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ERIC Number: ED156328
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-May
Pages: 28
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Family Interaction and the Social, Emotional and Cognitive Development of Children Following Divorce.
Hetherington, E. Mavis; And Others
This study examines the relationship between family interaction, parenting behaviors, and the social, cognitive and emotional development of children in the two years following divorce. Subjects were 48 children (24 boys, 24 girls and their parents) from single parent families in which custody had been granted to the mother and 48 children (24 boys, 24 girls and their parents) from intact families. A multimeasure, multimethod approach which included observation of parents and children at home and in school was used to investigate family interaction. An initial discussion of the relationship between family conflict and the adjustment of preschool children focuses on a comparison of child development problems in a conflict ridden intact family and a single parent mother headed family. This is followed by an examination of the relationship of parental buffering (in which a good relationship with one parent counters a negative relationship with the other parent). Finally, a comparison of the ways in which parental behaviors mediate the cognitive and social development of children in single parent and nuclear families is made by assessing parental variables and the intellectual development, sex role typing and development of self-control in children. Overall results indicate that patterns of family interaction change dramatically in the two years following divorce and that the behavior of the divorced father becomes less important than that of the mother in the child's social and cognitive development. However, fathers who maintained frequent contact with their children had more impact on their children's development than fathers who were relatively detached. (CM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Symposium on The Family: Setting Priorities, sponsored by the Institute for Pediatric Service of the Johnson & Johnson Baby Company (Washington, D.C., May 17-20, 1978); Filmed from best available copy