and online addiction treatment. Four main types of clinical research studies were identified, namely research involving (1) treatment seeker characteristics; (2) psychopharmacotherapy; (3) psychological therapy; and (4) combined treatment. Conclusion: A consensus regarding diagnostic criteria and measures is needed to improve reliability across studies and to develop effective and efficient treatment approaches for treatment seekers.
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The purposes of the present study were to develop a measure of late adolescent women's perception of interparental commitment, and to examine the relation of interparental conflict and anxiety in those young women. The Children's Perception of Interparental Commitment Scale was completed by 136 women (mean age, 20.4 ; SD, 1.25). Factor analysis yielded 4 factors: "whole acceptance of being/one and only" "social pressure/powerlessness," "idea of permanence/group orientation," and "material dependence/efficiency." A low score on "whole acceptance of being/one and only" and a high score on "social pressure/powerlessness" were related to anxiety. Among the young women who lived with their parents, anxiety was closely related to interparental commitment. The relation between interparental conflict resolution and anxiety differed slightly, depending on the women's type of commitment to marriage.
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The authors critically evaluate the roles of forensic practitioners and psychological researchers in determinations of the best-interest-of-the-child standard (BICS) in child custody disputes. The authors examine (a) the existing empirical research on the adjustment of children of divorce, (b) the current forensic practice of mental health practitioners, (c) the standardized forensic assessment instruments available, and (d) the ethical dilemmas faced by mental health practitioners who work in this area. On the basis of their analysis, the authors argue that current evidence does not support most of the "expert testimony" proffered by mental health practitioners to the court. As a consequence, they posit that the BICS does not reflect either the needs of the legal system or the expertise of the psychological profession, and that the least detrimental alternative to the child standard more accurately meets the needs of both fields.
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Question after prosperity of children after parental divorce is important as divorce rate is high. Functional family is regarded as one of most important prerequisites of children prosperity. Thats why divorce invites intensive attention. The fundamentals question is how divorce influences the health and prosperity of children. Metanalysis of divorce studies find the children from divorced families experiences more frequent behavioral and adjustment problems. Most striking is the after divorce conditions and the way the children and parents challenge them vary to a great extend. The serious negative factor is the after divorce conflict. Child reaction to divorce and post divorce conflict depends on their age. Serious emotional problems have 20 to 26 percent of children in comparison to 10 percent of children form intact families.
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Using cross-sectional data regarding 793 rural children aged 10-16 in Sichuan Province of China, the present study examined the preceding-year rates of seven forms of child victimization (physical assault, property crime, peer/sibling victimization, child maltreatment, sexual victimization, witnessing family violence, and exposure to community violence) and poly-victimization, and found children's victimization experiences increased as the degree of parental absence increased (from the presence of two biological parents, to parental migration and parental separation and divorce). Elevated levels of depression were also found among left-behind children and children of separated or divorced parents, compared to children living with both biological parents; and child poly-victimization added to the risk of child depression. Certain demographic characteristics (being a boy and younger) and parental factors were associated with child victimization in rural China. This study highlights the need for child protection in rural China, and in particular for parent-absent children.
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The goal of this work is to examine the functioning of a Family Meeting Point and presenting a descriptive study of their users. A Family Meeting Point is a neutral resource for the families that in their process of divorce require technical and institutional support. It facilitates the relation between the children and the non-custodial father. Psychologists and educators provide a temporary intervention re-establishing the relation between the child and the non-custodial father. The sample of the study is composed of 71 cases registered for 12 months. The sample has the following characteristics: light predominance of boys and range of age from G months to 12 years. The most common psychological problems in children are examined. The observation of the children behaviour shows an improvement in their relation with the non-custodial father since they come to the Family Meeting Point, as well as a minor conflict between both parents. The high number of cases in the Family Meeting Point and the benefits observed in the well-being of children support the need for this type of services.
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Objective: Current theoretical and empirical evidences about the impact and the factors associated with the impact of parents' separation/divorce in children's adjustment were related and examined. Method: An aggregative literature review was made, using the keywords "divorce adjustment", "child divorce" e "divorce impact", from the databases JSTOR, PsycInfo, SciELO, and Medline and from reference books. Results: Child unadaptive and adaptive responses are described, as well as potential positive results. Mediators and moderators factors of the impact of parents' separation/divorce in children's adjustment often referenced in literature are mainly discussed. Among these are: characteristics of children, financial problems, parents' psychopathological symptoms, quality of parenting practices and inter-parental conflict. Discussion: Based on the existing results, and considering the divorce as a developmental transition, we put a hypothesis that adjustment problems showed by children's of divorce can be better explained by other factors than the divorce/separation by itself. Finally we assume a conceptual innovation that this familiar transition can represent a growth opportunity and developmental promotion.
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This multistudy article examined the relative strength of mediational pathways involving hostile, disengaged, and uncooperative forms of interparental conflict, children's emotional insecurity, and their externalizing problems across 2 longitudinal studies. Participants in Study 1 consisted of 243 preschool children (M age = 4.60 years) and their parents, whereas Study 2 consisted of 263 adolescents (M age = 12.62 years) and their parents. Both studies utilized multimethod, multi-informant assessment batteries within a longitudinal design with 3 measurement occasions. Across both studies, lagged, autoregressive tests of the mediational paths revealed that interparental hostility was a significantly stronger predictor of the prospective cascade of children's insecurity and externalizing problems than interparental disengagement and low levels of interparental cooperation. Findings further indicated that interparental disengagement was a stronger predictor of the insecurity pathway than was low interparental cooperation for the sample of adolescents in Study 2. Results are discussed in relation to how they inform and advance developmental models of family risk. (PsycINFO Database Record
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We examined how adult (step)parent–child closeness is associated to the quality of other ties in the family network (i.e., parent–child dyads, parent–parent dyads). Although stepfamily scholars often assume that there are associations between all dyads within a family unit, more research needs to examine this premise empirically. We used survey data on adult children and their relationships with mothers, fathers, stepfathers, and stepmothers (N = 1,022). Two methods—non‐recursive structural equation modeling (SEM), and cross‐lagged SEM—were applied to consider the bidirectionality between ties. Those who are close to their biological parent are often also close to the new partner/stepparent, which is interpreted as a household effect. Moreover, the tie between the divorced parents is strongly associated to father–child closeness but less to mother–child closeness. We also found that mother–stepmother closeness and stepmother–child closeness are correlated, as are father–stepfather closeness and stepfather–child closeness. Our findings suggested weak substitution between father–child and stepfather–child closeness (a small but significant negative association). Gender differences are visible, as ties between biological mothers and adult children seemed more independent of the family system than other parent–child ties. Shifts in one (step)family dyad seem to create a spillover effect, also affecting other family dyads. For family practitioners or counselors, it is more efficient to consider the embeddedness of parent–child closeness within the family system than to focus on one constituent member or dyad of the system.
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Emotional security theory was introduced over two decades ago to explain how and why children exposed to interparental and family conflict are at greater risk for developing psychopathology. Using developmental psychopathology as an evaluative lens, this chapter provides a review of the progress, challenges, and future directions in testing EST. After characterizing the distinctive properties of the goal system of emotional security in relation to developmental constructs outlined in other approaches, we review empirical evidence supporting the hypothesis that emotional insecurity is a unique and robust mediator of multiple pathways involving family adversity and children's adjustment problems. Next, the chapter addresses the family, contextual, developmental sources underlying the multiplicity of pathways among family discord, emotional insecurity, and children's psychological functioning. Throughout the chapter, we distinguish between two formulations of EST to adequately characterize the significant developments in the history of the theory. Finally, we conclude by outlining scientific and clinical growing points for EST.
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This study compared concurrent as well as longitudinal associations between adolescent development and maternal wellbeing, in nuclear families with both biological parents and in single-mother and stepfather families. It relied on data from the first two waves of a longitudinal study in Germany (N = 436). Maternal wellbeing was assessed from mothers' reports of their sense of family mastery and self-esteem. Adolescent development was assessed from adolescents' reports of three aspects of individuation and of their romantic involvement. For single mothers and mothers in nuclear families, the associations between maternal wellbeing and adolescents' development were inconsistent. Mothers in stepfather families with daughters profited from their daughters' growing detachment. The results suggested that the associations between adolescent development and maternal wellbeing are family structure specific, and observable concurrently and across a one-year time period. The discussion considers the different demands and living situations of the three family structures.
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L’ampia diffusione delle separazioni coniugali ha portato all’attenzione il fenomeno del rifiuto, apparentemente immotivato, di un figlio verso un genitore. Il presente studio ha avuto l’obiettivo di esaminare, attraverso una ricerca di archivio, i percorsi psicogiuridici di un gruppo di famiglie separate giunte all’attenzione dei servizi sociali territoriali, in cui un figlio rifiuta immotivatamente un genitore. Il campione e costituito da 106 fascicoli relativi a nuclei familiari seguiti nei servizi sociali individuati. I dati sono stati raccolti attraverso una scheda di analisi costruita ad hoc. I principali risultati indicano che spesso gli interventi effettuati sono fallimentari in quanto non specifici, sovrapposti e prevalentemente orientati alla valutazione. E necessario, quindi, progettare interventi specialistici e coordinati con l’iter giudiziario.
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As part of a pilot project in the Montreal area, ten high-conflict families received free parenting coordination services. This explorative study aimed to document, through psychometric measures and semistructured interviews, how the parenting coordination process impacted children involved. Although not statistically significant, results suggest a diminution in the intensity of the conflict between parents over the course of parenting coordination, as perceived by the children. Qualitative data indicates variation in children’s opinions regarding their experience. Approximately half of the sample shared examples of improvements in their lives, mostly to do with diminution of parental conflict and better communication between parents. However, some shared frustrations with the intervention and their belief that parenting coordination was not helpful. Not feeling heard by the parenting coordinator (PC) as well as a perceived lack of neutrality were linked with negative discourse on parenting coordination.
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This study presents findings from a randomized effectiveness trial of the New Beginnings Program (NBP), which has demonstrated efficacy in 2 prior randomized efficacy trials. Family courts in 4 counties facilitated recruitment of divorcing and separating parents, and providers in community agencies delivered the program. Participants were 830 parents of children ages 3–18 who were randomized to receive either the 10-session NBP or an active 2-session comparison condition in which parents learned about the same parenting skills but did not complete home practice of these skills. Parents were ethnically diverse (59.4% non-Hispanic White, 31.4% Hispanic, 9.2% other race or ethnicity). Multiple rater assessments of parenting, interparental conflict, and child mental health problems were conducted at pretest, posttest, and 10-month follow-up. The results indicated positive moderated effects of the NBP as compared with the active control condition to strengthen parenting at posttest and to reduce child mental health problems at posttest and 10 months. Many of these moderated effects showed positive benefits for non-Hispanic White families but not for Hispanic families. The findings indicate support for the effectiveness of the NBP when delivered by community-based agencies but also indicate the need for further adaptations to make the program effective for Hispanic parents.
Technical Report
This report details an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Hong Kong Family Welfare Society’s (HKFWS) co-parenting and parenting coordination services, which are largely informed by the Cooperative Parenting Institute’s (CPI) model. The evaluation followed a mixed-methods approach that integrated a quantitative study as well as a qualitative study. The Quantitative Study As part of a pretest–post-test design involving non-equivalent groups to examine the effectiveness of the HKFWS’s co-parenting and parenting coordination services, questionnaires were collected at intake (i.e. pretest), after co-parenting education (i.e. interim), and a year after pretest (i.e. post-test). In all, 87 parents—35 in the control group and 52 in the experimental group—completed pretest questionnaires, 64 completed interim questionnaires, and 73 completed post-test questionnaires, for pretest–post-test return rates of 60.0% for the control group and 100.0% for the experimental one. In parallel, 31 children were recruited at pretest, 29 of whom completed post-test questionnaires, for a return rate of 93.5%. Last, 205 social workers or related professionals completed questionnaires addressing professional training during six training sessions held between July 2017 and May 2018. Results of the quantitative study revealed that the CPI-informed co-parenting education, as part of the HKFWS’s co-parenting services, exerted only a short-term effect on parents’ motivation and commitment to engaging in post-divorce co-parenting and their awareness of rising social expectations for post-divorce co-parenting. Among other results, intensive CPI-based services reduced inter-parental conflict and inter-parental communication, facilitated the significant emotional detachment of parents from former spouses as part of a non-antagonistic parallel pattern of co-parenting. The intervention successfully moved the parents from conflicting co-parenting to parallel co-parenting, which is widely recognized as a beneficial and feasible co-parenting pattern for post-divorce families with high-conflict parents. Consequently, their children experienced significant relief from being triangulated in inter-parental conflicts, improved intimacy with non-resident parents, and enhanced wellbeing. The Qualitative Study The participants for the qualitative study consisted of 21 parents and five children from 15 families, three social workers from agencies other than the HKFWS, and a peer counsellor. Consistent with findings from the quantitative study, qualitative results revealed that the HKFWS’s co-parenting and parenting coordination services reduced inter-parental conflict and allowed parents to engage in more civilised communication with the other parties. The services also helped parents to resolve challenging disputes regarding arrangements to coordinate their children’s activities and visits with non-resident parents, reduced the triangulation of children in inter-parental conflicts, strengthened parent–child bonding, and improved children’s wellbeing. As revealed during interviews, participants appreciated the HKFWS’s cultivation of and commitment to observing a child-focused relational perspective, as well as platforms for communication developed for the workable negotiation of child-related arrangement. The intensive CPI-informed services enhanced the parents’ awareness of interaction dynamics that could overcome negative circularity, and the facilitation of perspective taking and mutual understanding fostered their mutual trust. The services that supported parents’ rehearsal of civilized responses in possible conflicts with the other parties, attentive coaching, and engagement in follow-up reviews also equipped parents with concrete skills and strong sources of support. The CPI’s guide for parents and children’s books served as easily accessible resources to parents. Moreover, participating social workers and peer counsellor considered the services to be outstanding given the sustained, thoughtful efforts of social workers in engaging and helping both parents, maintaining good inter-agency collaboration, and nurturing social worker–peer counsellor coordination. However, some parents reported that their counselling needs went unmet and that the services were fragmented due to rigid service boundaries in the absence of designated key workers. The co-parenting course was beneficial in equipping the parents with a child-focused perspective but insufficient to support them to implement child-focused co-parenting. At the same time, although the fathers’ group provided non-resident fathers with sound emotional support, unresolved hurt and anger that circulated in their self-initiated social media group posed the risk of gender-based antagonism against resident mothers. Despite their appreciation of the child-focused perspective, some parents failed to recognise that some of their actions contradicted that perspective, including their conflation of maintenance and access, and their continued focus on parent’s rights instead of children’s. Last, the significant influence of lawyers, friends, extended family and social ideologies may divert the parents away from a child-focused perspective, fuelling their disputes. Conclusion and Recommendations In sum, providing bundled intensive interventions based on CPI model successfully facilitated parents experiencing severe conflict to practise child-focused co-parenting in a parallel parenting pattern, even if the counselling needs of some parents remained unmet and some parents still adopt a mind-set prioritising the rights of parents. In response, the following measures are recommended: • Positioning co-parenting as lifelong education; • Employing differentiated service packages for parents in diverse situations; • Advocating the legislation of the Children Proceedings (Parental Responsibility) Bill and the implementation of a more vigorous system to enforce child support in Hong Kong; • Challenging the fixed differentiation of gender roles and the gendered division of labour • Adopting a therapeutic, integrative case management service model for parents experiencing severe parental conflict; • Training support for co-parenting practitioners; and • Developing appropriate screening instruments and assessment tools to enable timely assessment for the earliest and most appropriate intervention with families.
Article
Social networks influence romantic relationships through friends' support or lack of support of the union. However, the consequences of friends repeatedly telling other friends their relationship was going to end but failing to actually terminate the relationship are unclear. Guided by the false alarm effect (FAE), and data from both student (N = 273) and noncollege (N = 226) samples, it was found that breakup false alarms were associated with increases in both positive and negative responses. In addition, when participants were friends with both partners, breakup false alarms were associated with “feeling caught” between the friends. Findings generally support the FAE and paint a complex picture of how social network members react to their close friends' tumultuous relationships.
Article
Arguably, the medical model's narrative achieved an iconic mental health status eulogized within our evidence‐based era. Despite Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' atheoretical pretensions, we attempt to shed light and critically challenge its dogmatic mental health presumptions through a family systems perspective. Specifically, our critical study of a fictitious vignette attempts to expose how the medical model's systematic de‐emphasis of familial environments directs clinicians away from the true source of triangulated children's distress, an attention shift that may result in unintentionally perpetuating children's psychological turmoil. Alternatively, we attempt to delineate how the system paradigm may holistically account for children's familial emotional environments, thereby potentially attributing their psychological distress to its true, yet concealed, familial dysfunction. In essence, we argue that the medical model seems to operate within a decontextualized restricted disease‐carrier‐child mind frame, hence potentially ascribing faux diagnoses and false medical treatments to healthy children.
Article
Objective: This brief exploratory study, guided by family systems theory, examined whether rumination mediated the relationship between adult children's experience of triangulation (i.e., feeling caught) and well‐being after parental infidelity. Results: On the basis of responses from 215 adult children whose parents engaged in infidelity, adult children's well‐being and their feelings of being caught between parents was mediated by rumination. Moreover, the relationship between these variables was not conditional on whether adult children's parents divorced or remained married after infidelity. Implications: These findings provide an initial understanding of the impact of parental infidelity on adult children. Further, they suggest that future research should examine family discourses that promote or mitigate rumination because family interactions greatly influence offspring's experiences with this transgression.
Article
In a sample of 559 children (ages 9-18), researchers investigated whether: (a) fear of abandonment mediated the association between postdivorce interparental conflict (IPC) and mental health problems, and (b) parent-child relationship quality moderated the association between IPC and fear of abandonment. Mediation analyses indicated that pretest IPC predicted fear of abandonment 3 months later, which then predicted child- and teacher-reported mental health problems 10 months later. The hypothesized protective effect of a high-quality parent-child relationship was not observed. IPC predicted fear of abandonment for all children, except for those with low- and moderate-quality father-child relationships, for whom IPC was not significantly related to fear of abandonment. Findings highlight the need to optimize child coping programs and improve parenting-after-divorce programs to reduce IPC.
Article
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Previous research offered evidence for how overprotective parenting is related to psychosocial maladjustment among adolescents and documented the parent-related and child-related antecedents of overprotective parenting. Using a family systems perspective, the present study aimed at extending this knowledge by looking into contextual determinants of overprotective parenting. More specifically, the goal of this study was to examine associations between adolescents’ perceptions of the coparental relationship (i.e., the way parental figures relate to each other in their role as parents) and overprotective parenting, which in turn was expected to relate to more adolescent anxiety symptoms. A sample of 174 adolescents (Mage = 16.99 years, 73% girls) completed questionnaires assessing their perceptions of the coparental relationship (in terms of cooperation, conflict, and triangulation), overprotective parenting, and symptoms of anxiety. Analyses indicated that triangulation, in particular, uniquely predicted higher levels of overprotective parenting, which in turn was associated with more anxiety symptoms among adolescents. These results provide evidence for the importance of considering the larger family systems context for understanding the dynamics involved in overprotective parenting. The discussion focuses on theoretical and clinical implications of these findings.
Article
This study tested parental confirmation and divorce as moderators of the direct and indirect effects of witnessing interparental conflict (i.e., demand/withdraw patterns and aggression) on young adults’ mental health through feelings of being caught between parents. Participants included 493 young adults from first-marriage and post-divorce families. Conditional process analyses revealed that both parental confirmation and divorce status moderated the positive association between demand/withdraw patterns and feeling caught. Each parent’s aggression toward their (ex)spouse reduced the inverse association between confirmation and children feeling caught. Father confirmation moderated the indirect effect of witnessing parents’ demand/withdraw patterns on young adults’ mental health via their feelings of being caught, and this moderation was conditioned by divorce status. Consequently, parents may find that confirmation provides a sense of relational reassurance that softens the more immediate distress that their children experience when witnessing their disputes and feeling caught.
Chapter
In diesem Kapitel betrachten wir viele entwicklungsrelevante Aspekte familiärer Interaktionen. Wir beginnen mit einer Untersuchung über den möglichen Einfluss von sozialen Veränderungen in den letzten Jahrzehnten in den Vereinigten Staaten auf das Funktionieren von Familie und die Entwicklung der Kinder – vom Alter der ersten Elternschaft bis zu einem erhöhten Anteil an Scheidungen, Wiederverheiratungen und mütterlicher Berufstätigkeit. Neben der Familiendynamik wird auch das Thema Kindesmisshandlung mit seinen Risikofaktoren und den Folgen aufgegriffen. Weiterhin werden wir uns damit befassen, wie sich Armut, Kultur und ähnliche Faktoren auf die Entwicklung auswirken können.
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This study is a randomized controlled trial of an asynchronous, fully web‐based program for divorced and separated parents, the electronic New Beginnings Program (eNBP). This program is an adaptation of a group, in‐person program for divorced parents, the New Beginnings Program (NBP), which has been shown in randomized trials to reduce a wide range of offspring problems and improve a wide range of competencies up to 15 years after participation. The 10‐module, 5‐h program uses evidence‐based, highly interactive strategies to teach skills designed to strengthen parenting after divorce and reduce interparental conflict. Participants were 131 parents (63% mothers) and 102 adolescent offspring. Parents were randomly assigned to the eNBP or a wait‐list control condition. Parents and their children completed pre‐ and post‐tests. Analyses showed that at post‐test, parents and children in the eNBP reported significantly higher parent–child relationship quality, more effective discipline, lower interparental conflict and lower child mental health problems than did those in the wait‐list control condition. These are the strongest findings in the literature on the effects of web‐based programs to reduce interparental conflict, strengthen positive parenting and reduce children's post‐divorce mental health problems. Given that parental divorce has significant individual and societal costs, widespread implementation of this program could have significant public health implications. A fully web‐based parenting‐after‐divorce program reduced interparental conflict, increased quality of parenting and reduced children's post‐divorce behavior problems as reported by both parents and children. Web‐based programs to improve parenting can be a cost‐effective approach to promote children's post‐divorce adjustment. Widespread implementation of easily accessible, web‐based parenting‐after‐divorce programs can significantly reduce the negative impact of divorce on children's outcomes.
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Emotional regulation refers to the ways to modulate, inhibit, intensify and decrease the reactions toward emotional situations; in order to help individual in his/her environmental adjustment. This process starts at the beginning of the life and it facilitates more or less successful interaction patterns with another human beings. This depends of the parent's interaction, observation and presence. Based on this, we explore the effect of conflict or harmony between parents on the emotional reactions of 113 Mexican adults. Findings show that, for positive emotions there are more openness and expression while for negative ones, to hide and be reserved are important ways to respond.
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In a preliminary analysis of data from a nationally representative sample of U.S. children aged 11 to 16 in 1981, the authors examine (1) the incidence of marital disruption in children's lives; (2) the type of living arrangements children experience following a disruption; and (3) the amount of contact children maintain with the outside parent. The analysis reveals large racial differences in both the incidence and aftermath of disruption. Blacks were one-and-a-half times as likely as whites to have undergone a disruption by early adolescence; within five years of a disruption, however, only one out of eight black children, compared with four out of seven white children, were in a stepfamily. Frequent contact with the outside parent (an average of at least once a week for the past year) occurred in only 17 percent of the disrupted families irrespective of race. Provision of child support, residential propinquity of the outside parent, and the length of time since separation occurred were the most important factors in accounting for amount of contact between the outside parent and the child.
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Although there has been evidence for some time of a sex difference in depression, relatively little research has examined the developmental process by which women come to be at greater risk than men for depression. In this paper, the developmental pattern of depressed affect is examined over early and middle adolescence, with a special focus on the patterns of boys as compared to girls. In addition, a developmental model for mental health in adolescence is tested for its power in explaining the emergence of gender differences in depression. Longitudinal data on 335 adolescents randomly selected from two school districts were used to test the hypotheses. Results revealed that girls are at risk for developing depressed affect by 12th grade because they experienced more challenges in early adolescence than did boys. The sex difference in depressed affect at 12th grade disappears once early adolescent challenges are considered.
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Interviewed 20 male Ss (aged 6–11 yrs) living in maternal custody and a matched group of 20 male Ss living in joint custody following the divorce of their parents, to determine the effects of loyalty conflicts and other family relationship factors on their adjustment. The Ss were asked to respond to a 15-item interview concerning parental loyalty conflicts, a 68-item test by E. Bene and J. Anthony (1978) to assess a child's perceptions of child–parent relationships, and the Kinetic Family Drawing Test by R. C. Burns and S. H. Kaufman (1970). Each of the S's parents was asked to evaluate the extent to which the S was troubled by concerns of loyalty. Results indicate that children of divorced parents are comfortable in expressing negative as well as positive feelings toward both parents and are not preoccupied with fantasies of parental reconciliation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Parental conflict and children's behavioral and social adjustment were measured at two periods in 100 families entrenched in custody and visitation disputes. More frequent access to both parents was associated with more emotional and behavioral problems in the children; different effects were noted for boys and girls.
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This paper reports on the age-specific distress and symptomatic behavior of 44 children, aged 6–12 years, of varied racial and ethnic origin, who were the subject of post-separation and divorce disputes over their custody and care. The children's involvement in the parental disputes, their reactions to witnessing the parental fights and to making transitions from one parent's home to the other, are discussed. Different patterns of coping and defensive response to their disputing parents were identified. The findings pose important questions about the conditions under which parental conflict influences children and the areas of their development affected. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 24, 5:563–574, 1985.
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The psychometric properties of the Father and Mother Scales of the Parent-Child Relationship Survey were examined. 149 undergraduate students in psychology from divorced families and 155 students from continuously intact families completed the instrument which was designed to assess the perceived quality of older children's relationships with their parents. Results suggest that the Father and Mother Scales each assess primarily a unidimensional positive affective component of perceived parent-child relationships. Normative, reliability, and validity data are also presented. These findings support the research and clinical utility of the instrument.
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This article describes the kind and degree of coparenting being maintained by a group of divorcing families approximately 18 months after parental separation. The sample was taken from court records of divorce filings in two California counties in 1984-85 and includes nearly 1,000 families who had children under age 16 at the time of filing. Three patterns of de facto residential custody (children living with mother, with father, or having dual residence) are compared. While dual-residence parents maintained somewhat higher levels of communication, their levels of conflict did not differ from those of primary-residence parents. The amount of conflict in coparenting is shown to be related to the intensity of interparental hostility at an earlier time.
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This study examined the involvement and satisfaction of adolescents with their fathers and mothers. Possible age and sex differences were investigated for three components of involvement: proportion of time spent with fathers and mothers, type of activities engaged in, and degree of satisfaction with those activities. Telephone interviews were used to obtain information about previous day's activities from 61 adolescents in grades 6-12. For each activity, data were obtained on duration, who else was present, and satisfaction. Results indicated that adolescents spent a greater proportion of time in leisure than in work with fathers, and equal time in work and in leisure with mothers. In general, adolescents were as satisfied with activities with their fathers as with their mothers. Adolescents enjoyed working with fathers more than mothers, however. The results demonstrate that activity satisfaction varies as a function of what activities adolescents engage in and who is present.
Article
Three groups of adolescents, each living with their mothers but not their fathers, were empirically defined through assignment of positive and negative adjectives for parent-self relationships. The same subjects also chose mothers or fathers as the persons with whom they were most likely to discuss six kinds of topics and with whom they were most likely to communicate five qualitative ways. The group that defined itself as positive with mothers and negative with fathers differed from the group that had defined itself as negative to mothers and neutral to fathers on most of the 11 other measures. A third group that was neutral to mothers typically scored intermediately on the 11 other measures. The results potentially represent three types of parent-adolescent relations in adolescents from families of divorce. Results are discussed in terms of the rearing on the development process of individuation.
Article
In a study of the effects of divorce and remarriage on the adjustment and development of children, primary school children (n = 172) and adolescents (n = 170) reported on processes in three types of families: mother-custody one-parent, mother-custody stepparent, and intact two-parent. Children reported similar levels of support and punishment from mothers, regardless of family type. Compared with children in intact families, children in one-parent families reported less father support, less father control, less father punishment, more autonomy, more household responsibility, more conflict with siblings, and less family cohesion. Stepfathers were said to provide less support, control, and punishment than biological fathers in intact families, although stepfather involvement was positively associated with the number of years stepfamilies had been together.
Article
This research examined the relations among the quality of stepparent-stepchild relationships, the frequency of visits from nonresident parents, and child outcomes in four structural types of stepfamilies: stepmother families with male "target" child; stepmother families with female "target" child; stepfather families with male "target" child; and stepfather families with female "target" child. 40 stepfather and 20 stepmother families participated in a multimethod-multisource assessment of stepparent-stepchild relationships and child outcomes. Half of each structural type had a male and half had a female, 9-12-year-old target child. In stepmother families, more positive stepparent-stepchild relationships were associated with lower inhibition and aggression ratings for male and female stepchildren and with higher self-esteem scores for females. For girls in stepmother families, more frequent visits with the nonresident mother were associated with less positive stepmother-stepdaughter relationships. The longer stepdaughters lived in a biological father-stepmother household, the more positive were stepmother-stepdaughter relationships and the lower were aggression and inhibition ratings. Few significant findings were obtained for children in stepfather families.
Article
Explored differences in conflict situation coping strategies in 2 groups of 6 5-yr-olds and 2 groups of 6 7-yr-olds who were videotaped in 12 1-hr long playgroups. Both direct persuasion attempts and conflict mitigation attempts were coded from the videotapes. Results show that boys were involved in conflict more often than girls. Once within a conflict situation, boys tended to use threat and physical force significantly more often, whereas girls tended to attempt to mitigate the conflict significantly more often, especially when interacting with other girls. However, there was considerable overlap in the behavior of the boys and the girls. It is concluded that the bulk of all the Ss' responses to conflict could be described as moderate persuasion. It is suggested that the gender differences described may involve a difference in emphasis rather than a qualitative discontinuity. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Argues that current child custody practices are damaging to both mothers and fathers and to their children. The history of child custody is reviewed, recent studies of the impact of divorce on families are summarized, case histories in which joint custody is shown to be working are presented, state laws that permit joint custody are described, and new legislation and support services are proposed. The concept of meaningful shared parental responsibility for children is stressed. (10 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This two-part review documents inconsistencies in the empirical basis for the hypothesis that boys are more negatively affected than are girls by parental divorce. An attempt is made to move beyond a global hypothesis to one specifying circumstances for the pattern. Part 1 asks whether methodological adequacy or postdivorce family forms in the studies help explain the discrepancy across studies that examine sex differences in children's response to parental divorce. Part 2, reviewing other possible sources for the discrepancy, will appear in a forthcoming issue of this Journal.
Article
The present study was concerned with the development and testing of a structural equation model wherein the relation of interparental conflict to the adjustment problems of young adolescents is mediated through its impact on 3 aspects of parenting behavior; lax control, psychological control, and parental rejection/withdrawal. The model was tested separately on a sample of 46 young adolescents from intact families and a group of 51 adolescents from recently divorced families. The hypothesis that most of the relation between marital conflict and adolescent adjustment problems could be explained through perturbations in the parent-child relationship received considerable support; the only direct effect of conflict was on externalizing problems in the intact sample. The results also suggested that the mediational patterns were somewhat different for the 2 samples, and that the model accounts for a greater proportion of the variance in the adjustment problems of adolescents from intact homes than of those from recently divorced families.
Article
Research concerned with life events and stress during childhood and adolescence is reviewed. Models of stress and life events and measures of stressful events during childhood and adolescence are described. Although problems in each of these areas are noted, recent progress in measurement is encouraging. Cross-sectional studies have found a consistent, although modest, correlation of stressful events with psychological, behavioral, and somatic problems. However, recent prospective studies provide greater support for the role of chronic strains and daily Stressors than major life events in the development of psychological and behavioral difficulties during adolescence. Directions for future research are outlined.
Article
The present study was concerned with the development and testing of a structural equation model wherein the relation of interparental conflict to the adjustment problems of young adolescents is mediated through its impact on 3 aspects of parenting behavior: lax control, psychological control, and parental rejection/withdrawal. The model was tested separately on a sample of 46 young adolescents from intact families and a group of 51 adolescents from recently divorced families. The hypothesis that most of the relation between martial conflict and adolescent adjustment problems could be explained through perturbations in the parent-child relationship received considerable support; the only direct effect of conflict was on externalizing problems in the intact sample. The results also suggested that the mediational patterns were somewhat different for the 2 samples, and that the model accounts for a greater proportion of the variance in the adjustment problems of adolescents from intact homes than of those from recently divorced families.
Article
This second of a two-part review examines four possibilities for explaining the discrepancy across studies in findings of sex differences in children's responses to parental divorce: sample type, nature of outcome variables, age of the child, and sources of data. Recommendations are made for further research that could clarify the nature and origins of differences by child gender in reactions to parental divorce. Part 1, reviewing research methodology and post divorce family forms, was published by this Journal in July 1988.
Article
Systems theorists have argued that triads rather than dyads need to be considered as a basic interaction unit, particularly in regard to episodes of conflict. While theoretically appealing, the description of the strategies used and alliances formed when third parties intervene in dyadic conflict presents a number of conceptual and empirical challenges. In the present report, a reliable system for coding such third-party participation in verbal conflicts is described and is used to analyze routine family conflicts that were observed during dinner. A number of specific findings of interest are reported, including that girls were more likely than boys to intervene in all family disputes except marital conflicts, that mothers and fathers rarely sided against each other when intervening as third parties, and that the third-party strategies most commonly used corresponded with family roles: fathers used authority strategies, mothers used mediational tactics, and children used distraction. Of greater importance, however, are the general findings that document the influence of third parties on dyadic conflict. Additional family members frequently joined dyadic family conflicts, they were about equally likely to attempt to end or to continue the conflict, they formed alliances about half of the time, and their intervention strategies were related to the outcome of the conflict as well as its patterning.
Article
Family therapy suggests a reformulation of concept and method in studying the family and individual development: to regard the family as an organized system and the individual as a contributing member, part of the process that creates and maintains the patterns that regulate behavior. In this review, the theories and clinical experiences of family therapists are regarded as a resource for developmental psychology, and particular attention is paid to those aspects that challenge traditional formulations in the developmental field. The review focuses on systems theory as the paradigm underlying family therapy and considers the implications of this framework for conceptions of the individual, the study of parent-child interaction, and new research formulations and areas of study. It also considers trends in the developmental field that move toward such formulations.
Article
Social science research that can be translated into policy recommendations pertaining to the custody of children after divorce is meager. Giving specific attention to the debate on the advantages and disadvantages of joint custody, the authors propose multilevel/multivariable life-cycle guidelines for future child custody research. Critical issues are discussed, empirical questions raised, and salient variables examined for both the divorced family and the social system. For the divorced family, 6 classes of variables (e.g., parent–child relationships, interparental relationships, and mechanics of alternations) are discussed. For the social system, attention is given to the potential effect of formal social institutions (work settings, schools, and the legal system) and of informal social networks (kin and friends) on the postdivorce interrelationships of parents and children. The importance of examining the effects of custody arrangements in terms of a family life cycle is emphasized. The remarriage of one or both parents is used to illustrate how the effects of joint custody may be altered by anticipated changes in the life cycle of divorced parents and their children. (122 ref)
Article
The psychological experience of 32 children living in a joint-custody arrangement with their parents is examined. This report is part of a larger study, begun in 1978, of 24 families in which parents have shared childrearing responsibilities and physical custody of their children following marital separation. Findings suggest that joint custody is not a simple solution, and that the reaction of children is highly individual. The need for further study is emphasized.
  • Clingempeel W. G.
  • Vuchinich S.