How Good for Children is the Good Divorce?

How Good for Children is the Good Divorce?

An unpublished working paper by Professor Norval D. Glenn

2012 - 33 pages

Subject: Marriage

More by: Norval Glenn

Additional Information

One of the most important developments in the study of children and divorce in recent years has been an increased emphasis on trying to distinguish among the effects of the various stages of the process in which parents develop marital problems or discontents, separate, divorce, and then maintain (or fail to maintain) a relationship with one another and with their children after the divorce. Instead of just asking, what are the effects of divorce, researchers have asked about the effects of each stage of this process (e.g., Amato & Booth, 1997; Cherlin et al., 1991, 1998) and of various aspects of the aftermath of divorce, such as custody and living arrangements (Crosbie-Burnett, 1991; Maccoby & Nmookin, 1992; Nelson, 1989), changes in residence (Booth & Amato, 1993; Astone & McLanahan, 1994; McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994), living with single parents (McLanahan & Booth, 1989; McLanahan & Sandefur, 1994), and becoming members of step-families (Amato & Booth, 1997; Hetherington & Clingempeel, 1992; White, 1994). The research has been extended to investigate how the effects of post-divorce influences differ according to the pre-divorce nature of the parental marriage (Amato & Booth, 1997; Jekielek, 1998; Videon, 2002). Even though a precise and definitive separation of the effects of the different stages and developments is not possible, much has been learned. Accumulation of knowledge on this topic needs to continue, because it has important implications for the decisions of parents about their marriages and post-marital relationships and about what interventions in the marital disintegration process can best serve the children involved.

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