ERIC Number: ED266400
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Aug
Social Networks and Child Adjustment in Single-Parent Families.
Phelps, Randy E.; Huntley, Debra K.
While research with divorced adults has revealed a positive correlation between their social support networks and their adjustment after divorce, there has been little direct examination of the influence of the child's support network on the child's adjustment to parental divorce. The relationship of social network variables to child adjustment in one-parent families was examined in 119 6- to 10-year-old eldest children who were living with their separated or divorced custodial mothers. Mothers rated their children on the Revised Behavior Problem Checklist, and provided information about the child's quality and frequency of contact with various members of his or her social network. Children (N=94) rated themselves on the Child Depression Inventory. Multiple regression analyses were conducted using one criterion variable (a measure of psychopathology of the child) and ten predictor variables (time since parents' separation; child's age; and both the quality and quantity of the child's contact with peers, other adults, the custodial mother, and the non-custodial father) for each analysis. The results revealed that only the network quality measures were significant predictors of child adjustment. Sex differences were also found, with boys' interactions with peers and the custodial mother more salient, while interactions with the non-custodial father and other adults were more salient for girls. (Author/NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (93rd, Los Angeles, CA, August 23-27, 1985).