ERIC Number: ED340952
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Children's Perceptions of Marriage, Divorce, and Stepfamilies.
The typical approach to studying children's ideas about marriage and divorce is to ask children what they think about their parents' divorce and from their answers to calculate "divorce adjustment." This study used a different approach and asked about children's perceptions of marriage, divorce, and stepfamilies. It also studied if there are developmental differences in children's perceptions of these family issues and if children from divorced parents evaluate marriage, divorce, and stepfamilies differently than do children of nondivorced parents. Subjects (N=119) were in kindergarten, second, and fourth grades who lived with nondivorced parents or divorced mothers. In reference to a story illustrated with paper dolls, children were asked questions concerning marriage, divorce, and stepfamilies as social institutions and as possibilities for themselves. Chi-square analyses indicated that older children's perceptions of marriage, divorce, and stepfamilies were more likely to be abstract and psychological than those of younger children. Children with divorced parents were somewhat more likely than children with nondivorced parents to be cognizant of certain salient divorce-related issues and to express the belief that people have the right to be happy. (Author/ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (99th, San Francisco, CA, August 16-20, 1991).