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Fifty moves a year: Is there an association between joint physical custody and psychosomatic problems in children?

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Background: In many Western countries, an increasing number of children with separated parents have joint physical custody, that is, live equally much in their parent's respective homes. In Sweden, joint physical custody is particularly common and concerns between 30% and 40% of the children with separated parents. It has been hypothesised that the frequent moves and lack of stability in parenting may be stressful for these children. Methods: We used data from a national classroom survey of all sixth and ninth grade students in Sweden (N=147839) to investigate the association between children's psychosomatic problems and living arrangements. Children in joint physical custody were compared with those living only or mostly with one parent and in nuclear families. We conducted sex-specific linear regression analyses for z-transformed sum scores of psychosomatic problems and adjusted for age, country of origin as well as children's satisfaction with material resources and relationships to parents. Clustering by school was accounted for by using a two-level random intercept model. Results: Children in joint physical custody suffered from less psychosomatic problems than those living mostly or only with one parent but reported more symptoms than those in nuclear families. Satisfaction with their material resources and parent-child relationships was associated with children's psychosomatic health but could not explain the differences between children in the different living arrangements. Conclusions: Children with non-cohabitant parents experience more psychosomatic problems than those in nuclear families. Those in joint physical custody do however report better psychosomatic health than children living mostly or only with one parent. Longitudinal studies with information on family factors before and after the separation are needed to inform policy of children's postseparation living arrangements.
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Fifty moves a year: is there an association between
joint physical custody and psychosomatic problems
in children?
Malin Bergström,
1
Emma Fransson,
1
Bitte Modin,
1
Marie Berlin,
2,3
Per A Gustafsson,
4
Anders Hjern
1,5
1
Centre for Health Equity
Studies (CHESS), Stockholm
University/Karolinska Institutet,
Stockholm, Sweden
2
National Board of Health and
Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden
3
Department of Sociology,
Stockholm University,
Stockholm, Sweden
4
Department of Clinical and
Experimental Medicine, Child
and Adolescent Psychiatry,
Linköping University,
Linköping, Sweden
5
Clinical Epidemiology,
Department of Medicine,
Karolinska Institutet,
Stockholm, Sweden
Correspondence to
Malin Bergström, Centre for
Health Equity Studies (CHESS),
Stockholm University/Karolinska
Institutet, Stockholm 10691,
Sweden;
malin.bergstrom@ki.se
Received 14 October 2014
Revised 29 January 2015
Accepted 4 February 2015
To cite: Bergström M,
Fransson E, Modin B, et al.
J Epidemiol Community
Health Published Online
First: [please include Day
Month Year] doi:10.1136/
jech-2014-205058
ABSTRACT
Background In many Western countries, an increasing
number of children with separated parents have joint
physical custody, that is, live equally much in their
parents respective homes. In Sweden, joint physical
custody is particularly common and concerns between
30% and 40% of the children with separated parents. It
has been hypothesised that the frequent moves and lack
of stability in parenting may be stressful for these
children.
Methods We used data from a national classroom
survey of all sixth and ninth grade students in Sweden
(N=147839) to investigate the association between
childrens psychosomatic problems and living
arrangements. Children in joint physical custody were
compared with those living only or mostly with one
parent and in nuclear families. We conducted sex-
specic linear regression analyses for z-transformed sum
scores of psychosomatic problems and adjusted for age,
country of origin as well as childrens satisfaction with
material resources and relationships to parents.
Clustering by school was accounted for by using a two-
level random intercept model.
Results Children in joint physical custody suffered from
less psychosomatic problems than those living mostly or
only with one parent but reported more symptoms than
those in nuclear families. Satisfaction with their material
resources and parentchild relationships was associated
with childrens psychosomatic health but could not
explain the differences between children in the different
living arrangements.
Conclusions Children with non-cohabitant parents
experience more psychosomatic problems than those in
nuclear families. Those in joint physical custody do
however report better psychosomatic health than
children living mostly or only with one parent.
Longitudinal studies with information on family factors
before and after the separation are needed to inform
policy of childrens postseparation living arrangements.
BACKGROUND
During the past 20 years, it has become more
common for children in the Western world to live
alternatively and equally much with both parents
after a parental separation.
13
In Sweden, this prac-
tice of joint physical custody ( JPC) is particularly
frequent and has risen from about 12% in the
mid-1980s to between 30% and 40% of the chil-
dren with separated parents in 2010.
4
A possible
reason behind the increase may be Swedens active
policy for parental equality.
5
In 1974, Sweden, for
example, was the rst country to allow mothers and
fathers to use paid parental leave, and since 1976
parents could continue having joint legal custody
after a separation. The proportion of Swedish chil-
dren born out of wedlock or to non-cohabiting
parents is low compared with other Western coun-
tries. In 2009, the share was 6%.
4
Other assumed
reasons behind the increase of JPC are womens par-
ticipation in the labour force,
5
which is very high in
Sweden,
6
and changes in Family Law facilitating
JPC.
78
The frequency of JPC in, for example,
Belgium
9
and Australia
10
has increased substantially
after such legislative changes.
In international research, JPC has sometimes
been dened as children living at least one third
of the time with each parent
11
or included chil-
dren whose parents have joint legal custody in this
category.
12
Joint legal custody, however, does not
imply that the children necessarily live equal parts
of the time with the two parents. In Sweden, JPC is
so widespread that a more stringent categorisation
(50/50) is justiable and has been applied in recent
publications.
1315
In fact, the practice of JPC seems
to constitute a new norm for separating Swedish
parents, since 50% of recently split-up families
report their children spending half the time in each
parents home.
4
Furthermore, we have shown in a
previous study that over 85% of all Swedish chil-
dren aged 1215 years live at least partly with both
their parents, regardless of whether they are coha-
biting or not.
13
Despite the high frequency of JPC
in Sweden, it is still possible that families with this
arrangement vary in their socioeconomic character-
istics from those with sole custody solutions.
Results from a recent longitudinal study indicate
that the more favourable socioeconomic situation
that used to characterise JPC families no longer
prevails as JPC has become more common,
9
but
other current research still suggests that parental
health and well-being differ between parents with
joint and sole care.
16
Several studies over a long period of time have
established that children with separated parents
show higher risks for emotional problems and
social maladjustment than those with cohabiting
parents.
1719
One explanation for these increased
risks may be the actual experience of the separation
process and the emotional crisis possibly associated
with this. Parental separation may also expose chil-
dren to loss of social, economic and human
capital.
414
Other explanatory factors may derive
from characteristics typical of separating parents
such as lower relationship satisfaction and higher
Bergström M, et al.J Epidemiol Community Health 2015;0:16. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-205058 1
Research report
JECH Online First, published on April 28, 2015 as 10.1136/jech-2014-205058
Copyright Article author (or their employer) 2015. Produced by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd under licence.
conict levels also before the separation.
4
The rising numbers of
children with JPC have concerned child clinicians as well as
researchers on the subject.
20 21
Child experts have worried
about childrens potential feelings of alienation from living in
two separate worlds,
2022
increased exposure to parental con-
ict
12 22
and other stressors that JPC may impose on a child.
22
Such daily stressors may be long distances to school, friends and
leisure activities, lack of stability in parenting and home environ-
ment and a need to adjust to the demands of two different
family lives.
12 22
The logistics of travelling between their homes
and keeping in contact with friends has been stated as a draw-
back of JPC in interview studies with children.
2325
Older ado-
lescents, in particular, indicated that they preferred to be in one
place.
23
The worries regarding childrens well-being in JPC are
enhanced by a simultaneous increase in childrens psychological
and emotional complaints and psychosomatic symptoms in
Scandinavia.
26 27
The higher frequency of such symptoms has
been interpreted as a sign of increased stress in childrens lives
28
and could hypothetically also be related to stressors imposed by
JPC. Already, stressful circumstances such as bullying,
28
eco-
nomic stress in the family,
29
peer and teacher relationships,
30 31
schoolwork pressure
31
and lack of emotional support from the
parents
32
have been shown to be related to psychosomatic
symptoms in Swedish adolescents. However, even if the relation-
ship between stress, psychological symptoms and psychosomatic
problems is established,
28
the mechanisms of how stress expos-
ure and recurrent pain are associated are not fully understood.
33
In this study, we wanted to investigate if the high frequencies
of JPC and of psychosomatic problems in Swedish schoolchil-
dren were related. We used a national sample of Swedish chil-
dren aged 12 and 15 years to compare psychosomatic problems
in children with JPC with those in nuclear families and living
mostly and only with one parent. We also wanted to study the
inuence of two previously identied stressors: childrens paren-
tal relations and material resources, on psychosomatic problems
in relation to living arrangements.
METHODS
Data source
We used data from a national classroom survey, conducted in
2009, of psychosomatic symptoms in children aged 12 (grade 6)
and 15 years (grade 9). The survey was conducted by Statistics
Sweden under the mandate of the Swedish National Institute of
Public Health.
34
We were granted permission by the Swedish
National Board of Health and Welfare to use the data. For the
survey, 207 700 pupils were eligible and 172 391 (83%) agreed
to participate and were present in school when the survey was
conducted. Of these, we included 147 839 children who had
completed the outcome instrument on psychosomatic problems
and answered the questions on living arrangements, sex, age,
country of birth and the items in the covariates parentchild
relationsand material resources.
Outcome measures
We used the PsychoSomatic Problems (PSP) scale as the
outcome measure. This instrument includes eight items on psy-
chosomatic problems in schoolchildren and adolescents.
35
The
eight questions concern the past 6 months and ask if the
respondent had difculties (1) concentrating (2) sleeping; suf-
fered from (3) headaches (4) stomach aches; felt (5) tense,
(6) sad (7) dizzy and had (8) little appetite. The response alter-
natives are never, seldom, sometimes, often and always.
Analyses of the dimensionality of the scale justify that the sums
of scores are summarised across the items and transformed into
a linear interval scale and have shown acceptable reliability and
validity.
35
Cronbachsαfor the scale was 0.87. Scores were
transformed to z-values with a mean value of 0 and an SD of 1
for the multiple linear regression analyses.
36
In table 2, we also
present proportions of children who reported that they often
or alwayssuffered from the respective problems (these
response alternatives merged).
Categorical variable
Living arrangements were based on childrens answers in the
survey. The family arrangements were worded as follows:
nuclear family;always together with both mother and father,
JPC;approximately equally much with mother and father, for
example one week with mother and the second week with
father,mostly with one parent;mostly with mother, some-
times with fatheror mostly with father, sometimes with
motherand only with one parent;only with motheror
only with father. We merged the gender-specic alternatives
in the mostlyand onlycategories since the numbers in the
categories mostlyand onlywith fathers were too small to
allow for any meaningful statistical analyses.
Covariates
The covariates sex, age, childrens and parents country of
origin were obtained from the questionnaire. Domicile was
obtained from the National SIRIS database and categorised in
accordance with a categorisation provided by the Swedish
Association of Local Authorities and Regions. As potential med-
iators, we used sum scores of two subscales of subjective well-
being from the KIDSCREEN-52 instrument:
37
parentchild
relations (six items, eg, Have you been able talk to your parent(s)
when you wanted to?) and material resources (three items, eg,
Have you had enough money to do the same things as your
friends?). These scales were completed at the same time as the
PSP scale and the questions concern experiences from the previ-
ous week with response alternatives assessing either intensity
(not at all-slightly-moderately-very-extremely) or frequency
(never-seldom-sometimes-often-always). High scores indicate
more satisfaction. This instrument has shown acceptable reliabil-
ity and validity.
38
Cronbachsαfor the parentchild relations
scale was 0.91 and for the material resources scale 0.89.
Statistical analysis
Linear multiple regression analyses, stratied by sex, were used
to calculate βcoefcients on z-transformed sum scores of psy-
chosomatic problems for the four living arrangements with
JPC as a reference group. In model 1, the confounders grade
(6 vs 9) and country of origin (Swedish vs foreign born) are
included. Model 2 includes the aforementioned confounders
and continuous scores from the covariate material resources
scale. In model 3, the confounders and continuous scores from
the covariate parentschild relations scaleare included. Finally,
Model 4 is adjusted for all the aforementioned confounders and
covariates. Clustering by school was accounted for by using a
two-level random intercept model.
Interaction analyses demonstrated sex differences in psycho-
somatic symptoms in relation to all living arrangements, and we
therefore decided to perform the analysis separately for girls
and boys. There were no signicant interaction effects for age
and JPC.
2 Bergström M, et al.J Epidemiol Community Health 2015;0:16. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-205058
Research report
RESULTS
Descriptive statistics
As shown in table 1, 69% of the 147 839 children lived in
nuclear families, 11% in JPC, 8% mostly with one parent and
13% only with one parent. The majority of those living mostly
or only with one parent lived with their mother. About every
sixth child in these arrangements lived with the father. Foreign
born children had similar rates of separated parents as Swedish
born children but JPC was more common for children with
both parents born in Sweden (12%) than if one (10%) or both
parents (2%) were foreign born. There were small differences in
living arrangements in relation to childrens sex and domicile,
but a larger proportion of the children aged 15 years lived with
only one parent, compared with children aged 12 years. The dif-
ferences were statistically signicant at the <0.001 level.
Psychosomatic problems
As shown in table 2, children in nuclear families reported the
least problems in terms of mean values on all items and total
mean score. Children in JPC had slightly more problems, fol-
lowed by those living mostly with one parent. Children who
lived with only one parent reported most problems, in terms of
mean scores, on all items. Also, the proportion of children who
always or often suffered from different symptoms was highest
among the latter group. These patterns were similar for girls
and boys. For the sexes taken together, sleeping problems were
most frequent: 22% among those living only with one parent,
19% living mostly with one parent, 14% in JPC and 13% in
nuclear families (sexes taken together). Also, suffering often or
always from headaches was common: 19% among those living
with only one parent, 17% living mostly with one parent, 14%
in JPC and 12% in nuclear families (sexes taken together).
Girls suffered from more problems than boys both when the
PSP scale was analysed in terms of mean values and as a fre-
quency of symptoms. Sadness was the most frequent problem
for girls in all living arrangements, followed by sleeping
problems and headaches. For boys, sleeping and concentration
problems were most common. All these differences were statis-
tically signicant at the <0.001 level.
Standardised βcoefcients for psychosomatic problems in
relation to living arrangements are presented in table 3. They
show that, compared with children in JPC, those living mostly
or only with one parent report more psychosomatic problems
than those in nuclear families. Adjusting for age and country of
origin had practically no effect on the outcome, which is why
the crude model is not presented. The βestimates for children
living mostly or only with one parent become weaker after
adjustment for satisfaction with material resources (model 2)
and parentchild relationships (model 3). Model 4 shows that
both boys and girls who live mostly or only with one parent still
have higher risks for psychosomatic problems than those in JPC,
when all the aforementioned variables are included. Also, the
lower risk for children in nuclear families, compared with JPC,
remains through all the models.
Overall, girls report more psychosomatic problems than boys.
Interaction analyses indicate interaction effects for psycho-
somatic problems and sex in all living arrangements. No differ-
ences for 12-year-old and 15-year-old children were found for
the associations between JPC and psychosomatic symptoms.
DISCUSSION
In this cross-sectional study, based on a national survey of nearly
150 000 Swedish children aged 12 and 15 years, children who
live equally much with both parents after a parental separation
suffered from less psychosomatic problems than those living
mostly or only with one parent. Children in JPC, however,
reported more psychosomatic problems than those in nuclear
families, as did the children in the two other postseparation
living arrangements. Our results show that childrens satisfaction
with their material resources and parentchild relationships
affects childrens psychosomatic health but cannot explain the
differences between children in the different living arrangements.
Table 1 Characteristics of children by family type
Intact family Joint physical custody Mostly one parent Only one parent
N Per cent n Per cent n Per cent n Per cent
Sample size 101 738 69 15 633 11 11 468 8 19 000 13
Girls 51 003 68 7610 10 5916 8 10 216 14
Boys 50 735 69 8023 11 5552 8 8784 12
Resident parent
Mother 9455 82 15 889 84
Father 2013 18 3111 16
Age (years)
12 48 348 71 7655 11 4984 7 6855 10
15 53 390 67 7978 10 6484 8 12 145 15
Location
Large city 31 224 68 5662 12 3167 7 6021 13
Small town 49 470 69 7663 11 5798 8 9054 13
Rural 20 938 70 2696 9 2495 8 3941 13
Childrens national origin
Swedish 93 908 69 15 319 11 10 982 8 16 507 12
Other 7830 70 314 3 486 4 2493 22
Parentsnational origin
Both Swedish 75 384 70 13 220 12 8787 8 10 689 10
One Swedish 9957 58 1782 10 1669 10 3829 22
Neither Swedish 15 684 74 489 2 902 4 4098 19
Bergström M, et al.J Epidemiol Community Health 2015;0:16. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-205058 3
Research report
Girls reported more psychosomatic problems than did boys while
there were no age-related differences.
The pattern that children in JPC are in an intermediate pos-
ition between children in nuclear families, having the least, and
those in single care, having the most problems, is consistent
with previous ndings from our group as well as other research
groups. This pattern has been established in relation to out-
comes such as satisfaction with life,
18
risk behaviour,
15 39
parentchild relationships,
11
school achievement,
19
well-being
13
and mental health.
16
Psychosomatic symptoms are related to stress,
28
but despite
the fact that two homes require adaptation to different neigh-
bourhoods and family climates, our results show lower risks for
psychosomatic symptoms for children in JPC than in single care
residency. This result conrms ndings from more previous
small-scale studies. For example, Turunen
40
as well as Carlsund
et al
14
found lower risks of stress in JPC than in single residency
after controlling for family and child characteristics as well as
parentchild relationships. Also, an American study showed that
children in JPC had fewer stress-related illnesses and health pro-
blems than those living only with their mothers.
1
Ta k e n
together, this indicates that the potential stress from living in
two homes could be outweighed by the positive effects of close
contact with both parents. Although children in interviews have
brought up hassles of JPC,
2325
most children also state that
close relationships with both their parents are more
important.
25 41
It is, however, possible that the difference in psychosomatic
health between children in nuclear families and JPC may, at
least partly, be explained by family factors associated with the
parentsseparation or divorce. Separated parents more often
have psychological problems and poor economy than co-living
parents and may have had relationship problems and conicts
also before the separation.
442
Such factors directly affect chil-
drens psychological health and symptom load
143
and could be
important for how families arrange custody and childrens
housing after the split-up.
19
In this study, children living with
only one parent reported the least satisfaction with their rela-
tionships to their parents, followed by those living mostly with
one parent. Children with JPC were slightly less satised with
their parent relations than those in nuclear families. This
pattern is in line with previous publications on childrens paren-
tal relations in different living arrangements.
442
Adding indicators of parentchild relationships and material
resources to models 24 in the regression analyses lowered the
Table 3 Two-level random intercept linear regression model:
standardised βcoefficients and CIs for psychosomatic symptoms in
relation to living arrangements (N=147839)
Nuclear families
Mostly with one
parent
Only with one
parent
βCI βCI βCI
Girls
Model 1 0.18 0.20 to 0.15 0.14 0.11 to 0.18 0.19 0.16 to 0.22
Model 2 0.11 0.14 to 0.09 0.09 0.06 to 0.12 0.10 0.07 to 0.13
Model 3 0.09 0.11 to 0.07 0.05 0.02 to 0.08 0.07 0.05 to 0.10
Model 4 0.07 0.09 to 0.05 0.04 0.01 to 0.07 0.05 0.02 to 0.08
Boys
Model 1 0.11 0.13 to 0.09 0.10 0.07 to 0.13 0.13 0.10 to 0.16
Model 2 0.08 0.10 to 0.06 0.06 0.03 to 0.09 0.06 0.03 to 0.09
Model 3 0.06 0.08 to 0.04 0.04 0.01 to 0.07 0.06 0.04 to 0.09
Model 4 0.05 0.06 to 0.03 0.03 0.00 to 0.05 0.03 0.01 to 0.06
Joint physical custody (equally much with both parents) serves as the reference
category.
Model 1 is adjusted for age and country of origin, model 2 is adjusted as model 1
and for the childs perception of own material resources. Model 3 is adjusted as
model 1 and for the childs satisfaction with parentschild relations. Model 4 is
adjusted for all the previous variables. Clustering by school is accounted for by using
a two-level random intercept model.
Table 2 Frequency of psychosomatic problems by gender and family type
Psychosomatic problems
Nuclear family Joint physical custody Mostly with one parent Only with one parent
Z/mean Always/often Z/mean Always/often Z/mean Always/often Z/mean Always/often
Girls N=74 745
Total score 0.14 NA 0.33 NA 0.49 NA 0.53 NA
Concentration 0.02 11 0.14 13 0.29 18 0.35 21
Sleeping 0.06 16 0.17 18 0.30 23 0.36 26
Headaches 0.13 16 0.23 18 0.38 23 0.43 25
Stomach aches 0.17 12 0.30 14 0.42 18 0.48 21
Tense 0.12 13 0.23 15 0.35 18 0.38 21
Little appetite 0.11 11 0.24 13 0.38 18 0.44 21
Sad 0.23 16 0.42 22 0.54 27 0.61 29
Dizzy 0.06 11 0.18 13 0.32 18 0.40 21
Boys n=73 094
Total score 0.33 NA 0.21 NA 0.12 NA 0.10 NA
Concentration 0.16 9 0.04 10 0.07 14 0.11 16
Sleeping 0.18 10 0.11 11 0.01 15 0.04 17
Headaches 0.25 8 0.16 9 0.08 10 0.05 12
Stomach aches 0.29 5 0.22 5 0.16 6 0.14 7
Tense 0.22 6 0.16 7 0.10 8 0.07 10
Little appetite 0.23 5 0.17 6 0.11 7 0.06 8
Sad 0.38 5 0.30 6 0.22 8 0.19 9
Dizzy 0.19 6 0.11 7 0.02 9 0.01 10
NA, not available.
4 Bergström M, et al.J Epidemiol Community Health 2015;0:16. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-205058
Research report
associations between psychosomatic problems and living
arrangements considerably. These ndings are consistent with
previous studies that have demonstrated a mediating effect of
parentchild relationships and material resources on the rela-
tionship between psychosomatic health and living arrange-
ments.
31 44 45
Positive relationships to parents have been found
to be more common in children in JPC than in single care, in
particular to the fathers.
13 32 46
Childrens satisfaction with
their material resources was included as a potential mediator
since economic stress has previously been shown to be asso-
ciated with psychosomatic symptoms in children
29
and is more
common among children with separated parents.
413
Also, these
conditions reduced the differences in psychosomatic health
between the living arrangements.
Girls in JPC reported more psychosomatic problems than
boys, as did girls living mostly or only with one parent. The
pattern of psychosomatic problems in relation to living arrange-
ments was, however, similar for both sexes. Since girls generally
report more psychosomatic ill health than boys,
26 27
the sex dif-
ferences in relation to living arrangements may possibly be
explained by our outcome variable rather than an actual worse
situation for girls after a parental separation. Earlier studies have
reached varying results regarding gender differences after paren-
tal separations.
47 48
In a previous study, we found no differences
for boys and girls on the effects of JPC on well-being.
13
Further
studies are thus needed to reveal if JPC and other postseparation
arrangements have a different impact on boys and girls.
Methodological issues
We had the advantage of using a national survey with a vali-
dated outcome measure on psychosomatic problems.
35
The
large sample size allows us to draw conclusions on the entire
population of Swedish children aged 12 and 15 years. This is a
considerable strength since previous studies have had high rates
of attrition
12
or suffered from small sample sizes, preventing,
for example, comparisons between JPC and single care.
14
The national sample also ensures inclusion of families with
different background characteristics. In her reviews, Nielsen
11
argues that JPC families today have less social, economic and
relationship advantages compared with single care families, but
there is still a risk that families with different postseparation
arrangements differ in ways that affect childrens psychosomatic
health. In Sweden, it is estimated that around 14% of separating
parents have conicts regarding custody and childrens housing
4
and about 2% have their custody disputes resolved in court.
49
Despite the strength on a total population sample, our data
are limited regarding contextual variables that may affect chil-
drens health. We included measures on childrens material
resources and parent relationships but lack other types of infor-
mation on the familiessocioeconomic situation and the level of
parentscooperation or conict. Childrens reports of satisfac-
tion with these aspects may possibly reect their own personal-
ities and coping strategies rather than the actual strain on the
family. The lack of objective data on the familiessituations is an
important limitation since such factors are associated both with
childrens living arrangements and directly with their psycho-
somatic health.
18 50 51
Another limitation is the lack of information on when the
children had experienced the parental separation. Ideally, the
results of this study should be conrmed by studies with a longi-
tudinal design and access to information on psychological as
well as socioeconomic family factors.
Finally, we consider our categorisation of JPC as a strength.
In the survey, the alternative JPC was worded approximately
equally much with mother and father, for example one week
with mother and the second week with father, which indicates
that the JPC category actually includes children who spend 50%
of their time with each of the parents. Nearly 8% of the partici-
pants choose the category living mostly with one parent,
which implies that childrens actual housing after a parental sep-
aration is not entirely black or white with respect to everyday
contact with the parents. Our categorisation thus gives a more
nuanced picture than studies where only the single care and JPC
categories are included,
39
where JPC includes children living
30% or less with one parent
111
or where the JPC category even
includes families with joint legal custody but primary residency
with one parent.
12
Implications
Children who share their time between the parents respective
homes after a separation experience less psychosomatic pro-
blems than those living mostly or only with one parent. Their
satisfaction with their material resources and parentchild rela-
tionships is important for their psychosomatic health but cannot
explain the differences between children in different living
arrangements. Longitudinal studies with information on family
factors before and after the separation are needed to inform
policy of childrens postseparation living arrangements.
What is already known on this subject?
The practice of joint physical custody, that is, children spending
equal time in the respective homes of their separated parents,
has become more frequent in Western countries over the past
decade. At the same time, there has been an increase in
self-reported paediatric psychosomatic symptoms. Child health
experts have argued that joint physical custody imposes stress
on children.
What this study adds?
In a Swedish national sample of children aged 12 and 15years,
we found that children in joint physical custody suffered from
less psychosomatic problems than those living mostly or only
with one parent but reported more symptoms than did those in
nuclear families.
Acknowledgements The authors thank the Swedish National Board of Health
and Welfare for granting them permission to use the data.
Contributors MBe conceived the study, participated in the design and drafted the
manuscript. BM provided expertise regarding the data source, interpretation of the
data and the statistical analysis. EF participated in the design of the study and
interpretation of the data. MB provided expertise regarding demography and the
data source and participated in the interpretation of the data. PAG provided
expertise regarding child psychiatry and participated in the interpretation of the data.
AH participated in the design of the study, provided expertise regarding the data
source, performed the statistical analyses and interpretation of the data and helped
to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the nal manuscript.
Funding This study was funded by Länsförsäkringsbolagens Forskningsfond.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Bergström M, et al.J Epidemiol Community Health 2015;0:16. doi:10.1136/jech-2014-205058 5
Research report
Open Access This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which
permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially,
and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is
properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/
licenses/by-nc/4.0/
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Research report
... In particular, the emotional and behavioral development of the SPC children was studied intensively, and prior studies identified some advantages of this physical custody arrangement (Bauserman 2002;Breivik and Olweus 2006;Turunen et al. 2017;Turunen 2017;Braver and Votruba 2018). Studies from Sweden and Norway, where SPC was introduced rather early and is adopted by a substantial share of post-separation families, suggest that adolescents practicing SPC and those in two-parent families showed comparable levels of well-being and psychosocial adjustment (even though SPC adolescents scored a slightly lower), whereas well-being and adjustment detriments were observable for adolescents living with a single parent (Bergström et al. 2015;Carlsund et al. 2013;Breivik and Olweus 2006;Turunen 2017). This was shown, for example, based on analyses of the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) data for 11-to 15-year-old schoolchildren in Sweden, which focused on examining differences in adolescents' subjective well-being and health impairments (Carlsund et al. 2013). ...
... In summary, it can be noted that the study evidence is mixed, depending on which contexts are used, how SPC is defined, and which outcomes are considered for the children. Altogether the studies point to-if any-only minor advantages of SPC compared to sole care models (Bergström et al. 2015;Fransson et al. 2018). Compared to two-parent families there are hardly any disadvantages in child well-being (e.g., Hagquist 2016). ...
... Both parents further have the chance to remain engaged in childcare-related tasks and duties when practicing SPC. Some scholars have argued that this could lead to better child adjustment, yet findings on linkages between SPC and child adjustment remain mixed (Baude et al. 2016;Bergström et al. 2015), especially under the condition of a difficult, conflictual parental relationship. To address these inconsistent results, our study profiled the German case for which only a few studies on the prevalence of and associations with SPC exist to date (e.g., Augustijn 2021b; Köppen et al. 2020;Walper et al. 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
Most children continue to live with their mother after a divorce or separation, yet paternal involvement in post-separation families has increased substantially in many Western nations. This shift has contributed to a growing share and more diverse set of post-separation parents opting for shared physical custody (SPC), which typically means that children alternate between the parental residences for substantive amounts of time. Profiling the case of Germany, where no legal regulations facilitating SPC are implemented to date, we examine the prevalence of SPC families, sociodemographic correlates of SPC, and its associations with parental coparenting and child adjustment. Using representative survey data sampled in 2019 (N = 800 minors of 509 separated parents), results revealed that only 6–8% of children practiced SPC. SPC parents were more likely to hold tertiary levels of schooling and to report a better coparenting relationship with the other parent. There was no link between SPC and child adjustment, yet conflictual coparenting was linked to higher levels of hyperactivity among SPC children. We conclude that the social selection into SPC and linkages between conflictual coparenting and hyperactivity among SPC children likely stem from the higher costs and the constant level of communication between the ex-partners that SPC requires.
... Since the beginning of the 21st century, several countries have adopted laws making joint custody the standard for children after divorce. This is corroborated by more recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews, but with larger samplesover 27,000 children in different countries (United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, and Australia) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . The results are consistent in all social strata, with joint custody being superior to sole custody in the analyzed outcomes: school performance, juvenile delinquency, unplanned pregnancy, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug addiction [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... This is corroborated by more recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews, but with larger samplesover 27,000 children in different countries (United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, and Australia) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . The results are consistent in all social strata, with joint custody being superior to sole custody in the analyzed outcomes: school performance, juvenile delinquency, unplanned pregnancy, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug addiction [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... Consequently, with the routine consolidation of judicial decisions, the literature has pointed out, for epidemiological studies, that joint custody is defined only when the parents have living arrangements with their children for an equal period of time 45 . For preschool/school-age children (over 1.5 years old), Bergstrom and collaborators 51 described that the most common living arrangement (about 40% of cases) is one week in each parent's home, with some couples having more fragmented living arrangements. ...
Article
Full-text available
Family is the founding basis of society and the best place for the education and growth of children. Divorce is deleterious to children's health, mainly impacting their mental health and school performance, in addition to having impacts on adulthood. Living both with the father and the mother for an equal period of time after divorce-joint custody-guarantees empirically proven benefits to the physical and psychological well-being of children. However, judicial decisions decree joint custody in less than a third of separations. By analyzing ethical and moral controversies in the interrelation of legal sciences and health sciences, biolaw makes bioethics effective. Thus, it is discussed that family lawsuits should follow multidisciplinary criteria that consider children as vulnerable subjects who need protection. Resumo Guarda compartilhada à luz da bioética e do biodireito A família é a base fundante da sociedade e o melhor local para a educação e o crescimento da criança. O divórcio é deletério à saúde das crianças, impactando sobretudo na saúde mental e no desempe-nho escolar, além ter reflexos na vida adulta. O convívio por período igualitário com pai e mãe após o divórcio-a guarda compartilhada-garante benefícios, empiricamente comprovados, ao bem-estar físico e psicológico das crianças. No entanto, muitas decisões judiciais decretam guarda compartilhada em menos de um terço das separações. Ao analisar controvérsias éticas e morais na inter-relação das ciências jurídicas com as ciências da saúde, o biodireito faz com que a bioética tenha eficácia. Por esse motivo, argumenta-se que ações judiciais de família devem seguir critérios multidisciplinares que considerem as crianças como sujeitos vulneráveis que precisam de proteção. Palavras-chave: Divórcio. Ansiedade de separação. Desenvolvimento infantil. Poder familiar. Menores de idade. Resumen Custodia compartida a la luz de la bioética y el bioderecho La familia es la base de la sociedad y es el mejor lugar para la educación y el crecimiento del niño. El divorcio es perjudicial para la salud de los niños, especialmente afecta la salud mental y escolar, con repercusiones en la vida adulta. Vivir juntos por un período igual con el padre y la madre después del divorcio, la custodia compartida, es un elemento con una relación causal estadística para proteger la salud de los niños. Sin embargo, las decisiones judiciales han decretado la custodia compartida en menos de un tercio de las separaciones. Bioderecho es una forma de hacer que la bioética sea efectiva, mediante el análisis de controversias éticas y morales en la interrelación entre las ciencias jurídicas y las ciencias de la salud. Las acciones legales familiares deben llevarse a cabo de manera multidisciplinaria, considerando al niño como el sujeto más vulnerable a proteger. Palabras clave: Divorcio. Ansiedad de separación. Desarrollo infantil. Responsabilidad parental. Menores.
... Desde principios del siglo XXI, varios países han adoptado leyes que han hecho de la custodia compartida la norma para los hijos después del divorcio. Esto es confirmado por metanálisis y revisiones sistemáticas más recientes, pero con muestras más grandes -más de 27 mil niños en diferentes países (Estados Unidos, Canadá, Noruega, Suecia, los Países Bajos y Australia) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . Los resultados son consistentes en todos los estratos sociales, siendo la custodia compartida superior a la unilateral en los resultados analizados: rendimiento escolar, delincuencia juvenil, embarazo no planificado, tabaquismo, alcoholismo y drogadicción [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... Esto es confirmado por metanálisis y revisiones sistemáticas más recientes, pero con muestras más grandes -más de 27 mil niños en diferentes países (Estados Unidos, Canadá, Noruega, Suecia, los Países Bajos y Australia) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . Los resultados son consistentes en todos los estratos sociales, siendo la custodia compartida superior a la unilateral en los resultados analizados: rendimiento escolar, delincuencia juvenil, embarazo no planificado, tabaquismo, alcoholismo y drogadicción [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... Esta heterogeneidad del significado del término "custodia" genera sesgos en la salud pública, ya que, no pocas veces, el juez decreta custodia compartida en la que uno de los progenitores vive con el hijo solo un fin de semana por quincena 50 . Así, con la consolidación rutinaria de las decisiones judiciales, la literatura ha señalado, para fines de estudios epidemiológicos, que la custodia compartida se define solo cuando los progenitores viven el mismo período con sus hijos 45 . Para niños en edad preescolar/escolar (mayores de 1 año y medio), Bergstrom y colaboradores 51 describieron que el régimen de vida más común (alrededor del 40 % de los casos) es el de una semana en el hogar de cada progenitor, hay parejas con regímenes de convivencia más fragmentados. ...
Article
Full-text available
Resumo A família é a base fundante da sociedade e o melhor local para a educação e o crescimento da criança. O divórcio é deletério à saúde das crianças, impactando sobretudo na saúde mental e no desempenho escolar, além ter reflexos na vida adulta. O convívio por período igualitário com pai e mãe após o divórcio – a guarda compartilhada – garante benefícios, empiricamente comprovados, ao bem-estar físico e psicológico das crianças. No entanto, muitas decisões judiciais decretam guarda compartilhada em menos de um terço das separações. Ao analisar controvérsias éticas e morais na inter-relação das ciências jurídicas com as ciências da saúde, o biodireito faz com que a bioética tenha eficácia. Por esse motivo, argumenta-se que ações judiciais de família devem seguir critérios multidisciplinares que considerem as crianças como sujeitos vulneráveis que precisam de proteção.
... Since the beginning of the 21st century, several countries have adopted laws making joint custody the standard for children after divorce. This is corroborated by more recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews, but with larger samplesover 27,000 children in different countries (United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, and Australia) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . The results are consistent in all social strata, with joint custody being superior to sole custody in the analyzed outcomes: school performance, juvenile delinquency, unplanned pregnancy, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug addiction [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... This is corroborated by more recent meta-analyses and systematic reviews, but with larger samplesover 27,000 children in different countries (United States, Canada, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, and Australia) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . The results are consistent in all social strata, with joint custody being superior to sole custody in the analyzed outcomes: school performance, juvenile delinquency, unplanned pregnancy, smoking, alcohol consumption, and drug addiction [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... Consequently, with the routine consolidation of judicial decisions, the literature has pointed out, for epidemiological studies, that joint custody is defined only when the parents have living arrangements with their children for an equal period of time 45 . For preschool/school-age children (over 1.5 years old), Bergstrom and collaborators 51 described that the most common living arrangement (about 40% of cases) is one week in each parent's home, with some couples having more fragmented living arrangements. ...
Article
Full-text available
Family is the founding basis of society and the best place for the education and growth of children. Divorce is deleterious to children's health, mainly impacting their mental health and school performance, in addition to having impacts on adulthood. Living both with the father and the mother for an equal period of time after divorce-joint custody-guarantees empirically proven benefits to the physical and psychological well-being of children. However, judicial decisions decree joint custody in less than a third of separations. By analyzing ethical and moral controversies in the interrelation of legal sciences and health sciences, biolaw makes bioethics effective. Thus, it is discussed that family lawsuits should follow multidisciplinary criteria that consider children as vulnerable subjects who need protection. Resumo Guarda compartilhada à luz da bioética e do biodireito A família é a base fundante da sociedade e o melhor local para a educação e o crescimento da criança. O divórcio é deletério à saúde das crianças, impactando sobretudo na saúde mental e no desempe-nho escolar, além ter reflexos na vida adulta. O convívio por período igualitário com pai e mãe após o divórcio-a guarda compartilhada-garante benefícios, empiricamente comprovados, ao bem-estar físico e psicológico das crianças. No entanto, muitas decisões judiciais decretam guarda compartilhada em menos de um terço das separações. Ao analisar controvérsias éticas e morais na inter-relação das ciências jurídicas com as ciências da saúde, o biodireito faz com que a bioética tenha eficácia. Por esse motivo, argumenta-se que ações judiciais de família devem seguir critérios multidisciplinares que considerem as crianças como sujeitos vulneráveis que precisam de proteção. Palavras-chave: Divórcio. Ansiedade de separação. Desenvolvimento infantil. Poder familiar. Menores de idade. Resumen Custodia compartida a la luz de la bioética y el bioderecho La familia es la base de la sociedad y es el mejor lugar para la educación y el crecimiento del niño. El divorcio es perjudicial para la salud de los niños, especialmente afecta la salud mental y escolar, con repercusiones en la vida adulta. Vivir juntos por un período igual con el padre y la madre después del divorcio, la custodia compartida, es un elemento con una relación causal estadística para proteger la salud de los niños. Sin embargo, las decisiones judiciales han decretado la custodia compartida en menos de un tercio de las separaciones. Bioderecho es una forma de hacer que la bioética sea efectiva, mediante el análisis de controversias éticas y morales en la interrelación entre las ciencias jurídicas y las ciencias de la salud. Las acciones legales familiares deben llevarse a cabo de manera multidisciplinaria, considerando al niño como el sujeto más vulnerable a proteger. Palabras clave: Divorcio. Ansiedad de separación. Desarrollo infantil. Responsabilidad parental. Menores.
... Desde o início do século XXI, vários países adotaram leis que tornaram a guarda compartilhada o padrão para as crianças no pós-divórcio. Isso é confirmado por metanálises e revisões sistemáticas mais recentes, porém com amostras maiores -mais de 27 mil crianças em diferentes países (Estados Unidos, Canadá, Noruega, Suécia, Países Baixos e Austrália) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . Os resultados são consistentes em todos os estratos sociais, sendo a guarda compartilhada superior à unilateral nos desfechos analisados: desempenho escolar, delinquência juvenil, gravidez não planejada, tabagismo, etilismo e drogadição [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... Isso é confirmado por metanálises e revisões sistemáticas mais recentes, porém com amostras maiores -mais de 27 mil crianças em diferentes países (Estados Unidos, Canadá, Noruega, Suécia, Países Baixos e Austrália) [43][44][45][46][47][48] . Os resultados são consistentes em todos os estratos sociais, sendo a guarda compartilhada superior à unilateral nos desfechos analisados: desempenho escolar, delinquência juvenil, gravidez não planejada, tabagismo, etilismo e drogadição [43][44][45][46][47][48] . ...
... Dessa forma, com a consolidação rotineira de decisões judiciais, a literatura tem apontado, para fins de estudos epidemiológicos, que guarda compartilhada seja definida apenas quando os genitores conviverem por igual período com os filhos 45 . Para crianças em idade pré-escolar/escolar (acima de 1 ano e meio), Bergstrom e colaboradores 51 descreveram que o regime de convívio mais comum (cerca de 40% dos casos) é o de uma semana no lar de cada genitor, havendo casais com regimes mais fragmentados de convívio. ...
Article
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Resumo A família é a base fundante da sociedade e o melhor local para a educação e o crescimento da criança. O divórcio é deletério à saúde das crianças, impactando sobretudo na saúde mental e no desempe-nho escolar, além ter reflexos na vida adulta. O convívio por período igualitário com pai e mãe após o divórcio-a guarda compartilhada-garante benefícios, empiricamente comprovados, ao bem-estar físico e psicológico das crianças. No entanto, muitas decisões judiciais decretam guarda compartilhada em menos de um terço das separações. Ao analisar controvérsias éticas e morais na inter-relação das ciências jurídicas com as ciências da saúde, o biodireito faz com que a bioética tenha eficácia. Por esse motivo, argumenta-se que ações judiciais de família devem seguir critérios multidisciplinares que considerem as crianças como sujeitos vulneráveis que precisam de proteção. Palavras-chave: Divórcio. Ansiedade de separação. Desenvolvimento infantil. Poder familiar. Menores de idade. Resumen Custodia compartida a la luz de la bioética y el bioderecho La familia es la base de la sociedad y es el mejor lugar para la educación y el crecimiento del niño. El divorcio es perjudicial para la salud de los niños, especialmente afecta la salud mental y escolar, con repercusiones en la vida adulta. Vivir juntos por un período igual con el padre y la madre después del divorcio, la custodia compartida, es un elemento con una relación causal estadística para proteger la salud de los niños. Sin embargo, las decisiones judiciales han decretado la custodia compartida en menos de un tercio de las separaciones. Bioderecho es una forma de hacer que la bioética sea efectiva, mediante el análisis de controversias éticas y morales en la interrelación entre las ciencias jurídicas y las ciencias de la salud. Las acciones legales familiares deben llevarse a cabo de manera multidisciplinaria, considerando al niño como el sujeto más vulnerable a proteger. Palabras clave: Divorcio. Ansiedad de separación. Desarrollo infantil. Responsabilidad parental. Menores. Abstract Joint custody in the light of bioethics and biolaw Family is the founding basis of society and the best place for the education and growth of children. Divorce is deleterious to children's health, mainly impacting their mental health and school performance, in addition to having impacts on adulthood. Living both with the father and the mother for an equal period of time after divorce-joint custody-guarantees empirically proven benefits to the physical and psychological well-being of children. However, judicial decisions decree joint custody in less than a third of separations. By analyzing ethical and moral controversies in the interrelation of legal sciences and health sciences, biolaw makes bioethics effective. Thus, it is discussed that family lawsuits should follow multidisciplinary criteria that consider children as vulnerable subjects who need protection.
... Furthermore, adolescents with separated parents were less likely to report "good or excellent health" in 2010 and 2014 as a "moderate to high level of life satisfaction" for all survey years than those living with both their parents, after controlling for sociodemographic and relation characteristics. These health and well-being discrepancies were already observed in previous studies (Amato, 2010;Bergström et al., 2015;Bjarnason et al., 2012;Carlsund et al., 1.17 (1.09-1.26) 1.11 (1.05-1.17) ...
... Only a few studies have investigated the association between living arrangements and adolescent health (Bergström et al., 2015(Bergström et al., , 2013Brolin Låftman et al., 2014;Carlsund et al., 2013;Fransson et al., 2018;Hagquist, 2016). Results of these studies are not consistent. ...
... Results of these studies are not consistent. In the one hand, studies highlighted that adolescents in joint physical custody were more likely to report better health outcomes than those living in sole custody (Bergström et al., 2015(Bergström et al., , 2013Brolin Låftman et al., 2014). In the other hand, studies reported no differences between living arrangements among adolescents not living with both parents (Carlsund et al., 2013;Hagquist, 2016). ...
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This study analyzes the associations between living arrangements after a parental separation, and the adolescent’s self-rated health and life satisfaction in French-speaking Belgium. Data are based on 39,294 adolescents who participated in the three waves of the cross-sectional HBSC survey. Among adolescents living with separated parents, the self-rated health was not associated with living arrangements after adjustment for the perception of family wealth and the ability to communicate with parents. Adolescent’s life satisfaction was not associated with living arrangement when controlled for perceived family wealth in 2014 and controlled for quality of communication with parents in 2010 and 2018.
... Two studies have also assessed sleep among children and youth in JPC. One study reported fewer sleep problems among youth in JPC and nuclear families than in single-parent families (Bergström et al., 2015). Another study found that although children and youth in JPC reported similar levels of social jetlag, they were more likely to report later bedtimes and difficulties initiating sleep than youth in nuclear families (Turunen et al., 2021). ...
... With these two exceptions in mind, our results suggest that despite the potential stress of frequently moving between homes and thus sleeping environments (e.g., Chisholm & McIntosh, 2008), the prevalence of sleep problems among adolescents in JPC is more similar to peers in nuclear families than in single-and stepparent families. These results corroborate two studies from Sweden, generally finding fewer sleep problems among youth in JPC and nuclear families than single-parent families (Bergström et al., 2015;Turunen et al., 2021). The results also extend previous work focused on mental health-related outcomes among youth in JPC (Nielsen, 2018;Steinbach, 2019), and suggest that the positive outcomes associated with JPC also extend to sleep. ...
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Objectives: To investigate associations between family structure, family complexity, and sleep in adolescence. Background: Family structure may be associated with sleep patterns and sleep problems among adolescents. Yet, research documenting this association has not captured the complexity of modern families and used crude measures of sleep. Method: The youth@hordaland study (N = 8833) of adolescents aged 16-19 conducted in 2012 in Norway provided a detailed assessment of family structure, family complexity (i.e., living with half-/stepsiblings), and multiple sleep parameters. Insomnia and delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD) were defined in alignment with diagnostic criteria. Ordinary least squares and Poisson regression analyses were used to assess associations between family structure, family complexity, and sleep outcomes. Results: Adolescents in joint physical custody (JPC) had more similar sleep parameters as peers in nuclear families than in single-and stepparent families. Adolescents in single-and stepparent families had a higher risk of short sleep duration on weekdays, long sleep onset latency, long wake after sleep onset, oversleeping, insomnia, and DSWPD than peers in nuclear families. Family complexity was also associated with a higher risk of sleep problems, but the risk attenuated when considered jointly with family structure. Socioeconomic status and depressive symptoms partly attenuated the differences between the groups. Conclusion: Inequalities in sleep exist by family structure and, in part, family complexity. Despite alternating between two homes and often experiencing family complexity, sleep among adolescents in JPC was more similar to peers in nuclear families than in single- and stepparent families.
... For example, research has shown that adolescents living in single parent families (with mother or father) and with stepparents report higher levels of delinquency compared to adolescents living with both their mother and father [2,4,[10][11][12]. One limitation of these previous studies is that they do not consider the relatively large and increasing [13,14] group of adolescents who move between parents, i.e. have alternating living arrangements. In this study, we examine how such alternating living arrangements are associated with delinquency among adolescents, an issue that has not previously been examined in criminological research. ...
... These family constellations are those in which adolescents have alternating living arrangements, adolescents move between parents, thus spending most of their time residing equally (or fairly) with both parents, and both parents often have equal access rights (often referred to as joint physical custody) [13][14][15]. This means that they are moving between two households that may be, but are not necessarily, in different geographical areas, and that the parents may also have different rules [16]. ...
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Objectives This study examines the associations between ten family structure types and delinquency, including four groups of symmetrical and asymmetrical living arrangements. We also adjust for attachment to parents and parental monitoring. Methods Data are drawn from four cross-sectional surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 in southern Sweden. The sample consists of 3,838 adolescents, aged 14–15. Negative binomial models were used to calculate the associations between family structure and delinquency. Results The results show that those living in single-father, single-mother, father-stepmother, mother-stepfather families report significantly more delinquency than adolescents living with both their parents. Adolescents living in “symmetrical” family arrangements, i.e. both parents are single or have a new partner, reported lower levels of delinquency, whereas adolescents living in “asymmetrical” family arrangements, i.e. where either the mother or the father, but not both, have a new partner, reported higher levels of delinquency. Most of the associations between family structure and delinquency decline when adjusted for attachment to parents and parental monitoring. Discussion This study shows that it is important to move on to the use of more detailed categorisations of family structure in relation to delinquency. We need to increase our knowledge about the group of adolescents that moves between parents and especially about the different constellations of asymmetrical and symmetrical living arrangements.
... Ortak velayetin hangi koşullarda daha etkili olduğuna ilişkin çeşitli araştırmalar yapılmıştır. Çocuğun yaşı ve buna ek olarak cinsiyetinin etkili bir faktör olduğu bildirilse de bu konuda birbirinden farklı bulgular bulunmaktadır (Bergstrom, Fransson, Modin, Berlin, Gustafsson ve Hjern, 2015;Spruijt ve Duindam, 2009). Poortman (2018) boşanma öncesi baba katılımının düşük olması durumunda ortak velayetin avantaj sağlamadığını, ancak boşanma öncesi baba katılımı orta ya da yüksek düzeyde ise çocukların düzenli bağlantıdan fayda sağladığını bildirmiştir. ...
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An increasing number of divorced parents in Western countries have joint physical custody of their children. A comparative study of children in 36 European, Mediterranean, and North American countries found that 0–4% spend about half their time in two homes. Such arrangements were virtually unknown in many Southern and Eastern European countries while they were more common than single father households in Belgium, Denmark, Iceland, and Sweden. Impaired communication with both mother and father was significantly less likely in joint physical custody than in other non-intact families. Impaired communication with mother was equally prevalent in intact families and joint physical custody families while impaired communication with father was in fact less prevalent in joint physical custody than intact families.
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Mental health in Swedish children living in joint physical custody and their parents' life satisfaction: A cross-sectional study. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology. This study compared the psychological symptoms of 129 children in joint physical custody with children in single care and nuclear families, using a nationally representative 2011 survey of 1,297 Swedish children aged between four and 18 years. The outcome measure was the Strengths and Difficul-ties Questionnaire (SDQ) and its association with three dimensions of parental life satisfaction was investigated. Linear regression analyses showed higher SDQ-scores for children in joint physical custody (B = 1.4, p < 0.001) and single care (B = 2.2, p < 0.001) than in nuclear families, after adjustment for socio-demographic variables. The estimates decreased to 1.1 and 1.3, respectively, after being adjusted for parental life satisfaction (p < 0.01). Our findings confirm previous research that showed lower symptom scores for children in nuclear families than children in single care and joint physical custody. Parental life satisfaction should be investigated further as a possible explanation of differences in symptom load between children in different living arrangements.
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