Parental divorce and adolescent delinquency: ruling out the impact of common genes

Author: Burt, S.A.; Barnes, A.R.; McGue, M.; Iacono, W.G. Description: Although the well-documented association between parental divorce and adolescent delinquency is generally assumed to be environmental (i.e., causal) in origin, genetic mediation is also possible. Namely, the behavior problems often found in children of divorce could derive from similar pathology in the parents, pathology that is both heritable and increases the risk that the parent will experience divorce. To test these alternative hypotheses, the authors made use of a novel design that incorporated timing of divorce in a sample of…

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Children’s adjustment in conflicted marriage and divorce: a decade review of research

Author: Kelly, J.B. Description: OBJECTIVES: To review important research of the past decade in divorce, marital conflict, and children’s adjustment and to describe newer divorce interventions. METHOD: Key empirical studies from 1990 to 1999 were surveyed regarding the impact of marital conflict, parental violence, and divorce on the psychological adjustment of children, adolescents, and young adults. RESULTS: Recent studies investigating the impact of divorce on children have found that many of the psychological symptoms seen in children of divorce can be accounted for in the years before divorce. The past…

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Ongoing postdivorce conflict: effects on children of joint custody and frequent access

Author: Johnston, J.R.; Kline, M.; Tschann, J.M. Description: Parental conflict and children’s behavioral and social adjustment were measured at two periods in 100 families entrenched in custody and visitation disputes. More frequent access to both parents was associated with more emotional and behavioral problems in the children; different effects were noted for boys and girls. Subject headings: Adolescent; Child; Child Custody/legislation & jurisprudence; Child Reactive Disorders/psychology; Child Welfare; Child, Preschool; Communication; Conflict (Psychology); Divorce/legislation & jurisprudence; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Marriage; Parent-Child Relations; Personality Development; San Francisco; Social Adjustment…

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The long-term effects of parental divorce on the mental health of young adults: a developmental perspective

Author: Chase-Lansdale, P.L.; Cherlin, A.J.; Kiernan, K.E. Description: The effects of parental divorce during childhood and adolescence on the mental health of young adults (age 23) were examined, using the National Child Development Study (NCDS), a longitudinal, multimethod, nationally representative survey of all children born in Great Britain during 1 week in 1958 (N = 17,414). Children were assessed at birth and subsequently followed up at ages 7, 11, 16, and 23 by means of maternal and child interviews, and by psychological, school, and medical assessments. Parental divorce had a…

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The personality of children prior to divorce: a prospective study

Author: Block, J.H.; Block, J.; Gjerde, P.F. Description: In a longitudinal study, the personalities of children from intact families at ages 3, 4, and 7 were reliably assessed by independent sets of raters using Q-items reflecting important psychological characteristics of children. A number of these families subsequently experienced divorce. The behavior of boys was found, as early as 11 years prior to parental separation or formal dissolution of marriage, to be consistently affected by what can be presumed to be predivorce familial stress. The behavior of boys from subsequently divorcing…

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Parental divorce, adolescence, and transition to young adulthood: a follow-up study

Author: Aro, H.M.; Palosaari, U.K. Description: In a long-term study of the effects of divorce, children in a Finnish town who had completed questionnaires in school at age 16 were followed up with postal questionnaires at age 22. Depression in young adulthood was found to be slightly more common among children from divorced families. In addition, the life trajectories of children in divorced families revealed more stressful paths and more distress in both adolescence and young adulthood. Subject headings: Achievement; Adaptation, Psychological; Adolescent; Adolescent Psychology; Adult; Cohort Studies; Depression/psychology; Divorce/psychology;…

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Parental divorce and the well-being of children: a meta-analysis

Author: Amato, P.R.; Keith, B. Description: This meta-analysis involved 92 studies that compared children living in divorced single-parent families with children living in continuously intact families on measures of well-being. Children of divorce scored lower than children in intact families across a variety of outcomes, with the median effect size being .14 of a standard deviation. For some outcomes, methodologically sophisticated studies yielded weaker effect sizes than did other studies. In addition, for some outcomes, more recent studies yielded weaker effect sizes than did studies carried out during earlier decades….

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Children of divorce in the 1990s: an update of the Amato and Keith (1991) meta-analysis

Author: Amato, P.R. Description: The present study updates the P. R. Amato and B. Keith (1991) meta-analysis of children and divorce with a new analysis of 67 studies published in the 1990s. Compared with children with continuously married parents, children with divorced parents continued to score significantly lower on measures of academic achievement, conduct, psychological adjustment, self-concept, and social relations. After controlling for study characteristics, curvilinear trends with respect to decade of publication were present for academic achievement, psychological well-being, self-concept, and social relations. For these outcomes, the gap between…

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Enduring Conflict in Parental Separation: Pathways of impact on child development

Author: McIntosh, J.E. Description: There are established research truths about parental conflict and its impact on children which are increasingly respected in practice: divorce does not have to be harmful; parental conflict is a more potent predictor of child adjustment than is divorce; conflict resolution is important to children’s coping with divorce. This synopsis of recent research moves beyond these truths, to a review of emerging “news” from the literature, with a focus on known impacts of entrenched parental conflict on children’s development and capacity to adjust to separation. The…

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Marital transitions. A child’s perspective

Author: Hetherington, E.M.; Stanley-Hagan, M.; Anderson, E.R. Description: Despite a recent leveling off of the divorce rate, almost half of the children born in the last decade will experience the divorce of their parents, and most of these children will also experience the remarriage of their parents. Most children initially experience their parents’ marital rearrangements as stressful; however, children’s responses to their parents marital transitions are diverse. Whereas some exhibit remarkable resiliency and in the long term may actually be enhanced by coping with these transitions, others suffer sustained developmental…

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