ERIC Number: ED339453
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Conflict in Divorcing Families.
Maccoby, Eleanor E.; Buchanan, Christy M.
Parental conflict as it occurs in the context of divorce was studied in an effort to determine the role that conflict plays in a variety of psychosocial problems in children. Data were drawn from a 5-year longitudinal study of about 1,000 families who filed for divorce in 1984. The first phase of the study involved a series of interviews with the divorced parents over a 3-year period. In the second phase, the adolescent children in the families were interviewed about 4.5 years after their parents separated. Research areas investigated included interparental hostility, discordant coparenting, conflict between custodial parents and adolescents, the adolescent's relationship with both parents, loyalty conflicts, and the adolescent's bonding with each parent. Although data analysis was not complete at the time of this progress report, it is suggested that when children maintain contact with two parents who exhibit high hostility toward each other, there is risk to the children. It is tentatively concluded that it is best for children to see both parents only if the parents can cooperate to a reasonable degree. Although many children suffer from the parent conflicts involved in divorce, it is not inevitable that their level of functioning will be impaired. (LB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).