Children of Divorce: Adjustment, Parental Conflict, Custody, Remarriage, and Recommendations for Clinicians

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Jason Aronson, 1998 - Family & Relationships - 394 pages
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According respect to both prevailing models of divorce-as inevitably disastrous and as potentially challenging, even growth-producing-Dr. Twaite and his colleagues undertake a systematic and critical review of the literature on the differential psychosocial adjustment of children after a divorce. They address studies in ten predictor domains, some expectable (age, gender, custody arrangements), some less conventional, before advancing a predictor of their own: the effectiveness of parenting behavior (custodial, non-custodial, and step-) as experienced by the child. Finally, they proffer correctives, substantive and procedural, for future investigations, including recognition of the dynamics among the variables and the need to control for mediating factors in analyzing results. This is a monumental collection in the best tradition of social science research-thorough, responsible, accessible, and of course timely
 

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Contents

PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF CHILDREN OF DIVORCE
1
DIVORCE AS A FAMILY DISASTER
2
DIVORCE AS A CHALLENGE
10
POSITIVE OUTCOMES OF DIVORCE
14
CORRELATES OF POSTDIVORCE ADJUSTMENT
15
PARENTAL CONFLICT
21
PARENTAL CONFLICT AMONG DIVORCED COUPLES
23
WHY DOES PARENTAL CONFLICT PREDICT NEGATIVE OUTCOMES FOR CHILDREN?
35
PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF THE CUSTODIAL PARENT
254
REMARRIAGE OF THE CUSTODIAL PARENT
255
CHILDS RELATIONSHIP WITH NONCUSTODIAL PARENT
256
CHILDS AGE AT TIME OF DIVORCE
257
CHILDS GENDER
259
STRESSFUL LIFE CHANGES
260
SOCIAL SUPPORT
262
COMPREHENSIVE MODEL FOR PREDICTING CHILDRENS POSTDIVORCE PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT
264

Parenting Behavior
36
CUSTODIAL ARRANGEMENTS
40
RESEARCH ON CUSTODIAL FATHERS
42
COMPARISONS OF CHILDREN IN MOTHERCUSTODY AND FATHERCUSTODY HOMES
43
JOINT CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS
49
PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT OF THE CUSTODIAL PARENT
52
PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT OF CUSTODIAL MOTHERS
53
STUDIES INVOLVING CUSTODIAL MOTHERS AND CUSTODIAL FATHERS
59
PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT OF CUSTODIAL FATHERS
62
PARENTAL ADJUSTMENT EFFECTIVE PARENTING BEHAVIOR AND CHILDRENS ADJUSTMENT
64
REMARRIAGE OF THE CUSTODIAL PARENT
70
EMPIRICAL STUDIES OF THE IMPACT OF THE CUSTODIAL MOTHERS REMARRIAGE
73
EFFECT OF REMARRIAGE OF THE CUSTODIAL PARENT ON FAMILY SYSTEM FUNCTIONING
77
CORRELATES OF CHILDRENS SATISFACTORY ADJUSTMENT TO REMARRIAGE OF THEIR CUSTODIAL MOTHER
86
SUMMARY
89
ROLE OF THE NONCUSTODIAL PARENT
91
MEDIATING EFFECT OF PARENTAL CONFLICT
94
STUDIES SUGGESTING THE IRRELEVANCE OR POSSIBLE NEGATIVE IMPACT OF FREQUENT VISITATION BY THE NONCUSTODIAL P...
98
CHILDS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE NONCUSTODIAL PARENT
102
CHILDS AGE AT THE TIME OF THE DIVORCE
108
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CHILDS AGE AT THE TIME OF PARENTAL DIVORCE AND THE SHORT AND LONG TERM PSYCHOSOCIAL ...
109
Preschool Children
110
LatencyAged Children
112
Adolescents
115
DIVORCES THAT OCCUR RELATIVELY EARLY IN THE LIFE OF THE CHILD HAVE BETTER OUTCOMES
117
DIVORCES OCCURRING LATER IN THE CHILDS LIFESPAN HAVE BETTER OUTCOMES
121
EFFECTS OF PARENTAL DIVORCE ARE QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT FOR BOYS AND GIRLS OF DIFFERENT AGES
134
IMPACT OF DIVORCE WHEN THE CHILD IS A YOUNG ADULT
142
THE CHILDS GENDER
145
DIVORCE IS WORSE FOR BOYS
146
DIVORCE IS WORSE FOR GIRLS
148
NO GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE CHILDS ADJUSTMENT TO DIVORCE
154
EFFECTS OF DIVORCE ARE QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT FOR BOYS AND GIRLS
157
ZASLOWS REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ON GENDERRELATED DIFFERENCES IN CHILDRENS RESPONSE TO DIVORCE
166
Methodological Rigor
167
Custody and Remarriage
169
Populations Sampled
171
Criteria Chosen to Represent Psychosocial Adjustment
173
Timing of Adjustment Reactions
175
Sources of Data
176
STRESSFUL LIFE CHANGES
178
ECONOMIC DISTRESS MODEL
179
MULTIPLE LIFE STRESSES MODEL
185
SOCIAL SUPPORT
200
DECREMENTS IN AVAILABLE SOCIAL SUPPORTS FOLLOWING DIVORCE
201
Among Parents
203
SOCIAL SUPPORT AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT
206
Among Parents
213
FAMILY SYSTEMS
219
FAMILYSYSTEMS THEORIES
220
FAMILYSYSTEMS FUNCTIONING AND PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT
232
MODEL FOR PREDICTING CHILDRENS ADJUSTMENT TO DIVORCE
250
PARENTAL CONFLICT
251
CUSTODIAL ARRANGEMENT
253
METHODOLOGICAL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR RESEARCH ON CHILDRENS PSYCHOSOCIAL ADJUSTMENT FOLLOWING DIVORCE
265
ADDITIONAL PREDICTORS FOR FUTURE STUDIES OF CHILDRENS POSTDIVORCE ADJUSTMENT
267
PREDICTORS INCLUDED IN THE ORIGINAL MODEL THAT REQUIRE FURTHER ELABORATION
268
RESEARCH STUDY I
269
METHODS
270
Procedure
271
Instruments
272
ORIGINAL ANALYSIS
277
Description of Sample
278
Predictors of Adolescent Adjustment in Divorced Families
282
Psychosocial Adjustment among Adolescents from Divorced and Intact Families
290
Conclusions Regarding Predictors of Postdivorce Adjustment Based on the Original Analysis
292
RESULTS OBTAINED WHEN SUBGROUPS WITHIN DIVORCED SAMPLE ARE ANALYZED SEPARATELY
293
Depression of Custodial Mother
294
Substance Abuse of Custodial Parent
296
Parental Anger
298
Parental Insults
300
Parental Physical Abuse
302
Frequency and Regularity of Contact with Noncustodial Parent
304
Adequacy of Family Finances
307
Remarriage of Custodial Parent
309
DivorceRelated Stressful Life Events
311
Social Support
313
Family Adaptability and Cohesion
314
Conclusions Based on Separate Analyses of Subsamples of Adolescents from Divorced Families
317
RESEARCH STUDY II
319
Procedures
320
Instruments
321
Comparison of Groups on Predictors
322
Comparison of Groups on Psychosocial Adjustment Measures
324
Correlates of Psychosocial Adjustment among Adolescents from Divorced and Intact Families
325
CONCLUSIONS
330
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
332
CUSTODY ARRANGEMENTS
333
PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT OF CUSTODIAL PARENT
334
REMARRIAGE OF CUSTODIAL PARENT
335
CONTACT WITH NONCUSTODIAL PARENT
336
AGE OF CHILD AT TIME OF DIVORCE
337
FINANCES AND STRESSFUL LIFE CHANGES
338
FAMILY SYSTEM
339
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CLINICIANS INVOLVED IN THE ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT OF DIVORCING FAMILIES
341
Psychological Adjustment of Custodial and Noncustodial Parents and Stepparents
345
Parenting Styles and Capacities of Custodial and Noncustodial Parents and Stepparents
347
Stressful Life Events
348
Supports Available to Help Families Cope with Stresses Associated with Divorce
349
Nature of Adjustment Difficulties Experienced by Children
350
INTERVENTIONS
352
Psychological Adjustment of Custodial and Noncustodial Parents and Stepparents
354
Stressful Life Changes Associated with Divorce
355
Supports Available to Help Families Cope with Stresses Associated with Divorce
356
Nature of Adjustment Difficulties Experienced by Children
357
REFERENCES
359
INDEX
385
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