ERIC Number: ED336673
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Variation in Adjustment to Divorce: The Feeling of Being Caught between Parents.
Buchanan, Christy; Maccoby, Eleanor
The variability of children's adjustment to parental conflict and divorce has been well-documented. The family systems literature stresses the importance of a strong parental subsystem that stands apart from the child. This subsystem is clearly at risk in situations of divorce. The study described in this paper examined children's feelings of being caught between two parents during divorce. Data for this study were taken from the Stanford Child Custody Study conducted from 1984-1988 in which 1,600 parents from over 1,100 families were interviewed. Adolescents (N=522), taken from families who participated in the parent study, were interviewed 4.5 years after their parents' separation. The results indicated that: (1) the older the adolescent the more likely he or she was to feel caught; (2) girls were more likely to feel caught than were boys; (3) the higher the parental discord or hostility the more likely adolescents were to feel caught; (4) effects of parents' coparenting style were intensified for adolescents in the dual-residence group; (5) feeling caught was related to higher levels of depression/anxiety and higher levels of deviance; and (6) the higher the level of parental discord the more likely adolescents were to feel caught between parents and the more adolescents felt caught the more depressed they were. The discussion is supplemented by 11 slides. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
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).