ERIC Number: ED241854
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug-30
Reference Count: 0
Children of Separating Parents: They Are Not All Alike.
Prinz, Ronald J.; And Others
Although the events associated with divorce can have negative effects on children who are involved, child maladjustment is not the inevitable consequence of divorce. To investigate the factors which may account for observed variation in children's response to divorce, 46 elementary school children (22 boys, 24 girls), residing with their mothers, were assessed by teachers having no knowledge about the family or child, using Achenbach's Teacher Report Form of the Child Behavior Checklist. The mother and child were separately interviewed about interpersonal relations, the child's perceptions, the functioning of the mother, and status and behavioral variables. An anaylsis of the results showed a high amount of variability in children's behavioral adjustment at school following the marital separation of their parents, particularly for boys. The characteristics of the family and of the separation were related to how the child fared at school. Boys whose parents engaged in less frequent negative interchanges and who saw their fathers often after separation were doing better in school than boys who witnessed overt marital hostility in the home prior to separation. Boys who scored lower on adaptive functioning tended to attribute more blame to themselves for their parents' breakup, to show a fear of abandonment by their families, and to report that the mother frequently made derogatory comments about the father. Finally, mothers whose sons were doing better at school reflected higher performance on a parental skills test and lower stress attributable to the restrictions of the parental role. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Parenting Skills
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).