Article

The Continuing Co-Parental Relationship Between Divorced Spouses

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Abstract

Findings are reported from an empirical investigation of the relationship between divorced spouses one year following the divorce. Interviews covering a wide range of topics were conducted with 54 pairs of divorced parents. It was found that the majority continued to interact with one another; those who interacted the most frequently were the supportive and cooperative coparents.

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... These researchers fully investigated the coparenting relationship and its influence on children's postdivorce wellbeing. More precisely, they focused on the coparenting conflict in divorced families who pursued their conflict through, for example, competition for the children's affection, loyalty struggles, triangulation, and a lack of coordination (e.g., Ahrons, 1981;Maccoby & Mnookin, 1992). ...
... From the beginning, studying the coparenting relationship has been motivated by identifying the family processes that can facilitate or jeopardize children's well-being. Indeed, research on divorce first investigated coparenting to better understand the impact of parents' separation on children (e.g., Ahrons, 1981;Maccoby et al., 1990). These studies underscored that the parents remained related to each other after a divorce and that their eventual conflicts were maintained (Durst et al., 1985;Lund, 1987;Maccoby et al., 1990). ...
... Historically, the first studies investigating coparenting aimed to define the impact of couples' divorce on the nature of post-divorce coparenting and, by extension, on children (e.g., Ahrons, 1981;Maccoby et al., 1993). Researchers may have responded to public concerns regarding increases in divorces and its impact on children's well-being. ...
Thesis
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The literature has supported the broad importance of the coparenting relationship for the couple and for family. However, couple therapy research has overlooked couples of parents and coparenting as a target and an outcome of therapy. Therefore, this thesis aimed to explore the relevance of working on the coparenting relationship within couple therapy and observed the nature of changes related to this specific therapeutic work. As a preliminary step, we reviewed and evaluated the efficacy of coparenting interventions within the broader framework of intervention programs for couples. Then, we focused on a couple therapy, and presented the Integrative Brief Systemic Intervention (IBSI) that systematically integrates therapeutic work on both the romantic and coparenting relationships. Finally, we conducted two process studies to identify the nature of the changes related to integrating coparenting work into the IBSI. This thesis offers the first evidence of the relevance of working on coparenting within both prevention programs and IBSI. The process studies allowed us to describe the process unfolding when parents improved their coparenting satisfaction within the IBSI. This process comprised six steps and discriminated couples whose coparenting outcomes improved from couples who did not improve after couple therapy. We finally discussed the implications of this research for both empirical literature and clinical practice.
... Because shared physical custody is becoming the most common custody arrangement for children in the United States following parental divorce (Berger & Carlson, 2020;Meyer, Cancian, & Cook, 2017), it is reasonable to assume that most divorced parents engage in at least some coparenting communication (Beckmeyer et al., 2019). Noncoparenting communication encompasses all topics that divorced parents talk about that are unrelated to their shared childcare obligations (Ahrons, 1981). Non-coparenting communication can range from relatively benign small talk and sharing news about extended family members to more impactful discussions about why former spouses divorced, rehashing personal grudges, and/or if they should reunite (Ahrons, 1981;Frisby et al., 2014;Markham et al., 2017). ...
... Noncoparenting communication encompasses all topics that divorced parents talk about that are unrelated to their shared childcare obligations (Ahrons, 1981). Non-coparenting communication can range from relatively benign small talk and sharing news about extended family members to more impactful discussions about why former spouses divorced, rehashing personal grudges, and/or if they should reunite (Ahrons, 1981;Frisby et al., 2014;Markham et al., 2017). Although it is common for former spouses to engage in both coparenting and non-coparenting communication, a common recommendation made by researchers and clinicians is that former spouses should try to limit their communication to primarily coparenting issues (Emery, 2012;Jamison et al., 2014;Markham et al., 2017). ...
... How often participants communicated with their former spouses about coparenting topics was assessed with the parental component of the Content of Coparental Interaction Scale (10 items; α = .94; Ahrons, 1981). Items were rated on a 5-point scale (1 = never to 5 = always) and scores were computed by averaging across the items. ...
Article
Using data from 708 divorced parents (52.4% mothers), we examined how ongoing communication (i.e., topics and frequency of communication) with former spouses was associated with parenting stress and child internalizing and externalizing behavior. Based on hierarchical multiple regression models, ongoing communication was not associated with parenting stress but was associated with child externalizing and internalizing behavior. Specifically, communicating about sex/romance was associated with more child externalizing behavior. Communication about self and family and communication about sex/romance were associated with more, but coparenting communication with less, child internalizing behavior. Overall, the results support recent suggestions by family scientists and clinicians that divorced parents should limit their communication to shared parenting issues. Discussing non-coparenting topics may lead to a post-divorce family system that undermines children’s well-being. Talking about having a sexual or romantic relationship with their former spouses may be harmful for children’s well-being.
... -Comportamentos de coparentalidade pós-divórcio: três dimensões: quantidade de comunicação coparental: Coparental Interaction Scale (Ahrons, 1981); cooperação cooperantal; e conflito coparental com o seu ex-cônjuge: subescalas do Coparenting Questionnaire (Margolin et al., 2001). ...
... -Comunicação coparental: Coparental Interaction Scale (Ahrons, 1981). ...
... -Apoio à coparentalidade, conflito aberto e conflito encoberto: seis itens da Quality of Coparental Communication Scale (Ahrons, 1981) e nove itens da Coparental Competition and Conflict (Buehler & Trotter, 1990). ...
Article
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Objetivo. O objetivo desta revisão sistemática foi compreender como a coparentalidade, o envolvimento parental e as práticas parentais influenciam a dinâmica de famílias binucleares. Método. Realizou-se uma busca nas bases de dados PsycINFO, Web of Science e BVSPsi, que resultou em 17 artigos científicos. Os estudos foram analisados criticamente em relação às características metodológicas e aos principais resultados. Resultados. Em linhas gerais, observou-se que a coparentalidade e o envolvimento parental associam-se com diversos fatores de proteção à saúde psicológica dos pais e das crianças após o divórcio, em consonância com dados encontrados com famílias intactas/nucleares. Não foram encontradas pesquisas sobre práticas parentais dentro dos critérios de busca estabelecidos. Discutem-se possíveis vieses e indicações para futuras investigações e intervenções com famílias binucleares.
... Although some former spouses limit the content of their communication to issues related to their children, others also talk about topics and experiences unrelated to their children . For example, former spouses may continue to discuss why they got divorced, work, and news about extended family members and friends (Ahrons, 1981;Frisby et al., 2014;Markham et al., 2017). We considered former spouses' discussions about topics unrelated to their ongoing childrearing responsibilities as non-coparenting communication to illustrate that it is distinct from communication focused on their children, which falls into the coparenting domain of their ongoing relationships (Ahrons, 1981;Finzi-Dottan & Cohen, 2014). ...
... For example, former spouses may continue to discuss why they got divorced, work, and news about extended family members and friends (Ahrons, 1981;Frisby et al., 2014;Markham et al., 2017). We considered former spouses' discussions about topics unrelated to their ongoing childrearing responsibilities as non-coparenting communication to illustrate that it is distinct from communication focused on their children, which falls into the coparenting domain of their ongoing relationships (Ahrons, 1981;Finzi-Dottan & Cohen, 2014). Former spousal communication also can be considered in terms of how frequently it occurs (i.e., the frequency of communication; Ganong et al., 2011;Markham et al., 2017). ...
... With Ex-Spouse Scale (13 items; Ahrons, 1981; child sample = .94; youth sample = .94). ...
Article
Objective: To determine which aspects of divorced parents' ongoing relationships with their former spouses were associated with children's and youth's postdivorce well-being. Background: Research on the associations between former spousal relationships and children's postdivorce well-being has focused extensively on postdivorce coparenting, with less emphasis on other aspects of these multidimensional relationships. Method: Divorced parents (N = 641), recruited via Amazon MTurk, reported on six aspects of their relationships with their former spouses (coparenting cooperation, general communication with former spouses, boundary ambiguity, how often they talk with their former spouses, and satisfaction with custody and child support), and three indices of postdivorce child well-being (prosocial, internalizing, and externalizing behavior). Results: Analyses were conducted separately for children (4-to 9-years-old) and youth (10-to 18-years-old). For children, coparenting cooperation was associated with more prosocial but less internalizing behavior; general communication and boundary ambiguity—family system were associated with greater externalizing and internalizing behavior. For youth, boundary ambiguity—family system was associated with more externalizing and internalizing behavior, boundary ambiguity—relationship with former spouse was associated with more externalizing behavior, child support satisfaction was associated with more prosocial behavior, and custody satisfaction was associated with less internalizing behavior. Conclusion: For child and youth postdivorce well-being, some aspects of former spousal relationships appear more impactful than others, with boundary ambiguity appearing particularly detrimental. Implications: Divorce education programs may need to diversify their content, supplementing the common focus on postdivorce coparenting with resources that help parents reduce bound- ary ambiguity in the family system.
... Coparenting has been conceptualized as a multidimensional construct (Feinberg, 2003;Teubert & Pinquart, 2010a). During the past four decades, many researchers have developed frameworks of coparenting (e.g., Ahrons, 1981;Feinberg, 2003;McHale, 1997;Stright & Bales, 2003). Ahrons (1981) and Stright and Bales (2003) defined coparenting as positive and negative counterparts. ...
... During the past four decades, many researchers have developed frameworks of coparenting (e.g., Ahrons, 1981;Feinberg, 2003;McHale, 1997;Stright & Bales, 2003). Ahrons (1981) and Stright and Bales (2003) defined coparenting as positive and negative counterparts. Margolin et al. (2001) proposed a three-factor model of coparenting: cooperation, conflict, and triangulation. ...
Article
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The significance of coparenting has been demonstrated for a variety of adolescents’ adjustment outcomes. The current study examined the associations between coparenting patterns and adolescents’ adjustment by adopting a person-oriented perspective. The Coparenting Relationship Scale was used to investigate both fathers’ and mothers’ perceptions of coparenting in 1707 intact Chinese families. Adolescents (Mage = 11.04) reported their emotional (subjective well-being, loneliness), behavioral (pathological gaming, aggression), and academic adjustment (attitudes toward learning, academic performance) through a series of questionnaires. Three distinct coparenting typologies were identified using latent profile analysis: cooperative coparenting, conflictual coparenting, and mixed coparenting. Within the three typologies, gender differences between parents in coparenting dimensions also emerged. Adolescents in cooperative coparenting families reported the most positive adjustment outcomes, whereas those in mixed coparenting families reported the most negative. These findings provided valuable insights into how coparenting characteristics may relate to adolescents’ outcomes. Implications for research and practice were discussed.
... The notion of co-parenting after divorce takes its roots from seminal writing on the various domains or experiences that individuals experience in the process of divorce, with parents who experience divorce engaging what has been referred to as the co-parental station of divorce (Bohannan, 1971). In the time following, research on co-parenting after divorce largely elevated two broad constructs that would come to define the relationship: support or cooperation and conflict, specifically more overt forms of conflictual interactions (see Ahrons, 1981). Support in co-parenting reflects efforts that promote cooperation and shared responsibilities. ...
... In much of the divorce literature, conflict is framed as a singular and distinctive indicator (i.e., see Ahrons, 1981;Goldsmith, 1981), denoting problematic or negative co-parenting practices more broadly. However, a wide body of literature has suggested a distinction between conflict, such that multiple subdimensions exist, specifically a distinction along the lines of whether the conflict in overt or covert in nature. ...
Article
The co-parenting relationship matters for postdivorce parental adjustment. This study explores the relative impact of different forms of co-parenting behaviors, coupled with an individual’s psychological resources, in explaining parent mental health in recently divorced or separated parents ( n = 355). A latent variable structural equation model was fit to examine pathways between dimensions of co-parenting (support, overt conflict, self-controlled covert conflict, and externally controlled covert conflict), various psychological resources (satisfaction with the divorce decree, perceived competence of the co-parent, and self-efficacy), and adverse mental health symptomology. Significant direct pathways were identified between overt co-parenting conflict and adverse mental health. Indicators of co-parenting quality were tied differentially to various resources. Indirect effects were found for both self-controlled covert conflict and overt conflict on adverse mental health symptomology through self-efficacy. Leverage points and considerations for health professionals and practitioners working with divorcing parents are discussed.
... Family process model (Broderick, 1993;Arditti, 2012) Participants: 69 inmate parents Method: Self-report questionnaires Instruments and variables: a) questionnaire about in-person visiting frequency and problems; b) questionnaire about family relationships: □ Co-Parenting Scale (Ahrons, 1981); and □ Parenting Stress Index (Abidin, 1995). ...
... The tool to assess co-parenting and parental alliance mostly used across studies is the Parenting Alliance Measure (Abidin and Konold, 1999), which consists of 20 items that measure the perception of each parent about the strength of his or her own alliance. The Co-Parenting Scale (Ahrons, 1981) is another tool used with the same purpose; it measures the level of agreement on the caregiving methods, parental support, and sharing of family dynamics. The 120 items of the Parenting Stress Index (Abidin, 1995) allow analysis of the three main aspects of parental stress: (a) the child's characteristics, (b) the parent's characteristics, and (c) the contextual and institutional characteristics. ...
Article
Objectives: We explored the literature to investigate the main results of research into the practice of co-parenting in families with an imprisoned parent.Moreover, we aimed to point out the theoretical approaches used to analyze coparenting in the case of parental detention and the methods by which co-parenting is recognized and measured. Method: We used the EBSCO platform to explore the databases PsycINFO and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection.First, we researched parenting OR co-parenting AND (incarcerated mother OR incarcerated father); the next search was for family AND (incarceration OR prison OR jail). Then we searched for fathers OR mothers AND (incarceration OR prison OR jail), and the final search attempt was for wives OR partners OR husbands AND (incarceration OR prison OR jail). Results: After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, we selected 14 studies for this literature review.Conclusions: The number of studies about co-parenting in families dealing with parental detention is limited. Most of what is known about the co-caregiving system or alliance and children's adjustment has come from studies of families with young children. The methodological procedures used to explore the relationships between incarcerated parents, children, and home caregivers were individually focused. What emerged from this literature review is the need to recognize the triadic nature of family relationships and therefore the need to adopt procedures that would allow us to analyze the triadic processes characterizing a family system.
... In this study, the reliability of the entire scale was 0.93 at pre-test, 0.91 at interim, and 0.91 at post-test. (Ahrons, 1981), a 10-item scale that assesses the content and frequency of interactions concerning child rearing. Answers were captured using a 5-point Likert scale. ...
... Inter-parental support and inter-parental conflict were measured with the Co-Parenting Communication Scale (Ahrons, 1981), consisting of a 4-item subscale used to measure levels of conflict and a 6-item subscale to measure the levels of support. Answers were captured with a 5-point Likert scale. ...
Article
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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.
... Co-parenting quality. Co-parenting quality was measured using two different measures: Quality of Co-parental Communication, Conflict sub-scale [72]. Part of a longer measure of co-parenting communication, this sub-scale comprises 4 items, rated from 1 (never) to 5 (always). ...
... The following measures were used in this analysis, all as described in Study 1: Quality of Co-parental Communication, Conflict and Support sub-scales [72], EARDA, time since break up, shock associated with break up, and who initiated the break up. ...
Article
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Relationship dissolution can cause declines in emotional well-being, particularly if there are children involved. Individuals’ capacity to cope with the pragmatics of the situation, such as agreeing childcare arrangements, can be impaired. Before now, there has been no psychometric test to evaluate individuals’ emotional readiness to cope with these demands. This paper presents a model of emotional readiness in the context of relationship dissolution and its key assumptions, and validates the Emotional Adaptation to Relationship Dissolution Assessment (EARDA). In Study 1 (Sample 1, n = 573 separated parents, Sample 2, n = 199 mix of parents and non-parents), factor analyses support the EARDA as a unidimensional scale with good reliability. In Study 2 (using Sample 1, and Sample 3, n = 156 separated parents) the convergent, discriminant, concurrent criterion-related, and incremental validity of the EARDA were supported by tests of association with stress, distress, attachment style, and co-parenting communication and conflict. In Study 3, the nomological network of emotional readiness was explored in Sample 2 using cluster analysis and multi-dimensional scaling (MDS). Emotional readiness clustered with positive traits and an outward focus, and was negatively associated with negative traits and an inward focus. Emotional readiness was conceptually located in close proximity to active and adaptive coping, and furthest away from maladaptive coping. In Study 4 (n = 30 separated parents embarking on mediation), high, medium, and low emotional readiness categories correlated highly with mediators’ professional judgement, offering triangulated face validity. Finally, in Study 5, EARDA scores were found to mediate between separation characteristics (time since break up, whether it was a shock, and who initiated the break up) and co-parenting conflict in Sample 1, supporting the proposed model of emotional readiness. The theoretical innovation of this work is the introduction of a new construct that bridges the gap between relationship dissolution and co-parenting. Practical implications include the use of the measure proposed to triage levels of support in a family law setting.
... Despite the importance of the co-parenting relationship in adjustment following divorce or relationship dissolution, assessment of co-parenting behaviors among this population have often been limited to adult-reports of co-parental support or cooperation, and general conflict (e.g., Ahrons, 1981), as well as child-reports of triangulation (e.g., Mullett & Stolberg, 1999). Alternatively, in the intact co-parenting literature instruments have been designed to capture a much wider range of processes including a range of covert behaviors including disparagement, triangulation, and undermining (Feinberg et al., 2012;Margolin et al., 2001;McHale, 1997), as well as more comprehensive assessment of alignment on parenting issues and support reflective of parental alliances (e.g., Morrill et al., 2010) and agreement on childrearing tasks (e.g., Margolin et al., 2001). ...
... The amount of co-parental communication was assessed by the 10-item Quality of Coparental Communication Scale (Ahrons, 1981). The scale has been widely used in the divorce literature and measures contact in multiple domains of childrearing, including "discuss[ing] school and/or medical problems" and "discuss[ing] special events for the children." ...
Article
Using two independent samples, this study validated a 12-item short form of the Multidimensional Co-Parenting Scale for Dissolved Relationships (MCS-DR12). Findings supported the identified three-item subscales: Support, Overt Conflict, Self-Controlled Covert Conflict, and Externally-Controlled Covert Conflict. In a sample of parents participating in divorce education, confirmatory factor analysis confirmed the factor structure and second order factor of co-parenting quality. In the second, more diverse sample, subscale factor structures were confirmed but the second order factor of co-parenting quality did not fit; further analysis revealed differences in criterion validity based on divorce status. Considerations about use with diverse populations are discussed.
... The exact items are shown in the following rows. MPFI-24 = the 24-item Multidimensional Psychological Flexibility Inventory (Rolffs et al., 2018) using "never true" to "always true"; PHQ-9 = the Patient Health Questionnaire (Kroenke et al., 2001) using "not at all" to "nearly every day"; CSI = the Couples Satisfaction Index (Funk & Rogge, 2007) using "not at all" to "completely"; CHAOS = the Confusion, Hubbub, and Order Scale (Matheny et al., 1995) using "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree"; CIS = the Coparental Interaction Scale (Ahrons, 1981) using "never" to "always"; CQ = the Coparenting Questionnaire (Margolin, 1992;Margolin et al., 2001) using "never" to "always"; PPQ = the Parenting Practices Questionnaire (Robinson et al., 1995) using "never" to "always"; CBCL = the Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001) using "not true" to "always true". suggest that by recruiting parents of school-aged children within the first few weeks of school closures at the start of the pandemic in the US, the study seems to have captured a sample of parents under acute stress at baseline who then slowly began to adapt and recover over the following 8 weeks. ...
Article
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Background Health risks associated with contracting COVID-19, stay-at-home orders, and pandemic-related economic and social hardships created unique challenges for individuals throughout the pandemic, and in particular for families whose daily routines were disrupted at the start of the pandemic. This study applied a contextual behavioral science lens to Family Systems Theory to examine the impact of COVID-19 stressors on family and individual functioning. Methods A sample of 742 coparents (86% married/engaged; 84% Caucasian; 71% female; M = 40.7 years old, SD = 8.1; Mincome = $82,435, SDincome = $27,604) of school-aged children (5–18 years old) completed a baseline survey from late March to late April 2020. Of the initial sample, 556 coparents completed weekly diaries for 8 weeks. Results Mediation models were tested within a multilevel path modeling framework to evaluate both the stable, between-family differences (i.e., at level 2) and the within-family changes from week to week (i.e., at level 1). Across both levels of the model, parent psychological inflexibility was robustly linked to poorer functioning across all levels of the family system, showing direct links to a majority of the processes assessed. The results further supported a top-down spillover cascade in which parent inflexibility was proximally linked to greater COVID-19 related stress and parent depressive symptoms, which were proximally linked to poorer romantic functioning (greater negative conflict, lower satisfaction), which were proximally linked to poorer family functioning (greater coparent discord and family chaos), which were proximally linked to poorer parenting (greater angry/reactive parenting), which was proximally linked to greater child distress. Multi-group models suggested that the results were largely stable across (1) parent race (white vs non-white), (2) family size (1 child vs 2 or more), (3) child age (less than 10 years old vs 10 or older), (4) parent age (under 40 vs. 40 or older), (5) perceived COVID-19 risk, (6) parent gender (mothers vs fathers), (7) household income groups (less than $100k vs $100k or more), and (8) perceived economic stress/uncertainty (low vs high). However, a handful of moderated effects emerged from those multi-group models suggesting that fathers might be slightly more prone to negative spillover effects across the family systems and that wealthier families might have experienced the stress of new demands (e.g., homeschooling, remote working) as more disruptive. Conclusions Results highlight the crucial role parental psychological flexibility and inflexibility play in families managing the stress of COVID-19, as well as key mechanisms for how those stressors may either reverberate or become dampened throughout the family system.
... 問題と目的 厚生労働省(2020)によれば,2018 年における未成 年の子がいる離婚件数は約 12 万件で,年間約 20 万人 の子どもが親の離婚を経験している。米国では,1960 年代後半以降の離婚率の増加に伴い,親の離婚が子ど もの発達に与える影響について,議論が活発に行われ ている (Amato, 2010;本田他, 2011;野口, 2007) (Ahrons, 1981) ...
Article
The goal of the present study was to test a hypothesized model of the relationship between parents' co-parenting after divorce, the relationship between the parents, the mother's adjustment, social supports, explanations to the children about the parents' separation and divorce, and the children's adjustment. The participants, 166 mother-child pairs, completed several questionnaires. The divorced women's average age was 42.0 years (SD=1.6). The children, 81 boys and 85 girls, were in grades 4 to 6 (n=96) and grades 7-9 (n=70). They lived with their mothers; their fathers had visitation rights. Visitation rights were added to the Japanese Civil Code in 2011. The results suggested that conflictive co-parenting after divorce was associated negatively with children's adjustment and mediated by their repressive acceptance of conflict, self-blame, and dismissal of childhood. In contrast, cooperative co-parenting following divorce and parents' explanations about the divorce were related positively to the children's relationship with their parents. This, in turn, was related positively to the children's adjustment, either directly or through social supports outside their home. Psychological support for children and their parents following parental divorce was discussed.
... At first, study about coparenting was conducted to investigate the determinant and impact of coparenting quality in divorced couples (i.e. Ahrons, 1981;Emery, 1982;Hetherington et al., 1982;Wallerstein, 1984;Bowman & Ahron, 1985;Camara & Resnick, 1989;Buchanan, Maccoby, & Dornbusch, 1991;Buchanan et al, 1991;Maccoby, Depner, & Mnookin, 1991;Gable, Belsky, & Crnic, 1992;Dozier, Sollie, & Stack, 1993;Christensen & Rettig, 1996;McHale, 1997;Whiteside & Becker, 1992;Margolin & Gordis, 2001;Bonach & Sales, 2002;Macie & Stolberg, 2003;Feinberg, 2003;Bonach, et al, 2005;Gasper et al, 2008). Subsequently, researchers began to study coparenting in the context of intact nuclear family (i.e. ...
Article
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Research on coparenting has been quite developed in the last four decades. In Indonesia, research related to coparenting still deals with father involvement in child care. While in other countries various coparenting behavior models have been developed in various context. This systematic review examines the empirical literature in the last ten years focusing on the determinants of coparenting behavior in intact family. Although at the beginning of its development coparenting research was carried out on divorced couples, this review examined the determinants of coparenting behavior in married couples. From several databases, the results show that determinants of coparenting behavior are involving of parental characteristics, child characteristics, marital relationships, and intervention program. It is expected that the results of this study can become a reference for conducting researchers on coparenting behavior especially in Indonesian family. Keywords: parenting, coparenting, intact family
... When the literature is investigated, it appears there is limited research about experiences in the divorce process and self-forgiveness levels (Swanson, 2011). Even if partners experience a functional divorce process, research generally focuses on forgiving the other or the situation, as divorce itself involves mutual conflict resolution (sharing of financial resources, custody of children, etc.; Ahrons, 1981). Due to the internal dynamics that may be experienced by an individual during and after divorce, elevation of self-forgiveness levels is among the possibilities. ...
Article
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The aim of the research was to determine the predictive strength of perceived social support on divorce adjustment process, and the mediating role of self-forgiveness in this predictive relationship. In line with this, the hypothetical structural model was tested with a total of 150 individuals who were divorced or in the legal divorce process. The findings showed that perceived social support positively predicted divorce adjustment at high levels, positive and negative attitudes of self-forgiveness did not significantly predict divorce adjustment, and additionally, they did not function as mediating variables in the prediction of divorce adjustment by perceived social support. The fit indices of the tested model revealed good level of fit. The findings were discussed within the framework of the relevant literature and the cultural context.
... Families differ in terms of their level of boundary permeability, meaning how easily new members are allowed in or old members are removed. Even if family members live in different households due to divorce, coparents ideally still remain part of an overall family system for their children, with the focus shifting to what Ahrons termed the binuclear family (see, e.g., Ahrons, 1980Ahrons, , 1981Ahrons & Rodgers, 1987). However, after divorce, many nonresident fathers struggle with feeling like "secondary" or optional parents, and prior legal terminology that granted them "visitation" with their children perpetuated this. ...
Article
Objective: To support nonresident fathers in maintaining involvement and relationships with their children during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must understand how such fathers have been impacted thus far by the pandemic. Background: All families have been impacted by the pandemic, but fathers who do not reside with their children are particularly likely to be negatively impacted. Social distancing, restrictions on travel, job loss/economic downturn, family court closures, and numerous other effects of the COVID-19 crisis impact the ability of nonresident fathers to maintain relationships and involvement with their children. Method: The current study analyzed retrospective data from 373 nonresident U.S. fathers to assess perceived parenting and coparenting changes during the pandemic, as well as whether coparenting relationships and mental health were associated with their involvement and relationships with their children. Results: On average, fathers' involvement, father-child relationship quality, and coparenting support declined, but wide variability also existed, with a substantial minority of fathers reporting increased involvement. Coparenting support was positively associated with current levels of involvement and relationship quality as well as changes to both since the pandemic, but mental health was inconsistently associated with outcomes. Conclusion and implications: To keep these average declines from becoming permanent, future research should investigate what factors foster higher involvement and improved relationships. Practitioners should offer additional support to nonresident fathers to promote their involvement and relationships in ways compatible with evolving restrictions.
... When the literature is investigated, it appears there is limited research about experiences in the divorce process and self-forgiveness levels (Swanson, 2011). Even if partners experience a functional divorce process, research generally focuses on forgiving the other or the situation, as divorce itself involves mutual conflict resolution (sharing of financial resources, custody of children, etc.; Ahrons, 1981). Due to the internal dynamics that may be experienced by an individual during and after divorce, elevation of self-forgiveness levels is among the possibilities. ...
Preprint
The aim of the research was to determine the predictive strength of perceived social support on divorce adjustment process, and the mediating role of self-forgiveness in this predictive relationship. In line with this, the hypothetical structural model was tested with a total of 150 individuals who were divorced or in the legal divorce process. The findings showed that perceived social support positively predicted divorce adjustment at high levels, positive and negative attitudes of self-forgiveness did not significantly predict divorce adjustment, and additionally, they did not function as mediating variables in the prediction of divorce adjustment by perceived social support. The fit indices of the tested model revealed good level of fit. The findings were discussed within the framework of the relevant literature and the cultural context.
... Coparental conflict and frequency of communication were measured using two subscales from the Coparental Communication Scale (Ahrons, 1981). Participants responded to four items that assessed how often they engaged in conflict with their child's other parent or their own mother figure when discussing parenting issues (e.g., "How often are the conversations stressful and tense?"). ...
Article
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Using a Family Stress Model framework, we used quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the impact of the pandemic on Latinx pregnant and parenting adolescents and their families. Participants were 406 adolescents (ages 14–19) in the southwestern U.S. who participated in a school-based relationship education program for pregnant and parenting adolescents. In the quantitative analysis, we compared self-reported mental health (depressive symptoms, worry, parental stress), coparental relationships (conflict and communication), and parenting of adolescents who participated prior to the pandemic ( N = 357; 83.6% female; 84.7% Latinx) with those who participated during the pandemic ( N = 49; 74.6% female; 87.8% Latinx). Unexpectedly, the pandemic-period cohort reported fewer depressive symptoms, less parental stress, more frequent coparental communication, and more positive coparental communication and conflict management than the pre-pandemic cohort. For the qualitative analysis, we conducted focus groups and individual interviews with 21 adolescent parents (95.2% female; 90.5% Latinx) from the pandemic-period cohort and analyzed the data using thematic analysis. Participants reported many negative effects of the pandemic including increased economic and health stress, yet also discussed reduced pressure with school and more time with family members. These findings have important implications for enhancing the well-being of adolescent parents and their children after the pandemic.
... Parents completed two face-valid and internally consistent items from the coparental interaction scale (Ahrons, 1981) to assess coparenting conflict within the baseline survey and the weekly diaries. These items used the stem "THINKING PRIMARILY OF THE LAST WEEK, when you and your coparent discussed parenting issues" to assess "how often did an argument result" and "how often was the underlying atmosphere one of hostility or anger?" ...
Article
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In addition to the fears associated with contracting COVID-19, the pandemic has forced families across the United States to quickly transition to new patterns of living. These transitions present new stressors, including health-related concerns, new demands placed on families by lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, and the possibility of losing a job or inability to pay bills. Such stressors have the potential to disrupt collaboration between coparents in addition to basic family functioning. Drawing upon a family systems perspective, the current study thus sought to examine links between COVID-19-related stressors and family cohesion through coparental functioning. A total of 1,003 parent/caregivers (97% from the United States; 82% Caucasian, 74% female; M = 40.9 years old, SD = 8.5; Mincome = $83,631, SDincome = $36,320) of school-age children completed an initial online survey from the end of March to the end of April of 2020. Of the initial sample, a total of 685 parents/caregivers completed weekly diaries for a month. Based on multilevel modeling, results suggested that, at the between-family level, coparental conflict mediated the impact of the stress of parenting/work demands and financial stress on family cohesion. At the within-family level, weekly spikes in health-related stress were associated with corresponding spikes in coparental conflict, which, in turn, were associated with drops in family cohesion. Results from the current study suggest that beyond the fears associated with contracting the COVID-19 virus, other key stressors associated with the emerging pandemic played a role in increasing coparental conflict, ultimately exacerbating family functioning. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
... 1. 'Discuss and Share Decision Making' (Ahrons, 1981), a measure of co-parent interactions and communication. Four items assess inter-parental conflict, with lower scores indicating more conflictual relations (range 4-20; Cronbach's α = 0.854). ...
Article
Evidence demonstrates the deleterious impact of ongoing and poorly resolved parental conflict on children’s wellbeing. ‘No Kids in the Middle’ (NKM) is a multi-family programme that aims to help high-conflict separated parents find new ways of communicating. The aim of this study was to adapt, deliver and evaluate NKM in three UK pilot sites. This paper reports findings from interviews exploring families’ experiences of this intervention, and questionnaires which measured change for families over the course of the programme. Parents reported reductions in hostility and conflict when discussing parenting issues. Children reported improved wellbeing with respect to family life, and a reduction in ‘avoidance’ with respect to talking or thinking about parental conflict. Parents reported reduced internalising symptoms in children. The findings indicate that NKM could be a promising intervention for high-conflict separated parents and their children, deliverable by frontline practitioners. Practitioner points • Inter-parental conflict can negatively impact children’s wellbeing • Multi-family therapy may be a promising approach for separated parents experiencing co-parenting conflict • After the NKM multi-family programme, parents reported reduced levels of hostility and conflict when discussing parenting issues • At the end of the NKM programme, children reported improved wellbeing with respect to family life, and a reduction in ‘avoidance’ with respect to talking or thinking about family conflict. Relatedly, parents reported reduced internalising symptoms in children
... These response options were grouped together in the interest of assessing which communication methods were used by participants, yielding a more meaningful and interpretable range. Ahrons, 1981), which measures how often divorced parents discuss a variety of coparenting topics with their former spouse. Example items include "your child(ren)'s school or medical experiences" and "your child(ren)'s accomplishments and progress." ...
Article
Divorced parents are increasingly expected to carry out shared physical custody of minor children by maintaining ongoing communication with their ex-spouse. Digital and cellular technologies have created new mediums for divorced parents to carry out communication (e.g., texting, email, and social media). In this study, we identified a typology of divorced parents’ use of five communication mediums with their former spouse using latent class analysis. We also examined how parent, post-divorce relationship, and family characteristics were associated with class membership. The four classes we identified were multi-method communicators who extensively used all communication mediums; phone-facilitated communicators who had moderate usage of face-to-face communication, with higher frequency of talking on the phone or texting; text and email communicators who used minimal synchronous communication, relying on texting or emailing; and limited communication texters who had low use of all communication mediums, but when they did communicate, did so via text. Divorced coparents have widely incorporated communication technologies into their post-divorce coparenting relationships. Understanding how new communication technologies are associated with individual, relational, and family adjustment to divorce can help inform research, policy, and practice.
... In the past, studies on co-parenting mostly focused on collaboration in childcare between parents (Ahrons, 1981;McHale, 1995). ...
Article
Most studies conducted in the West on the role played by intergenerational families in co‐parenting have focused mostly on families with a single mother or those in difficult circumstances, while little is known about the experiences of members of intergenerational intact families during the early postpartum period. This study aimed to explore the intergenerational co‐parenting experiences of young parents and grandmothers in China, focusing on how they shared the responsibility of caring for the new mother and infant during the postpartum period. A total of 16 eligible intergenerational intact families, including 16 mothers, 15 fathers and 12 grandmothers, were interviewed. The data set was analysed using the approach of directed content analysis guided by Feinberg's Ecological Model of Co‐parenting. The data were categorized into four themes: ‘division of labour’, ‘postpartum and infant care agreement’, ‘support‐undermining’ and ‘joint family management’. An additional theme, ‘expressed a need for family support’, emerged from the data on these intergenerational families. The findings emphasize the importance of intergenerational co‐parenting relationships in families where two generations co‐parent the newborn together.
... Responses were rated on a Likert scale that ranged from never (1) to always (5) for all coparental interaction items. Cooperation included six items from the Quality of Coparental Communication Scale, previously validated with a sample of divorced parents (Ahrons, 1981). Sample items included the following: "Is he/she a resource to you in raising him/her?" and "Do you try to help out if he/she needs to change plans for taking care of him/her?" Scores were averaged across all items. ...
Article
Objective To examine (a) associations among coparental interaction (cooperation, overt conflict, covert conflict) and father involvement (engagement, in‐kind financial support), (b) associations among the three dimensions of coparental interaction, and (c) associations among the two dimensions of father involvement, shortly after divorce. Background Family relationships change shortly after divorce, yet little research has examined coparental interaction and father involvement shortly after divorce and overt and covert conflict are often not included. Method Mothers and fathers from different families in a southeastern state (N = 194) participated within 3 months after divorce (Time 1) and 3 to 6 months later (Time 2). A cross‐lagged structural equation model was used to examine reciprocal associations among dimensions of coparental interaction and father involvement. Results Higher father engagement and lower overt conflict (Time 1) were associated with higher cooperation (Time 2). Covert conflict was associated with later overt conflict. In‐kind support was not associated with later father engagement or coparental interaction. No reciprocal associations among variables were found. Conclusion Coparental conflict and father engagement may be salient to the development of later coparental relationships following divorce. Implications Practitioners can help parents manage conflict and encourage father engagement to foster healthy coparental relationships after divorce.
... Coparenting discord. Respondents completed 4 items of the Coparental Interaction Scale (Ahrons, 1981) on a 6-point response scale (1 = "never", to 6 = "always") to assess coparent conflict (e.g., "When you and your coparent discussed parenting issues how often did an argument result;" α = 0.849). Respondents completed 12 items primarily from the conflict and triangulation subscales of the Coparenting Questionnaire (CQ; Margolin, 1992;Margolin, Gordis, & John, 2001) on a 6-point response scale (1 = "never", to 6 = "always") to assess coparent triangulation (e.g., "My coparent tried to get our child(ren) to take sides when we argue," "My coparent undermined my parenting," "My coparent used our child(ren) to irritate or upset me;" α = 0.954). ...
Article
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Background The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic and the historic economic shutdown and stay-at-home efforts to slow its spread have radically impacted the lives of families across the world, completely disrupting routines and challenging them to adjust to new health risks as well as to new work and family demands. The current study applied a contextual behavioral science lens to the spillover hypothesis of Family Systems Theory to develop a multi-stage mechanistic model for how COVID-19 stress could impact family and child functioning and how parents’ psychological flexibility could shape those processes. Methods A total of 742 coparents (71% female; 84% Caucasian, 85% married, M = 41 years old) of children (ages 5-18, M = 9.4 years old, 50% male) completed an online survey from March 27th to the end of April, 2014. Results Path analyses highlighted robust links from parent inflexibility to all components of the model, predicting: greater COVID-19 stress, greater coparenting discord and family discord, greater caustic parenting, and greater parent and child distress. Parent flexibility was associated with greater family cohesion, lower family discord and greater use of constructive parenting strategies (inductive, democratic/autonomy supportive, positive). Results further suggested that COVID-19 stressors predicted greater family and coparent discord, which in turn predicted greater use of caustic parenting (reactive, inconsistent, aggressive), which in turn predicted greater child and parent distress. Conclusions: The current results highlight parental flexibility and inflexibility as key points of intervention for helping families navigate the current global health crisis, highlighting the crucial role they play in the lives of families.
... Finally, 26 articles were included for the analysis in this review. The reason for discarding the remaining articles were: (1) not presenting a questionnaire (its development or its psychometric properties; Carvalho and Barham 2016;Kato et al. 2014;Liu and Wu 2015;Shai 2018), (2) presenting an adaptation of a previously included questionnaire (Antunes et al. 2019;Frascarolo et al. 2009;Guzman-Gonzalez et al. 2018;Kröger et al. 2009;Lamela et al. 2018;Mosmann et al. 2018;Pedro et al. (2015), (3) presenting an obsolete questionnaire (i.e., an updated version of the questionnaire had been published), as in the case of the Parenting Alliance Inventory (PAI ;Ahrons 1981;Konold and Abidin 2001), or (4) presenting a questionnaire whose immediate aim was not the assessment of coparenting (Houlston et al. 2019;Moran and Weinstock 2011;Puhlman and Pasley 2017). For example, although the aim of the Emotional Readiness Assessment for Support in Family Justice Processes (Houlston et al. 2019) is to assess the emotional state during the process of divorce, a factor which is thought to have an impact on the execution of coparenting, the questionnaire does not measure coparenting itself. ...
Article
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In light of the increasing variability in family structures, coparenting has attracted growing attention as a crucial dimension on which to evaluate children’s mental health across different family structures. In this study, we present a systematic review of the available measures for the assessment of coparenting. After duplicate removal, screening, and eligibility assessment, 26 instruments were selected. Due to the importance of the coparental relationship to children’s mental health, special attention was paid to the characteristics that contribute to enhancing the instruments’ suitability for use in clinical contexts. The results show a great increase in the number of published instruments designed to assess coparenting. The review also found some instruments to be more suitable than others for use in clinical contexts due to their time-efficiency, their psychometric properties and/or to other dimensions. This review reinforces the importance of developing instruments that allow for the assessment of coparenting and contributes to the body of knowledge in the field by offering information of interest to professionals dealing with families.
... Cronbach's Alpha for this index was 0.87 for fathers and 0.83 for mothers. Coparenting Conflict was indicated by three items based on Ahrons' Coparenting Conflict Scale (Ahrons 1981) (e.g., "Do you and your former spouse have basic differences of opinion about issues related to child rearing?" or "When you and your former spouse discuss parenting issues, how often does this result in an argument?"). Cronbach's Alpha was 0.87 for fathers and 0.88 for mothers. ...
Book
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This open access book assembles landmark studies on divorce and separation in European countries, and how this affects the life of parents and children. It focuses on four major areas of post-separation lives, namely (1) economic conditions, (2) parent-child relationships, (3) parent and child well-being, and (4) health. Through studies from several European countries, the book showcases how legal regulations and social policies influence parental and child well-being after divorce and separation. It also illustrates how social policies are interwoven with the normative fabric of a country. For example, it is shown that father-child contact after separation is more intense in those countries which have adopted policies that encourage shared parenting. Correspondingly, countries that have adopted these regulations are at the forefront of more egalitarian gender role attitudes. Apart from a strong emphasis on the legal and social policy context, the studies in this volume adopt a longitudinal perspective and situate post-separation behaviour and well-being in the life course. The longitudinal perspective opens up new avenues for research to understand how behaviour and conditions prior or at divorce and separation affect later behaviour and well-being. As such this book is of special appeal to scholars of family research as well as to anyone interested in the role of divorce and separation in Europe in the 21st century.
... Cronbach's Alpha for this index was 0.87 for fathers and 0.83 for mothers. Coparenting Conflict was indicated by three items based on Ahrons' Coparenting Conflict Scale (Ahrons 1981) (e.g., "Do you and your former spouse have basic differences of opinion about issues related to child rearing?" or "When you and your former spouse discuss parenting issues, how often does this result in an argument?"). Cronbach's Alpha was 0.87 for fathers and 0.88 for mothers. ...
Chapter
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We present two studies addressing maternal gatekeeping in separated families and investigate its association with interparental relationship problems and with father-child contact. The first study included 187 custodial mothers and 160 non-resident or shared parenting fathers. The findings suggest that there are significant links between both parents having a negative view of the other and the father having infrequent contact with his children. Coparenting conflict was found to be associated with both parents being worried about the well-being of their children, but only the fathers’ reports of conflict and child-related worries were shown to be linked to low levels of contact, which suggests that paternal withdrawal rather than protective maternal gatekeeping affects levels of father-child contact. The second study (pairfam) used longitudinal data from 145 mothers on the father’s child support payment history, levels of coparenting conflict and cooperation, and the frequency of father-child contact; and from their children on levels of maternal restrictive gatekeeping. Children’s reports of being pressured to side with their mother were shown to predict less frequent contact with their father one year later, even when controlling for earlier contact. Unexpectedly, fathers who did not provide child support were found to have high levels of contact. Overall, we conclude that the role of gatekeeping seems to be limited.
... Parties were asked identical questions about functioning prior to the intervention, and then again later (after discussing the parenting coordination process), about functioning at the conclusion of the intervention. Questions used to assess coparental functioning were all selected from validated instruments that capture interparental acrimony (Emery, 1982), communication (Ahrons, 1981), and triangulation (Buehler & Welsh, 2009). Items used to assess child adjustment (Internalizing and Externalizing) were based on constructs sampled by the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL; Achenbach & Rescorla, 2000) and peer functioning from the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS; Gresham & Elliott, 1990), but composed explicitly to capture common symptomatology shown by young children trying to adapt to the divorce process. ...
Article
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In a small pilot study, 31 interviewees, including 12 parenting coordinators, 11 mothers, and 8 fathers representing 14 different parenting coordination cases retrospectively described child and family functioning both pre‐ and post‐parenting coordination in phone interviews. They also detailed how often and how well different issues that arose during the parenting coordination work (acrimony, problem‐solving communication, triangulation of the child into the conflict) were actively addressed. Parties tended to view coparenting more positively when reflecting on post‐ compared with pre‐intervention, but reported less change in child adjustment. Discrepancy among same‐case informant reports was common. Parenting coordinators (PCs) consistently rated their interventions as more frequent and successful than did parents. Mothers and fathers largely disagreed on interventions they experienced. While this small N pilot can offer no definitive conclusions, it underscores need for research and wisdom in including both parents' perspectives. Empirical study of the mechanisms and effectiveness of parenting coordination are urgently needed; parental perspectives have been overlooked in past parenting coordination research. Examining and comparing views of multiple parties within a given case spotlights differences in parent and PC views about parenting coordination effectiveness. When reflecting on adjustment before and after parenting coordination, parties rate some facets of coparenting better post‐ than pre‐parenting coordination, but see little change in child adjustment. PCs typically rate effectiveness more highly than parents, and parents largely disagree with one another and/or with PCs on effectiveness of interventions. Nearly all parties say a focus on child‐centered team‐building would have been helpful.
... The quality of relation between divorced parents was assessed by the "Quality of Co-parental Communication Scale" (Ahrons, 1981). The scale is comprised by 10 items which were rated along a 5-point rating scale (1 = "never" to 5 = "always") and two subscales -labeled degree of inter-parental 'conflict' and 'support'. ...
Article
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The study examined young (4 to 7 years old) children’s resilience under the stressors of parental divorce. Resilience was indirectly inferred based on constructs such as attention, emotional and behavioral regulation, ability to take initiatives, positive relationships with others and parents’ sensitive response to child’s needs. It was conducted with a representative sample of 130 divorced parents from different regions in Greece. Based on parents’ perception concerning the level of competence and adversity that children had faced due to divorce the sample was divided into two groups (a) those families who considered the child of reference as more ‘vulnerable’ (38.5%,) and those who considered the child as more ‘resilient’(61.5%). Data showed that children who were considered as adaptive to divorce stressors exhibited more positive outcomes compared to children who considered by their parents as at risk. The gender of the child did not interact with the experience of transition with respect of the wellness components. This study also considered the possible discrepancies between the two groups of children in some factors that have been related to children’s well-being after divorce. Thus, another important finding revealed that the parents of the ‘more resilient’ children experienced less parental stress, had more supportive relationships with their ex-spouses, felt more satisfied with their lives and quarreled less with their children. In agreement with previous studies this paper underlined the necessity of studying divorce under the concept of resilience rather than the risk, shedding light on some of the critical protective factors.
Article
L'articolo valuta il ruolo dell'esperto impegnato nelle consulenze tecniche, nell'ambito delle vicende separative. Vengono analizzati gli strumenti a supporto del lavoro clinico forense e i modelli tecnico-teorici dei terapeuti cognitivisti che lavorano in questo ambito. Le autrici propongono il tema della valutazione della genitorialità, con particolare attenzione alla teoria dell'attaccamento, al modello dinamico-maturativo e al primario interesse del minore. Seguendo il modello cognitivista evoluzionista e quello post-razionalista, viene poi sottolineato il ruolo della relazione e del processo conoscitivo narrativo. Vengono messe in luce altresì le principali criticità che lo psicologo forense può dover affrontare in un contesto denso di conflittualità, come quello delle separazioni. Vengono affrontati i temi centrali da esplorare in CTU e gli interventi che si possono attuare durante l'iter peritale, al fine di promuovere il riconoscimento e la condivisione della sofferenza, oltre che la cooperazione, ritenuti elementi centrali del buon esito della consulenza. Vengono affrontati due casi clinici-forensi, rileggendoli alla luce dei modelli proposti. Le autrici auspicano inoltre che i professionisti in ambito forense acquisiscano competenze e riflessività sulle ricadute del proprio agire professionale, sufficienti a perseguire lo scopo, ovvero il benessere del minore e della famiglia.
Article
Based on system theory, this study aims to investigate the factors contributing to quality co-parenting after divorce. Co-parenting after divorce refers to the relationship of divorced parents continuing to participate in child rearing, i.e., a high quality co-parental relationship combined with low inter-parental conflict and high mutual support. This study used a self-reporting questionnaire to collect data from 136 participants who had been divorced for at least one year and were raising children under 20 years of age. Participants were recruited from family case service centers in family courts all over Taiwan, social media, and a recruitment advertisement placed in Household Registration Office. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses were utilized to test the effect of 6 factors: forgiveness, expectations of post-divorce co-parenting, level of hostility between divorced parents, satisfaction with child financial support, satisfaction with visiting arrangement, and satisfaction with custody arrangements on quality of co-parental interaction after divorce. The control variables include county of residence, gender of the parents, length of the marriage, length of the divorce, the divorce procedure, average monthly income of the parents, highest education level the parents attained, age of the children, children’s living and custody arrangement, and parent-child closeness. The research results show that on average, the support between divorced parents was low, and that the divorced parents had occasional conflicts. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses indicated that satisfaction with visiting arrangement, closeness between the ex-spouse and the children, and forgiveness were the significant predictors of quality co-parenting between divorced parents. In other words, the more that the divorced parents were satisfied with the child’s visiting arrangement, the more closeness the relationship between the child and ex-spouse, and the more forgiveness between the divorced parents, the better the quality of co-parental interactions between the divorced parents. The implications include helping divorced parents to improve their satisfaction with the child’s visiting arrangement, to maintain closeness with the children, and to forgive an ex-spouse. Suggestions are also made for future research, policies and practice. 本研究以系統觀點為理論基礎,檢視有哪些因子會影響父母離婚後的 共親職品質(包含衝突與支持兩面向)。本研究以離婚一年以上且有至少 一名未成年子女之離婚父母為研究對象,共蒐集136 份有效自填問卷,並 運用階層多元迴歸分析方法檢視自變項對離婚父母共親職品質的預測 力。研究結果顯示,整體而言,離婚父母的共親職關係呈現支持程度低, 但偶有衝突的狀況。離婚父母對於和子女相處時間安排的滿意程度、前配 偶與子女的親密程度,以及對前配偶的饒恕程度是影響離婚父母共親職品 質的顯著預測因子。換言之,若離婚父母對於子女相處時間安排越滿意、 離婚父母認為前配偶與子女的親密程度越高,以及離婚父母越能饒恕前配 偶者,其共親職品質會越好。本文依據研究結果提出研究、政策制度與實 務工作面向的建議。
Article
In 2016, China officially ended its One-Child policy and started allowing urban married couples to have up to two children. Beginning in 2021, Chinese policy officially began encouraging couples to have up to three children in response to low birth rates and increasing needs for workers and care providers in an aging country. Siblinghood in China has thus begun to re-emerge as a social phenomenon among urban Chinese. Given the important role sibling relationships have in the development of empathy, this relaxation and policy shift provides a unique context in which to investigate family dynamics among two-child families where there is a large age gap between children. Guided by family systems theory, the current study examined family level factors that help socialize younger sibling’s empathy in mainland China by testing direct associations between autonomy supportive parenting, marital quality, coparenting, and secondborn children’ (ages 3–5) empathy in mainland China. Direct and indirect associations with secondborn children’s empathy via older sibling’s relationship quality with their younger sibling were also tested. Results revealed coparent conflict and positive sibling relationship were directly associated with younger sibling’s empathy; further, marital quality and coparent support were indirectly associated with younger sibling’s empathy via positive sibling relationship. Parents, educators, and practitioners may consider addressing family level factors as an avenue for promoting younger sibling’s empathy development.
Article
A family systems perspective highlights the multiple interdependent relationships that may influence fathers’ parenting and, in turn, child outcomes. Notably, coparenting, or how parents collaborate in raising the child, has been linked to father involvement. More recently, parental gatekeeping, or one parent’s efforts to manage the other parent’s interactions with the child, has been introduced as part of the coparenting relationship. Researchers have reported associations between maternal gatekeeping, including mothers’ encouragement (i.e. gate opening) and discouragement (i.e. gate closing), and fathers’ parenting. However, multidimensional models of coparenting do not explicitly identify a parental gatekeeping component. Additionally, parental gatekeeping and coparenting lines of research have been pursued relatively independently. This raises questions about how parental gatekeeping and other dimensions of the coparenting relationship may be similarly and differentially linked to fathers’ parenting. To clarify the nature of coparenting and parental gatekeeping, this article provides an overview of foundational research. Similarities and differences in the consequences of coparenting (i.e. support and undermining) and parental gatekeeping (i.e. gate opening and gate closing) for fathers’ parenting are examined. Finally, I explore how a parental gatekeeping process may operate as a feedback loop within a given family system. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
Article
Objectives: The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a coparenting scale for parents with preschoolers.Methods: Data were collected from a sample of Korean parents with children aged between 3-5 years. A total of 600 participants (300 for development and 300 for validation) were asked to answer questionnaires for the development and validation of a coparenting scale. Data were analyzed using exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, reliability analysis, and correlation analysis.Results: A coparenting scale with 24 items was developed, which comprised four subscales: support (7 items), undermining (7 items), conflict (5 items), and communication (5 items). The scale was verified using both consequential and cross validity. First, the subscales of the scale showed a significant correlation with those of marital conflict, parenting stress, parenting, and preschoolers’ behavior problems. Next, confirmatory factor analysis of data from the second sample indicated adequate fit for the scale, suggesting that it could be applicable to parents with preschoolers with similar demographic backgrounds. Cronbach’s α ranged from .83 to .94, indicating a high level of internal consistency.Conclusion: This study involved developing a coparenting scale for parents with preschoolers and verifying its validity. This reliable and valid coparenting scale would be an invaluable tool for research in coparenting and the related fields such as parent consultation and parenting education.
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Introduction Considering the critical role that American Indian and Alaska Native (Native) men play in family and child health, there is an urgent need to collaborate with Native communities in developing interventions and policies to improve Native men's health status. This study aims to address a significant gap in research by designing and implementing a culturally grounded health promotion program to increase economic stability, promote positive parenting, and build healthy relationships among Native fathers. The Azhe'é Bidziil (“Strong Fathers”) study protocol, developed in response to community advisory board feedback, illustrates a community-engaged approach to developing and implementing a fatherhood program in two Diné (Navajo) communities. Methods/Analysis Azhe'é Bidziil was adapted from three evidence-based interventions developed in collaboration with Native communities. Intervention lessons were iteratively reviewed by a tribal working group to ensure that the content is culturally appropriate and relevant. A pre-post study will assess feasibility, acceptability, and satisfaction with the Azhe'é Bidziil intervention, as well as short-term impacts on positive parenting, economic stability, and healthy relationship outcomes. The intervention is composed of 12 weekly group sessions conducted with fathers ( n = 750) that focus on developing knowledge and skills for positive father involvement, economic stability, and healthy relationships. Lesson content includes: honoring our roles as fathers, building healthy relationships, understanding the impact of historical trauma, goal-setting, and budgeting basics. Each of the 12 group lessons, consisting of 8–12 participants per group, last approximately 2 h. Eligible fathers or father figures are age ≥18 years, live within 50 miles of the participating Diné communities, and must be caregivers of at least one child ≤ 24 years. The outcomes for this study are acceptability, feasibility, and satisfaction with the intervention, as well as father involvement, quality of (co-) parenting communication, healthy relationships, fathers' engagement and communication with their children, protective factors (e.g., cultural connectedness and educational/career aspirations), and economic empowerment and stability. Participants will complete an outcome assessment at pre- and post-intervention (12 weeks later). Discussion This study protocol presents one of the few evaluations of a fatherhood intervention to increase economic stability, promote positive parenting, and build healthy relationships among Native fathers in rural tribal communities. Such a study is sorely needed to address the health disparities perpetuated by social and Indigenous determinants of health that Native men experience today. If proven efficacious, this pre- post-study will inform a large scale randomized controlled trial to evaluate intervention impact, and if proven efficacious may be disseminated widely in tribal nations. Study findings may also deepen our understanding of peer mentoring, Native men's health status, involvement with their children, co-parenting relationships, family relationships, cultural connectedness, and economic status. The data collected may also inform strategies to ensure acceptability, feasibility, and satisfaction of an intervention designed specifically for Native fathers.
Article
Research Findings: Parents’ academic socialization of their young children is a critical yet understudied area, especially in the context of vulnerable parent-child dyads. The current longitudinal study examined factors that informed mothers’ beliefs and practices concerning children’s kindergarten readiness in a sample of 204 Mexican-origin adolescent mothers (Mage = 19.94). Adolescent mothers’ individual characteristics and assets (i.e., parental self-efficacy, educational attainment, educational utility beliefs, knowledge of child development) and sources of stress (i.e., economic hardship, coparenting conflict) were related to the importance they placed on children’s social emotional and academic readiness for kindergarten, their provision of cognitive stimulation and emotional support to their children in the home, and their enjoyment of literacy activities with their child. Moreover, adolescents’ perceptions of parenting daily hassles emerged as a mediator in this process. Practice or Policy: Findings underscore the importance of considering Mexican-origin adolescent mothers’ strengths and assets along with their unique contextual stressors as they relate to beliefs and practices that could have implications for their children’s school success.
Article
Background : With the increasing involvement of women in the workforce, the involvement of grandparents in infant care is a phenomenon that is climbing worldwide. Studies on intergenerational co-parenting are still in their infancy, and no consensus has been reached on the concept. Objectives : The aim here is to explore the antecedents, attributes, and consequences of intergenerational co-parenting and clarify the concept of intergenerational co-parenting specifically during the postpartum period. Methods : The Rodgers’ evolutionary framework (2000) for concept analysis was adopted to guide the process of developing, clarifying, and refining the concept of “intergenerational co-parenting.” Results : A total of 14 original articles on intergenerational co-parenting covering the postpartum period were included. Six attributes were identified from the literature: division of labor on infant care between parents and grandparents, generational boundaries, intergenerational transmission, reciprocal support between parents and grandparents in infant care, commitment on parenting decisions between parents and grandparents, and intergenerational communication. Sharing the responsibility of childrearing with grandparents, the development stage of the family, family structure, and cultural origins were antecedents of intergenerational co-parenting that emerged from the literature. The consequences of intergenerational co-parenting included the mother's parenting self-efficacy, the psychological health of both the grandparents and parents, the co-parenting relationship between the couple, and the intergenerational relationship. Conclusions : Based on the identified antecedents, attributes, and consequences of intergenerational co-parenting, and a definition of the concept of intergenerational co-parenting during the postpartum period of first-time parents, a conceptual framework was proposed. The conceptual framework will serve as a platform for developing a supportive program for intergenerational co-parenting in the postpartum period and for related research. To improve the intergenerational co-parenting relationship, postpartum interventions should involve both generations who are involved in infant care. In addition, the components of division of labor, generational boundaries, mutual support between the generations on infant care, the commitment on parenting decision-making within two generations, and skills of intergenerational communication should be considered in intergenerational co-parenting interventions.
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Purpose The Asking Questions about Alcohol in Pregnancy (AQUA) study, established in 2011, is a prebirth cohort of 1570 mother and child pairs designed to assess the effects of low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and sporadic binge drinking on long-term child development. Women attending general antenatal clinics in public hospitals in Melbourne, Australia, were recruited in their first trimester, followed up three times during pregnancy and at 12 and 24 months postpartum. The current follow-up of the 6–8-year-old children aims to strengthen our understanding of the relationship between these levels of prenatal alcohol exposure and neuropsychological functioning, facial dysmorphology, brain structure and function. Participants Between June 2018 and April 2021, 802 of the 1342 eligible AQUA study families completed a parent-report questionnaire (60%). Restrictions associated with COVID-19 pandemic disrupted recruitment, but early school-age neuropsychological assessments were undertaken with 696 children (52%), and 482 (36%) craniofacial images were collected. A preplanned, exposure-representative subset of 146 children completed a brain MRI. An existing biobank was extended through collection of 427 (32%) child buccal swabs. Findings to date Over half (59%) of mothers consumed some alcohol during pregnancy, with one in five reporting at least one binge-drinking episode prior to pregnancy recognition. Children’s craniofacial shape was examined at 12 months of age, and low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with subtle midface changes. At 2 years of age, formal developmental assessments showed no evidence that cognitive, language or motor outcome was associated with any of exposure level. Future plans We will investigate the relationship between prenatal alcohol exposure and specific aspects of neurodevelopment at 6–8 years, including craniofacial shape, brain structure and function. The contribution of genetics and epigenetics to individual variation in outcomes will be examined in conjunction with national and international collaborations.
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The purposes of the present study were to develop a scale for measuring co-parenting and gatekeeping after divorce (CGD), to examine the reliability and validity of the scale, and to investigate effects of post-divorce parental co-parenting and gatekeeping on children's adjustment. The participants (N=432) were men and women who had been divorced in the past 9 years. The results indicated that the post-divorce co-parenting and gatekeeping scale had a certain degree of reliability, validity, and configural invariance between custodial parents and non-custodial parents. In addition, a hypothetical model, tested on 166 divorced mothers who were living with their children (ages 2 to 17 years), suggested that conflicting co-parenting was correlated with "total difficulty" on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and cooperative co-parenting; on the other hand, conflicting co-parenting was not correlated directly with scores on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire, and facilitative gatekeeping was correlated with "total difficulty" scores on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire only for participants in the group that included a high reported level of paternal violence prior to the separation. Implications for co-parenting and parent-child relationships following divorce and psychoeducational programs for parents are discussed.
Preprint
Purpose The Asking Questions about Alcohol in Pregnancy (AQUA) study, established in 2011, is a pre-birth cohort of 1570 mother and child pairs designed to assess the effects of low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure and sporadic binge drinking on long-term child development. The current follow-up of the children, now aged 6 to 8 years, aims to strengthen our understanding of the relationship between these levels of prenatal alcohol exposure and neuropsychological functioning, facial dysmorphology, and brain structure & function. Findings to date Over half (59%) of mothers consumed some alcohol during pregnancy, with one in five reporting at least one binge drinking episode prior to pregnancy recognition. Children's craniofacial shape was examined at 12 months of age, and low to moderate prenatal alcohol exposure was associated with subtle midface changes. At two years of age, formal developmental assessments showed no evidence that cognitive, language or motor outcome was associated with any of the prenatal alcohol exposures investigated. Participants Between June 2018 and April 2021, 802 of the 1342 eligible AQUA study families completed a parent-report questionnaire (60%). Restrictions associated with COVID-19 pandemic disrupted recruitment, but early school-age neuropsychological assessments were undertaken with 696 children (52%), and 482 (36%) craniofacial images were collected. A pre-planned, exposure-representative subset of 146 random children completed a brain MRI. The existing AQUA study biobank was extended through collection of 427 (32%) child buccal swabs. Future plans We will investigate the relationship between prenatal alcohol exposure and specific aspects of neurodevelopment at 6-8 years, including brain structure & function. We will also determine whether craniofacial changes identified at 12 months of age are predictive of later developmental impairments. The contribution of genetics and epigenetics to individual variations in outcomes will be examined in conjunction with established and future national and international collaborations.
Article
Background Co-parenting interventions have been offered, particularly to enhance paternal involvement in infant care. However, little is known about whether such co-parenting interventions can be effective in improving the psychological health of families and co-parenting outcomes during the postpartum period. Objectives The aim of this review was to examine the effects of interventions on the co-parenting relationship of families, the psychological health of members involved, and on co-parenting outcomes during the postpartum period. Methods This was a systematic review with a meta-analysis. Randomized controlled trials of co-parenting intervention studies were selected following the standardized methods recommended by the Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 6. The Cochrane Risk of Bias Assessment tool was used to assess the risk of bias in the included studies. Results Twelve co-parenting randomized controlled trials were included in this review. Most studies reported positive effects in promoting at least one domain of co-parenting in mothers and/or fathers, especially in co-parenting support, couple communication, parent-child interactions and reducing co-parenting undermining. Meta-analysis showed that mothers in the intervention group showed significantly lower depressive symptoms compared to those in the control group. The only online co-parenting intervention identified produced similar effects to that of face-to-face interventions on improving co-parenting support, and reducing co-parenting undermining. Only one study focused on parent-grandparent co-parenting, which reported positive effects on ‘family management’ and ‘cooperation in childcare between mothers with depressive symptoms and their ‘mother-in-law’. Another study found that significantly more mothers continue to breastfeed in the intervention group compared to the control group at 12 weeks postpartum as a positive outcome in co-parenting. Conclusion Co-parenting interventions have demonstrated some positive effects on co-parenting support, co-parenting undermining, couple communication, parent-child interactions of parents and the depressive symptoms of mothers. Limited evidence was found on the overall effects on co-parenting, division of labor, childrearing agreement, the psychological health of fathers, parenting self-efficacy and baby feeding practices. Further studies are recommended to examine the effects of interventions for intergenerational (parent-grandparent) families on co-parenting, the psychological health in parenting, parenting self-efficacy and baby feeding practices during the postpartum period by adopting online approaches.
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In this chapter we examine the nature of the interrelationship between the prenatal marital and coparental relationships in a sample of pregnant couples from the USA. Specifically, we explore whether each subsystem of the family makes unique contributions to forecasting respective postpartum family dynamics. In our Transition to Parenthood Study, we observed couples’ prenatal marital harmony and conflict during a discussion task and their prenatal coparenting harmony and antagonism during the Prenatal Lausanne Trilogue Play paradigm. Prenatal measures of marital and coparenting dynamics were repeated at 3 months postpartum. In addition, we observed coparenting during mealtime interactions at 12 months. Longitudinal findings suggest that marital and coparental relationships may already be becoming distinctive subsystems during pregnancy, as marital and coparenting dynamics observed during pregnancy each predict unique aspects of respective postpartum family dynamics. In addition, affective spillover may already be occurring between these two prenatal subsystems. We propose a new model depicting the interrelationship between the marital/couple and coparenting relationships across the transition to parenthood as a template for future observations of these prenatal subsystems.
Article
Objective This research examines the association of parental stress and coparenting dynamics among adolescent mother and father dyads. The current study also examines potential differences between pregnant and parenting dyads in this association. Background The early transition to parenthood places adolescents at an elevated risk of negative outcomes. Thus, it is important to understand the mechanisms that might place adolescent parents at risk (parental stress) or promote resilience in the transition to parenthood (coparenting dynamics). Methods Using the actor–partner interdependence model, the current study examined how parental stress was associated with coparenting communication and conflict among a sample of 105 predominately Latinx adolescent parent dyads. Results Mothers' reports of parental stress were associated with their own and their coparents' report of coparenting communication and conflict. Fathers' parental stress was only associated with their own coparenting conflict. Further, significant differences were not observed between pregnant and parenting dyads. Conclusion The results highlight the nuanced gender dynamics between adolescent parents and support the idea that coparenting dynamics are similar across the transition to parenthood. Implications These findings suggest that parental stress, especially adolescent mothers' parental stress, has a salient influence on coparenting. Thus, programs and services for adolescent parents might target reducing parental stress to improve coparenting dynamics.
Article
The current study aimed to develop a reliable, valid, and condensed version of the 25-item Acrimony Scale. In a sample of 451 separated parents seeking family mediation, an Exploratory Factor Analysis showed 8 items, focusing on inter-parental hostility, loading highly on a single factor. In a second sample of 447 separated parents, a Confirmatory Factor Analysis replicated the structure. The Brief Acrimony Scale-8 (BACS-8) was correlated with co-parental conflict communication, and with parental alliance. The BACS-8 has high internal consistency, a replicable factor structure, and is potentially useful for quick, routine screening of co-parenting conflict.
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The study examined the relationship between a mother’s earning advantage over her husband, and three aspects of the parenting experience: the cognitive aspect (examined through the concept of parental self-efficacy), the emotional aspect (examined through the quality of the relationship with the children), and the behavioral aspect (examined through parental involvement in childcare). The sample included 246 Israeli Jewish participants who were not married to one another and do not share a household (85 fathers and 161 mothers). Fathers with traditional gender role attitudes whose income is lower than that of the mothers scored lower than other participants on paternal self-efficacy, and experienced less closeness and lower satisfaction in their relationship with their children, regardless of gender. The findings indicate that fathers who hold traditional gender role attitudes and do not serve as main providers constitute a particularly vulnerable group in terms of the parenting experience.
Article
Objective: Exposure to early adversity carries long term harmful consequences for children's health and development. This study aims to 1) estimate the prevalence of childhood adversity for Australian children from infancy to 10-11 years, and 2) document inequalities in the distribution of adversity according to socioeconomic position (SEP), Indigenous status, and ethnicity. Methods: Adversity was assessed every two years from 0-1 to 10-11 years in the nationally representative birth cohort of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (N=5,107). Adversity included legal problems; family violence; household mental illness; household substance abuse; harsh parenting; parental separation/divorce; unsafe neighborhood; family member death; and bullying (from 4-5 years). Adversities were examined individually and summed for a measure of multiple adversity (2+ adverse experiences). Results: By 10-11 years, 52.8% (95% CI 51.0-54.7) of children had been exposed to two or more adversities. When combined with low SEP, children from ethnic minority and from Indigenous backgrounds had four to eight times the odds of exposure to two or more adversities than children from higher SEP Anglo-Euro backgrounds, respectively (OR 4.3, 95% CI 2.8-6.6 and OR 8.1, 95% CI 4.4-14.8). Ethnic minority and Indigenous children from higher SEP backgrounds had increased odds of exposure to multiple adversity than similarly advantaged Anglo-Euro children (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.4-2.3 and OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.3-4.3, respectively). Conclusions: Addressing early adversity is a significant opportunity to promote health over the life course, and reduce health inequalities experienced by marginalized groups of children.
Article
A new family form,the binuclear family, is emerging with the rise in divorce rates. To aid in its institutionalization and in lifting from it the stigma of social deviance, some new terminology was coined and a study of the dynamics of continuing postdivorce parenting relationships conducted. Reported here are findings on the reorganization of familial homes with court-awarded joint custody. It was found that most of the former spouses in the sample continued to relate after divorce, forming two separate households joined together by a coparental bond.
Article
Traditional marriage viewed divorce as a deviant phenomenon based on the commission of a fault by one partner against the other, leaving the aggrieved partner feeling resentful and the allegedly guilty party feeling guilty. Changing attitudes toward marriage now see divorce as an appropriate consequence of personal growth and change, no longer implying that one partner is at fault. No-fault divorce promotes amicable attitudes between the ex-partners. They may remain friends with one another and with their common old friends and separate new friends and partners. They typically remain coparents, sharing the decisionmaking authority and financial responsibility for their children and providing their children with two alternate homes as equitably as possible.
Article
In-depth interviews were conducted with 21 highly experienced therapists on the criteria of a constructive divorce, the obstacles to achieving such a divorce, and the strategies and tactics of divorce therapy. The primary criterion of a constructive divorce was the successful completion of the process of psychic separation and the protection of the welfare of minor children. Therapy may focus on the decision to get divorced and/or the negotiation of the terms of a divorce settlement. Three types of therapeutic strategies were identified: reflexive intervention by which the therapist orients himself to the marital problems and attempts to gain the trust and confidence of the partners; contextual interventions by which he tries to promote a climate conducive to decision-making; and substantive interventions intended to produce resolution on terms the therapist has come to believe are inevitable or necessary. The nascent state of divorce therapy as an area of therapeutic specialization is noted. The problem of diagnostic criteria for divorce, the relationship between therapists and lawyers, the nature and consequence of therapist impartiality, and the degree to which therapists should mediate the terms of divorce are considered central issues meriting further study.