THESIS CHAPTER 4 ON WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: SCHOLARLY RESEARCH ON POST-DIVORCE PARENTING AND CHILD WELL-BEING
Category : Feasibility Study Examples, Thesis Paper Samples
WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY:
SCHOLARLY RESEARCH ON POST-DIVORCE PARENTING AND CHILD WELL-BEING
Report to the Washington State
Gender and Justice Commission
Domestic Relations Commission
In late spring 1998, the Washington State Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission and the Domestic Relations Commission began a study of the Washington State Parenting Act. This report presents information from one of four parts of that study, namely a review of scholarly research concerning post-divorce parenting and child well-being.
The review provides a general summary of the scholarly research literature. It is not intended to establish a single standard for post-divorce parenting in Washington State.
A search of major bibliographic databases identified research articles for inclusion in the review. The review was limited to peer-reviewed research published in or after 1985. All research utilized direct measures of actual parenting behavior and child well-being. Studies were evaluated based on sample quality, study design, and use of controls and statistical techniques. Studies using probability samples, prospective, longitudinal designs, with necessary control variables and appropriate statistical techniques were judged more compelling.
The evidence reviewed here does not reveal any particular post-divorce residential schedule to be most beneficial for children. There are no significant advantages to children of joint physical custody, but also no significant disadvantages to children of joint physical custody or of any other post-divorce residential schedule.
The weight of evidence does not support the view that higher levels of child-nonresidential father contact are automatically or always beneficial to children. However, the weight of evidence also does not suggest that, absent parental conflict, high levels of child-nonresidential parent contact are harmful to children.
Parental conflict is a major source of reduced well-being among children of divorce. Research indicates that joint physical custody and frequent child-nonresidential parent contact have adverse consequences for children in high-conflict situations. Joint physical custody and frequent child-nonresidential parent contact do not promote parental cooperation.
Increased nonresidential parents’ involvement in their children’s lives may enhance child well-being by improving the economic support of children. This conclusion only holds if child support decisions are made independent of residential time decisions, and continuing nonresidential parent involvement does not expose children to continuing parental conflict.
1. PURPOSE AND GOALS
One of the research questions developed by the Gender and Justice and the Domestic Relations Commissions focuses on the impact of post-divorce parenting patterns on child well-being, specifically posing the question:
Does shared parenting improve the well-being of children post-divorce relative to children raised under other post-divorce parenting arrangements?
It is not feasible for the Commissions to undertake an original study of the impact of post-divorce parenting arrangements on child well-being. Instead, the Commissions determined to prepare a review of currently available scholarly research on the topic.
It is hoped that a rigorous, systematic, and methodologically critical review of current scholarly research on post-divorce parenting and child well-being will inform current debates in Washington State about what post-divorce parenting arrangements may best serve the interests of Washington State’s children.
It is NOT the purpose of this review to establish a single standard or “best” post-divorce parenting arrangement for Washington State. The results of social and behavioral research are necessarily generalizations and should not be automatically applied to individual families. These generalizations may usefully inform the choices of individual families and the way legislation is framed. However, the circumstances of each family are unique, and recognition of their unique circumstances is central to making good post-divorce parenting choices. Moreover, as will be discussed below, the leading experts in the field agree that “one size fits all” approaches to developing post-divorce parenting arrangements are inappropriate and may be harmful to some families.
2. METHODOLOGICAL ISSUES
Research on the effects of post-divorce parenting arrangements on child well-being is fraught with methodological difficulties, and many of the available studies suffer from severe limitations. In order to address these problems, a number of criteria were developed for the inclusion of studies in the review of scholarly research and for the weight accorded to study findings in the review.
a. Criteria for Inclusion of Studies in the Review
i. Publication in a Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Journal, or in Book Form in a Peer-Reviewed Research Monograph Series
The review is limited to studies that have successfully completed the rigorous process of peer review used by scholarly research journals. In this process anonymous reviewers who do not know the identity of a study’s author(s) review research papers. Authors receive extensive comments on their work, and are usually required to make revisions before a paper is accepted for publication. All journals require at least one review, and the most prestigious may solicit as many as six reviews. Eventual acceptance rates for research journals vary from as high as 70 percent to as low as 10 percent for the most prestigious journals.
The peer review process ensures that papers with significant methodological errors, flawed interpretations, or inaccurate reporting of earlier research results are not published and widely disseminated. Thus, by limiting the review to peer-reviewed publications, only the most reliable research findings are included in the results.
Limiting the review to peer-reviewed studies excludes some research, notably unpublished doctoral dissertations and masters theses, and unpublished conference papers. This exclusion is appropriate for several reasons. First, unpublished studies have not been subject to the same rigorous scrutiny as peer-reviewed studies. Second, dissertations, theses, and conference papers are often “works in progress” and may be subject to a great deal of revision before they are eventually published. The best studies of this sort eventually find their way into peer-reviewed outlets, once all the problems have been ironed out. For example, Stephens (1996) began life as a University of Washington MA Thesis.
ii. Publication after 1985
Because of the peer-review process, there is necessarily a lag between the time when data were collected and the publication of research findings. Thus, utilizing research published before 1985 usually implies relying on data collected in the 1970s or even earlier.
Relying on older data would not be a problem if the circumstances of divorcing families had remained constant over the past 30 or 40 years. However this is not the case.
· The greatest increase in divorce occurred between 1965 and 1979, when national divorce rated doubled. Since then divorce rates have remained steady.
· Public opinion polls reveal that the social stigma associated with divorce declined dramatically during the 1970s and 1980s.
· A wave of legal change during the 1970s and early 1980s increased access to divorce and promoted changes in post-divorce parenting.
· Since the early 1980s, post-divorce parenting arrangements have become more diverse, with increases in father custody, joint custody, and in post-divorce involvement by nonresident fathers (see 3.a.iii. below).
iii. Direct Measurement of Both Post-divorce Parenting and Child Well-being
The review is limited to studies that include direct measures of both post-divorce parenting and child well-being.
· Acceptable measures of post-divorce parenting arrangements include measures that assess how much time children spend residing in the households of each parent, how much time children spend with nonresidential parents, and what types of activities nonresidential parents engage in with their children.
· Acceptable measures of child well-being include assessments of psychological, emotional, and social functioning, health status, cognitive ability, educational achievement, problem behaviors (including substance use, truancy, involvement in the juvenile justice system), and young adult family outcomes (including early home leaving, teen parenthood, and teen marriage or cohabitation).
Although it might seem obvious that to draw conclusions about the association between post-divorce parenting and child well-being, it is necessary to have measures of both, many studies lack these measures.
Some studies fail to adequately measure or define post-divorce parenting arrangements, using imprecise terms such as “joint custody” or “shared parenting” without specifying exactly what is involved in these arrangements. Research has shown that there is often little correspondence between actual living arrangements and the living arrangements specified in court papers (Clark et al. 1988). Therefore, it is crucial that actual living arrangements are assessed, not simply court orders. Studies that confuse joint legal custody with joint physical custody, and erroneously assume that joint legal custody implies joint physical custody (e.g. Bowman and Ahrons 1985; Burnett 1991) are, for the same reasons, also not included in this review.
Other studies fail to adequately assess child well-being post-divorce, relying on parents’ reports, or utilizing parents’ reports of their own well-being or satisfaction with post-divorce parenting arrangements (e.g. Arditti 1992a,b; Hanson 1985; Schrier et al. 1991). Other studies use measures that are only tangentially related to child well-being, such as children’s perceptions of who is a member of their family (e.g. Isaacs et al. 1987). Studies that lack measures of child well-being are not included in this review.
b. Selection of Studies for the Review
Studies included in the review were identified by searches of major on-line bibliographic data bases, including sociofile, popline, popindex, medline, psychabstracts, ssci. Additional studies were identified from the bibliographies of selected studies.
Wherever possible only original, primary research studies are included in this review. This avoids reliance on second-hand reporting of research findings.
A compete bibliography of research reviewed is attached (section 6). Citations are also provided for relevant review articles and edited books.
c. Criteria for Evaluation of Study Findings
i. Studies Using Probability Samples Are Preferred to Studies Using Nonprobability Samples
A probability sample is a sample with known statistical properties that make it possible to generalize from the sample to the broader population from which the sample is drawn. A simple random sample is the most common form of probability sample. Probability samples designed to study child well-being may be nationally or locally representative, and may include children of all ages, races, etc., or be limited to children from specific demographic groups.
The large scale national samples used by researchers such as McLanahan and Sandefur (1994), Furstenberg and Cherlin (1991), and King (1994a,b) are all examples of probability surveys. So, too, are the local samples used by Amato (1994), Buchanan et al. (1996), Maccoby and Mnookin (1994), and Seltzer and Garfinkle (1990), among others.
Probability samples tend to be quite large, usually numbering several hundred, and sometimes several thousand cases. These large sample sizes support the inclusion of adequate controls in all analyses (see 2.c.iii. below). However, very large sample sizes are prone to finding “statistically significant effects” merely by chance. Moreover, even with very large sample sizes only a few cases of uncommon parenting arrangements will be included in the sample.
Nonprobability samples may be collected in a variety of ways. Nonprobability samples do not represent any particular population and should never be generalized. Widely used examples of nonprobability samples in post-divorce parenting research are snowball samples (often generated from parents’ memberships in various organizations), clinic samples, college student samples.
Nonprobability samples dominate research about post-divorce parenting. Well-known examples include the samples used by Arditti (1992), Luepnitz (1991), Shrier et al. (1991), Johnston et al. (1991), and Wallerstein and Blakeslee (1989).
The main advantage of nonprobability samples is that they can be targeted at unusual groups. However, because of the tendency to target unusual groups, these samples are not generalizable.
Nonprobability samples tend to be small. For example, Luepnitz (1986) includes only 42 families, and Arditii (1992a,b) includes only 125 families. In addition, nonprobability samples often have very poor response rates. In Arditti’s research, only around one third of those contacted agreed to participate in the study, compared to response rates of close to 80 percent in major national studies.
ii. Longitudinal Study Designs Are Preferred to Cross-Sectional Study Designs
Longitudinal study designs follow families over time so that parenting arrangements and child well-being may be tracked as they evolve. This approach allows for multiple measures of parenting arrangements and child well-being, and allows for the identification of the causal direction of any association between parenting arrangements and child well-being. Longitudinal studies also facilitate the inclusion of appropriate control variables (see 2.c.iii. below).
The best longitudinal studies are prospective; that is, they follow families forward through time with repeated interviews. Examples of this approach include Buchanan et al. (1996), Maccoby and Mnookin (1994), Wallerstein and Blakeslee (1989), and studies utilizing the National Survey of Families and Households, the National Survey of Children, The Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and the National Longitudinal Sample of Youth. The following authors have utilized these samples: Allison and Furstenberg (1989), Amato (1996), Baydar (1988), Block et al. (1986, 1988), Cherlin et al. (1991, 1995), Eggebeen et al. (1996), Furstenberg and Nord (1985), Furstenberg et al. (1987), King (1994a,b).
Some longitudinal studies are retrospective; that is, individuals are asked to recall earlier events and circumstances so that they may be used to predict later outcomes. This approach is acceptable where the items being recalled are highly salient and may be recalled with a high degree of accuracy (e.g. were your parents divorced, how old were you when they divorced). This approach has been successfully used by Lye et al. (1995) and forms the basis of much of the work in McLanahan and Sandefur (1994).
However, research with prospective data sets has shown that retrospective reports are not reliable for many types of information, especially information with a highly normative or emotional content. Thus, reliable reports of pre-divorce conflict or of an outside father’s involvement may not be gathered using retrospective techniques.
Cross-sectional studies collect data referring to only one point in time. These studies are limited because it is not possible to determine the causal sequence of various events and outcomes and because they can not capture the dynamic nature of family relationships and child developmental processes. For example, the level and type of interparental conflict appears to be a key mediator in the association between outside father involvement and child well-being (Amato and Rezac 1994; Kelly 1993; Buchanan et al. 1996) and conflict between divorced parents often diminishes over time (Maccoby and Mnookin 1994). Thus, the associations between father involvement and child well-being may vary over time. All these dynamic relationships would be inadequately captured in cross-sectional data.
iii. Studies that Control for Confounding Variables Are Preferred to Studies Without Controls
Associations between post-divorce parenting arrangements and child well-being may arise because confounding variables influence both post-divorce parenting and child well-being.
For example, father’s education is an important influence on a wide variety of indicators of child well-being; child well-being tends to be higher among the children of more highly educated fathers. Father’s education is also an important influence on post-divorce parenting. More highly educated fathers are more likely to have joint physical custody arrangements, tend to see their children more often, and tend to be more involved in their children’s lives (Arditti 1992a,b; Donelly and Finkelhor 1993; Fox and Kelly 1995; Mott 1990; Seltzer 1991a; Stephens 1996). Thus, in studies of the impact of nonresidential fathers’ involvement on child well-being, it is essential to control for the level of the father’s education. Otherwise we can not be sure that any benefit of greater father involvement it not actually due to higher educational attainment among more highly involved fathers.
Similar confounding relationships exist for a number of other variables, including mother’s and father’s psychological well-being and measures of socioeconomic status.
Thus, it is necessary to control for a wide variety of potentially confounding variables when assessing the association between post-divorce parenting and child well-being. Typical controls include mother’s and father’s characteristics, such as psychological well-being, age, race/ethnicity, education, income, age at marriage, as well as child characteristics, such as age and gender.
Research using prospective, longitudinal data indicates that many of the differences in child well-being observed between children of divorce and children raised in intact families are present well before the parents’ divorce (Block et al. 1986, 1988; Cherlin et al. 1991; Elliot and Richards 1991). This finding, that children whose parents will subsequently divorce are often doing less well than their counterparts whose parents will remain together, implies that it is also desirable for studies of post-divorce parenting and child well-being to control for the well-being of children prior to divorce.
Additionally, numerous studies show that child well-being is adversely impacted by parental conflict (Amato 1993a; Amato and Keith 1991a,b; Amato and Rezac 1994; Camera and Resnick 1989; Conger et al. 1997; Hanson et al. 1996; Jekielek 1998; Johnston et al. 1989; Kline et al. 1991). Parental conflict may also influence post-divorce parenting arrangements. For example, The Washington State Parenting Act provides that shared parenting arrangements are inappropriate in high conflict situations. Since parental conflict can influence both post-divorce parenting and child well-being, it is necessary to control for levels of conflict (preferably measured prior to child well-being) in studies that relate child well-being to post-divorce parenting arrangements.
iv. Studies That Use Appropriate Statistical Techniques Are Preferred to Studies with Poorer Methodology
Some studies do not deal adequately with the methodological challenges that arise in the course of assessing the association between post-divorce parenting and child well-being. Common problems include failure to deal with categorical and non-numeric measurement, poor specification of statistical models, and failure to test for complex, interactive associations.
Before turning to specific findings concerning the impact of post-divorce parenting arrangements on child well-being, it is helpful to consider the broader literature on child well-being after divorce. This broader literature helps identify the context within which the discussion of post-divorce parenting and child well-being must be located.
i. Child Well-being Post-divorce
Although in the 1970s some experts were quite sanguine about the impact of divorce on children, by the mid-1980s there was a clear consensus among researchers that divorce can have very serious consequences for children’s well-being.
Compared to children from intact families, children of divorce are more likely to experience:
Reduced psychological, socio-emotional, and cognitive
well-being, and poorer physical health
Allison and Furstenberg 1989; Amato and Keith 1991b; Cherlin et al. 1991; Crockett et al. 1993; Guidabaldi and Perry 1985; Mauldon 1990.
Problem behaviors, substance use, and juvenile
Allison and Furstenberg 1989 Amato and Keith 1991b; Barnes and Farrell 1992; Cherlin et al. 1991; Najman et al. 1997; Peterson and Zill 1987.
Lower educational and occupational attainments
Allison and Furstenberg 1989; Amato and Keith 1991a; Astone and McLanahan 1991; 1994; Biblarz and Raftery 1993; Biblarz et al. 1997; Cherlin et al. 1991; Haurin 1992; Krein and Beller 1988; McLanahan and Bumpass 1988; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994.
Increased risk of early home-leaving, early unplanned
pregnancy, teenage marriage, and divorce
Amato 1996; Amato and Booth 1991; Amato and Keith 1991a; Cherlin et al. 1995; Furstenberg and Teitler 1994; Keith and Finlay 1988; McLanahan and Bumpass 1988; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994.
Weak relationships with parents and other kin in adult
Amato 1994; Amato and Keith 1991a; Lye et al. 1995.
However, these relationships are not deterministic. Not all children of divorce experience all, or any, of these problems. For example, in one study of children from high conflict families (who are thought to suffer the severest adverse impacts), over 80 percent of the children scored within normal limits on standard tests of psychological and mental health functioning (Johnston et al. 1989).
The largest deficits appear to be in the areas of educational attainment and teen childbearing. For example, McLanahan and Sandefur (1994) report that in four different national samples roughly 57-61 percent of offspring from two-parent families attended at least one year of college compared to 48-54 percent of offspring from one-parent families. In the same samples, 11-22 percent of young women from two-parent families became teen mothers compared to 27-34 percent of young women from one-parent families.
As noted earlier, prospective longitudinal studies, using large nationally representative data sets, reveal that many of the problems experienced by children of divorce are observable several years before the divorce (Block, Block and Gjerde 1986, 1988; Elliot and Richards 1991; Cherlin et al. 1991).
ii. Factors Affecting Child Well-being Post-divorce
As noted above, the impact of divorce on children is not uniform—some children suffer greater adverse consequences than others. Several factors have been shown to influence how well or poorly children fare after divorce.
Parental conflict is a major cause of reduced well-being among children of divorce. Further, because conflict is often present in families before parents separate, parental conflict may also explain why children whose parents subsequently separate are often performing less well than their peers even before their parents separate.
Amato 1993a; Amato and Keith 1991a,b; Amato and Rezac 1994; Camera and Resnick 1989; Conger et al. 1997; Hanson et al. 1996; Jekielek 1998; Johnston et al. 1989; Kline et al. 1991.
The single most important determinant of child well-being after divorce is living in a household with adequate income. Using four different national samples, McLanahan and Sandefur (1994) found that approximately one half of the disadvantage experienced by children in one-parent families is attributable to the lower income of one-parent families compared to two-parent families. This finding has been replicated in several other studies.
Amato 1993; Argys et al. 1988; Folk et al. 1992; Garfinkle et al. 1991; Hill 1992; Meyer 1993; Meyer and Bartfield 1996; Teachman 1991a,b; Thomson et al. 1994.
Functioning of the primary residential parent
Children of divorce do better when the well-being of the primary residential parent is high. Primary residential parents who are experiencing psychological, emotional, social, economic, or health difficulties may transfer these difficulties to their children and are often less able to parent effectively. Primary parents tend to function best when they have strong support networks, such as kin, friends, and support groups, and when they have residential and financial security. In general, divorced parents’ psychological well-being improves with increasing time since the divorce, although those who were functioning better at the time of the separation also tend to be doing better at later periods.
Amato 1993a; Astone and McLanahan 1991; Barnes and Farrell 1992; Kurdek 1988a, 1991; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994; Thomson et al. 1994.
Neighborhood quality and frequent moves
Many primary residential parents and their children must move home shortly after the divorce. These moves are nearly always to less desirable neighborhoods. The consequences of this for children, due to loss of access to friends, familiar surroundings, changing schools, and so on, range from the traumatic to the merely disruptive. Nevertheless, these moves account for a significant portion of the disadvantages experienced by children of divorce. When circumstances necessitate frequent moves the effects are compounded.
Astone and McLanahan 1994; McLanahan and Sandefur 1994.
It is important to recognize that, for any particular family seeking to maximize the well-being of children, there may be trade-offs among these factors. For example, the adverse impact of a move may be offset if it enhances the financial stability of the primary residential parent, or improves his or her psychological functioning by allowing him or her to be closer to supportive kin networks.
iii. Typical Post-divorce Parenting Patterns
Until the early to mid-1980s, by far the predominant pattern was for mothers to receive custody (legal and physical) of children after divorce and for fathers to receive limited visitation. In addition, research conducted in the 1970s and early 1980s documented a pattern of widespread disengagement from their children’s lives by noncustodial fathers.
One widely cited study, using nationally representative data, reported that around one half of all divorced fathers had effectively lost contact with their children within a few years of the divorce. The same study reported that those divorced fathers who did remain in contact with their children often fell into the role of “friend” rather than assuming responsibility for their child or serving as an active coparent (Furstenberg and Nord 1985).
More recent data suggest that these patterns are changing:
During the 1980s, the number of father only families
grew at more than double the rate of mother-only families.
Eggebeen et al. 1996; Garasky and Meyer 1996.
The largest factor in growth of father-only families
is the increase in the number of fathers heading formerly married one-parent
Eggebeen et al. 1996; Garasky and Meyer 1996.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were
steady increases in both equal shared custody and unequal shared custody, but
not in father sole custody.
Cancian and Meyer 1998.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, fewer than 20
percent of nonresidential fathers had no contact with their children during the
year prior to the survey.
Braver 1998; Seltzer 1991a; Stephens 1996.
Today’s divorced fathers are more likely to spend time
with their children, are more likely to pay child support, and are more likely
to participate regularly in their children’s lives.
Braver 1998; Cooksey and Craig 1998; Seltzer 1991a; Seltzer and Brandreth 1994; Stephens 1996; Teachman 1991a,b.
But despite these changes:
Mothers receive custody more than 75 percent of the
Cancian and Meyer 1998.
Among divorced families, single-mother families are 4
times as frequent as single-father families.
Garasky and Meyer 1996.
Most fathers do not seek either sole or joint custody.
Teachman 1991a,b; Teachman and Polonko 1990.
With this background and the methodological issues discussed above in mind, I now turn to research dealing directly with the impact of post-divorce parenting arrangements on child well-being. Broadly, this research is of two types: studies which have compared child well-being among families with different physical custody arrangements, and studies which have assessed the impact of variations in nonresidential fathers’ involvement with their children on their children’s well-being. Each of these types of study is discussed separately below.
b. Physical Custody and Child Well-being
Six studies have assessed the impact of joint physical custody on child well-being and meet the criteria for inclusion in the review specified in 2.a. above. In these studies, joint physical custody is defined in a variety of ways, ranging from eight overnights per month in the nonprimary residential parent’s household, to a precise 50-50 apportioning of time. Sole physical custody indicates that the child spends most time with one parent but may have varying levels of contact with the other parent, including overnights. All these studies include direct assessments of various measures of child well-being.
Two of the studies found benefits of joint physical custody. Three of the studies found no differences in child well-being between joint physical custody and sole physical custody families.
i. Studies Reporting Benefits of Joint Physical Custody
· Reports significant benefits of joint physical custody.
· Observed benefits were mainly for the parents, especially their quality of relationship with each other, although there were limited benefits to children.
· Analysis relied on a very small (43 families) nonprobability sample.
· No controls for selection into joint custody.
· Reports that boys in joint custody families have better psycho-logical adjustment.
· Small nonprobability sample.
· No controls for selection into joint custody.
ii. Studies Reporting No Effect of Joint Physical Custody
Johnston et al. 1989:
· Find no differences in child psychological functioning between joint physical custody families and sole physical custody families.
· Small, nonprobability sample of high conflict families.
Kline et al. 1989:
· Find no significant differences in children’s behavioral, emotional, or social adjustment between joint physical custody families and sole physical custody families.
· Probability sample of a California county.
Buchanan et al. 1991, 1996:
· Find no significant differences in adolescents’ behavioral, emotional, or social well-being between those living with either parent and those with dual residence.
· Probability sample of divorcing families in two California counties.
· Prospective longitudinal design.
Donnelly and Finkelhor 1992:
· Find no evidence that children in shared custody had less conflictual or better relations with their parents.
· Children in sole custody families were more affectionate and supportive toward their parents than were children in joint custody families.
· National probability sample.
The evidence reviewed here does not reveal any particular post-divorce residential schedule to be most beneficial for children.
The weight of evidence, bearing in mind both the numbers of studies finding benefits and not finding benefits, as well as the quality of the samples and methods employed, suggests that there are no significant advantages to children of joint physical custody.
However, the evidence also does not suggest significant disadvantages to children of joint physical custody, or of any other post-divorce residential schedule.
c. Nonresidential Parent’s Contact and Involvement and Child Well-being
Twelve studies have assessed the impact of the amount of time nonresidential fathers spend with their children on children’s well-being, and meet the criteria for inclusion in the review specified in 2.a. above. No studies were identified that assessed the impact of nonresidential mother’s involvement on child well-being. In these studies, nonresidential father’s involvement is measured in a variety of ways ranging from whether or not the father ever spends any time with his children, to detailed measures of how much time and how often. All these studies include direct assessments of various measures of child well-being.
Four studies report benefits of higher levels of nonresidential father’s involvement. Six studies report no effects of higher levels of nonresidential father’s involvement. Two studies report adverse effects of higher levels of nonresidential father’s involvement.
i. Studies Reporting Beneficial Effects of Higher Levels of Nonresidential Father’s Involvement on Children’s Well-being
Bisnaire et al. 1990; MacKinnon 1989; Southworth and Schwarz 1987:
· Report improvements in child well-being among children who have more contact with their nonresidential father
· Use small, nonprobability samples such as college student samples
· Lack appropriate controls
· Two of the studies refer to highly delineated child outcomes, such as interactions with siblings and college students’ trust in heterosexual relationships
· Cross sectional study designs do not allow for identification of direction of causal relationships
Guidlabaldi et al. 1987:
· Find that greater involvement by nonresidential father is associated with better child mental health
· High-quality national probability sample
· Longitudinal study design
· Limited controls for factors that may influence both father involvement and mental health
· Large sample size may result in chance “significant” finding
· Recall that mental health is one of the areas where differences between children from divorced and intact families are smallest
ii. Studies Reporting No Effects of Higher Levels of Nonresidential Father’s Involvement on Children’s Well-being
Argys et al. 1998; Furstenberg et al. 1987; King 1994a,b:
· Report no effects of higher levels of nonresidential father’s involvement on child well-being
· Use a variety of large, national probability samples
· Longitudinal study designs
· Include appropriate controls
· Make good use sophisticated methodologies
· Have multiple high quality measures on children’s well-being, including problem behavior, cognitive ability, school-related behaviors and achievement, and psychological well-being
Healy et al. 1990; Kalter et al. 1989:
· Report no effects of higher levels of nonresidential father’s involvement on child self-esteem and psychological well-being
· Use small, nonprobability samples
iii. Studies Reporting Detrimental Effects of Higher Levels of Nonresidential Father’s Involvement on Children’s Well-being
· Reports reduced emotional well-being among children who had frequent contact with nonresidential fathers
· National, probability sample
· Longitudinal study design
· Includes appropriate controls
· Large sample size may result in chance “significant” finding
Johnston et al. 1989:
· Report increased emotional and behavioral problems among children who had frequent contact with their nonresidential father
· Small (n=129) nonprobability sample of high-conflict families
Among the highest-quality studies reviewed here (Argys et al. 1998; Baydar 1988; Furstenberg et al. 1987; Guidlabaldi et al. 1987; King 1994a,b), only one finds higher child well-being among children who have more contact with their nonresidential father; four find no impact of the level of contact with the nonresidential father; and one finds reduced well-being among children who have more contact with their nonresidential father.
Among the smaller, more limited studies reviewed here (Bisnaire et al. 1990; Healy et al. 1990; Johnston et al. 1989; Kalter et al. 1989; MacKinnon 1989;
Southworth and Schwarz 1987), three find higher levels of child well-being among children who have more contact with their nonresidential father, two find no impact of the level of contact with the nonresidential father, and one finds reduced well-being among children who have more contact with their nonresidential father.
Given the very serious limitations of some of the studies reviewed here, and the criteria for evaluating study findings set out in 2.c. above, greatest weight must be placed on the findings from the high-quality studies.
Thus, the weight of evidence does not support the view that higher levels of child-nonresidential father contact are automatically or always beneficial to children.
However, the weight of evidence also does not suggest that, absent parental conflict (see 3.d.i. below), high levels of child-nonresidential parent contact are harmful to children.
d. Complicating Factors in Associations Between Post-divorce Parenting and Child Well-being
Overall, the evidence reviewed above suggests that children are neither substantially benefited nor substantially harmed by joint physical custody and high levels of child-nonresidential father contact. However two factors, parental conflict and the consistency with which child support payments are made, complicate associations between post-divorce parenting and child well-being.
Evidence from two high-quality studies suggests that high levels of child-nonresidential father contact is beneficial to children in low conflict families but harmful to children in high conflict families
Amato and Rezac 1994:
· Report that among boys, high levels of child-nonresidential father contact were beneficial in low conflict families but harmful in high conflict families
· Found no consistent associations for girls
· National probability sample
· Appropriate methods and controls
Buchanan et al. 1991, 1996:
· Report that adolescents’ well-being was enhanced by dual residence arrangements in low conflict families, but was reduced by dual residence in high conflict and low cooperation families
· Low conflict families comprised only 30 percent of families; 25 percent were high conflict; the remainder were low cooperation, so-called “disengaged,” families
· Probability sample of two California counties
· Prospective longitudinal study
Two smaller studies (Healy et al. 1990; Kurdek 1988) report the opposite finding, namely, that frequent child-nonresidential father contact is most beneficial in high conflict families. However, both these studies rely on small nonprobability samples, and are, therefore, not as compelling as the two larger studies.
Researchers have also speculated that joint physical custody and high levels of child-nonresidential parent contact may provoke conflict resulting in reduced child well-being. Consistent with this view, one study reported more frequent relitigation among families with joint physical custody (Koel et al. 1994).
However, three other studies report that dual residence and frequent child-nonresidential parent contact does not appear to provoke increased conflict between parents (Donnelly and Finkelhor 1992; Maccoby, Depner and Mnookin 1990; Maccoby and Mnookin 1994).
In addition, adolescents in dual residence families are not more likely to feel “caught” between their parents (Maccoby, Depner and Mnookin 1990; Maccoby and Mnookin 1994).
However, just as dual residence and frequent child-nonresidential parent contact does not appear to provoke parental conflict, it also does not lead to reduced levels of conflict or promote parental cooperation. Highly conflicted parents tend to remain in conflict or disengage from each other. They do not become low conflict, cooperative parents (Maccoby, Depner and Mnookin 1990; Maccoby and Mnookin 1994).
As noted above, the most common parenting style among divorced parents is disengagement whereby parents simply have as little to do with each other as possible, including very little communication about child rearing issues. This disengaged parenting style does not support dual residence and frequent child-nonresidential parent contact, and these arrangements were associated with reduced well-being among adolescents in disengaged families (Maccoby, Depner and Mnookin 1990; Maccoby and Mnookin 1994).
ii. Child Support
Virtually every researcher who has studied the issue reports that more frequent child-nonresidential parent contact is associated with improved child support compliance. Fathers who see their children often and are active participants in their lives make child support payments more frequently and are more likely to pay the full amount than fathers who have little or no contact with their children (Arditti 1992b, Arditti and Keith 1993; Meyer and Barfield 1996; Meyer and Garasky 1993; Paasch and Teachman 1991; Pearson and Thoennes 1988; Peters et al. 1993; Seltzer 1991b; Seltzer et al. 1989; Stephens 1996; Teachman 1991a,b).
Three different explanations have been offered for the strong association between child-nonresidential parent contact and child support compliance.
When nonresidential parents are involved, they are more willing to pay (e.g. Teachman 1991a,b)
When fathers pay, they want to see that their money is spent appropriately and so increase contact (e.g. Weiss and Willis 1985)
Characteristics that predispose payment also predispose involvement (e.g. Seltzer 1991b; Seltzer et al. 1989)
To date, researchers have not been able to demonstrate which of these mechanisms dominates.
Nevertheless, the close link between child-nonresidential parent contact and child support compliance findings suggests that frequent child-nonresidential parent contact may enhance child well-being by improving the financial support available to the child.
Two caveats are in order, however.
· First, in highly conflicted families, any benefits of increased child-nonresidential parent contact are likely to be offset by the harmful effects of greater exposure of the child to parental conflict.
· Second, there is some evidence to suggest that in negotiating divorce settlements, parents make trade-offs between residential time and child support (Teachman 1990; Teachman and Polonko 1990). If this is occurring, increased child-nonresidential parent contact would be associated with improved child support compliance, but a lower child support amount. This would also tend to offset the presumed financial benefits to the child of increased child-nonresidential parent contact.
4. IMPLICATIONS FOR WASHINGTON STATE AND THE PARENTING ACT
a. No Specific Pattern of Post-divorce Parenting Arrangements Has Been Clearly Demonstrated to Confer Greater Benefits to Children
The lack of clear and compelling evidence from currently available scholarly research to support any particular scheme of post-divorce parenting arrangements suggests the following policy considerations:
i. “One size fits all” approaches, such as legal presumptions in favor or certain specified arrangements, are likely to be harmful to some families. Many researchers explicitly warn against this type of approach (see 5. below).
ii. The current Washington State Parenting Act is generally consistent with currently available research because, at least in theory, it provides parents with considerable flexibility in tailoring their post-divorce parenting arrangements to suit their children’s needs.
iii. Given the lack of evidence concerning either advantages or disadvantages to children of every-other-weekend residential schedules, the predominance of plans with these schedules is troubling. Similarly, the heavy reliance by some counties on guidelines urging every-other-weekend schedules is also troubling. Although there is no evidence that this schedule is harmful to children, there is also no evidence that it is beneficial. The predominance of every-other-weekend schedules suggests that the greatest potential benefit of the Parenting Act—individual tailoring—is not being fully exploited. The Gender and Justice Commission should explore ways to further support individualization of families’ parenting plans.
b. Exposure to Parental Conflict is a Major Cause of Harm to Children of Divorce
There is unanimity among researchers (see 5. below) that parental conflict is a major source of reduced well-being among children of divorce. Recent research indicates that joint physical custody and frequent child-nonresidential parent contact have adverse consequences for children in high-conflict situations, and that joint physical custody and frequent child-nonresidential parent contact do not promote parental cooperation. Taken together these findings suggest the following policy considerations:
i. Current restrictions limiting shared parenting arrangements to low conflict, high cooperation families are appropriate and should be adhered to.
ii. Strategies that aim to reduce parental conflict, or at least to inform parents about the devastating consequences of conflict, should be promoted. This includes classes for divorcing parents.
iii. Although domestic violence and abuse are often characterized as the most extreme forms of parental conflict, they are best understood as entirely separate phenomena, with their own etiology that extends far beyond conflict between parents. For the most part, domestic violence and abuse have not been addressed by the studies included in this review, which for methodological reasons were unable to collect reliable domestic violence data. Widely used strategies intended to reduce parental conflict, such as parenting classes and mediation, may not be generally appropriate for families with a history of violence and abuse and may even have the opposite effect, namely, to increase the risk that the victim will be revictimized. Thus, policies and programs intending to reduce parental conflict must pay special attention to the needs of domestic violence and abuse victims, and must recognize that they may not be able to adequately serve these populations. Conflict reduction may not be an achievable or appropriate goal for violent and abusive families.
c. Inadequate Income is a Major Cause of Harm to Children of Divorce
Researchers agree that household income is the most important influence on child well-being post-divorce. There is also widespread agreement among researchers that nonresidential parents are more likely to comply with child support awards when they continue to be regularly and actively involved in their children’s lives. However, additional research also suggests that parents may “trade-off” between residential time and money when negotiating a divorce settlement. These findings suggest the following policy considerations:
i. Vigorous child support enforcement is the most important thing Washington State can do to promote the well-being of children of divorce.
ii. Promoting nonresidential parents’ involvement in their children’s lives may enhance child well-being by improving the economic support of children. This conclusion only holds if child support decisions are made independent of residential time decisions, and if continuing nonresidential parent involvement does not expose children to continuing parental conflict.
5. WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY ABOUT JOINT PHYSICAL CUSTODY: QUOTES FROM LEADING DIVORCE RESEARCHERS
a. Eleanor Maccoby and Robert Mnookin
Eleanor E. Maccoby is Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stanford University and has been a leading child development scholar since the early 1960s. Robert H. Mnookin is Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. Their book, Dividing the Child, won numerous awards, including the William J. Goode Book Award of the American Sociological Association for the most important contribution to family research in 1993. The study followed 1,124 families, with at least one child under age 16, who filed for divorce in two California counties between September 1985 and April 1985, for three and one half years. In 1979, California law established a presumption in favor of joint physical custody when both parents requested it and authorized the court to order joint physical custody and disputed cases. The law also suggested that in disputed cases the court should follow the preferences of the parent more willing to support continuing involvement by both parents. Thus, Maccoby and Mnookin’s work relates directly to a legal environment that favors joint physical and joint legal custody.
“In the large majority of divorcing families, both parents have been involved with the children on a daily basis. Simple continuity with the past, in terms of the roles of the two parents in the lives of the children, is hardly possible. The relationship between parents and children must change markedly.”
(Page 1 in Dividing the Child)
“…the coparental relationship between divorced parents is something that needs to be constructed, not something that can simply be carried over from pre-separation patterns. It takes times and effort on the part of both parents to arrange their lives in such a way that the children can spend time in both parental households…”
(Page 276 in Dividing the Child)
“Only a minority of our families—about 30 percent … were able to establish cooperative coparenting relationships. Spousal disengagement, which essentially involved parallel parenting with little communication had become the most common pattern … about a quarter of our families remained conflicted at the end of three and a half years.”
(Page 277 in Dividing the Child)
“While our study did not attempt to measure the impact of
coparenting relations on the well-being of children, the results of the
follow-up study of the adolescents in our sample families, as well as the
research of others, makes us confident that there are important effects.
Children derive real benefits—psychological, social, and economic—when divorced
parents can have cooperative coparenting relationships. With conflicted
coparental relationships, on the other hand, children are more likely to be
caught in the middle, with real adverse effects on the child.”
(Page 277 in Dividing the Child)
“A more radical alternative to the present best interests custody standard is a presumption in favor of joint physical custody. We oppose such a presumption. …we are deeply concerned about the use of joint physical custody in cases where there is substantial parental conflict… such conflict can create grave risks for children. We do not think it good for children to feel caught in the middle of parental conflict, and in those cases where the parents are involved in a bitter dispute we believe a presumption for joint custody would do harm . . . We wish to note, however, that joint custody can work very well when parents are able to cooperate. Thus we are by no means recommending that joint custody be denied to parents who want to try it.”
(Pages 284-285 in Dividing the Child)
b. Sanford L. Braver
Sanford Braver is Professor of Psychology at Arizona State University. His recent book, Divorced Dads, is a major critique of much of the earlier research on post-divorce parenting. The book presents information from a four-year plus study of 271 mothers and 340 fathers, from 378 different families, who filed for divorce in an Arizona county in 1986. Braver presents information suggesting that many popular beliefs about divorced fathers are inaccurate and are based on faulty research and reasoning. Braver is a staunch advocate of continued father involvement in children’s lives after divorce, and of joint legal custody as a tool to promote father involvement. However, Braver’s study does not include measures of child well-being post-divorce and does not directly address the issue of whether higher levels of paternal involvement benefit children. Braver’s research also does not speak directly to joint physical custody, as he only assessed joint legal custody. However, like all the other divorce experts, Braver concludes that joint physical custody (50/50 or shared parenting) is rarely in the best interests of children and that a presumption of shared parenting would be poor public policy.
“… there is simply not enough evidence available at present
to substantiate routinely imposing joint residential custody… the limited
analyses other researchers have performed don’t strongly recommend it be imposed
(Page 223 in Divorced Dads)
“If each parent is empowered by joint legal custody and is
allowed involvement in the full variety of child rearing activities, few parents
or children will feel deprived. A parent overly concerned that he see his child
exactly the same amount of time as his ex-spouse becomes more of an accountant
than a parent. Furthermore, this strict accounting of time can also set the
stage for many future arguments, when arrangements must be changed because of
extenuating circumstances, which routinely come up. Finally, such arrangements
are often transitional. As children get older, they frequently don’t want to
switch households so often. In short, insisting upon strict equality of time
spent with the child may be in the weaker parent’s interest but it is rarely in
(Page 224 in Divorced Dads)
c. Judith Wallerstein
Judith Wallerstein is the founder and director of the Center for the Family in Transition in Corte Madera, California. She was one of the first American researchers to systematically investigate the impact of divorce on children, and is an internationally renowned authority on the consequences of divorce for children. Wallerstein is the author of numerous studies of children’s well-being after divorce, including her best-selling book (with Sandra Blakeslee) Second Chances. The study follows 60 middle-class San Francisco Bay Area families for were divorcing in spring 1971 ten years who.
“…joint custody… can be helpful in families where it has been chosen voluntarily by both parents and is suitable for the child. But there is no evidence to support the notion that “one size fits all” or even most. There is, in fact, a lot of evidence for the idea that different custody models are suitable for different families. The policy job ahead is to find the best match for each family. Sadly, when joint custody is imposed by the court on families fighting over custody of children the major consequences of the fighting are shifted onto the least able members of the family—the hapless and helpless children. The children can suffer serious psychological injury when this happens.“
(Page 304 in Second Chances)
d. Frank Furstenberg and Andrew Cherlin
Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. is Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. Andrew J. Cherlin is Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. Between them they have authored more than a dozen books dealing with contemporary family issues, including (Cherlin) the only college-level family studies text book to be graded A by the National Council on Families/Institute for American Values. In 1976, Furstenberg launched the National Survey of Children, which was the first nationally representative survey of America’s children and their well-being. The children were followed into young adulthood. Furstenberg also codirected the largest study to date of remarried families. Their book, Divided Families, summarizes their research based on the National Survey of Children and on other, more recent nationally representative longitudinal surveys, and integrates their research with work by other scholars. Furstenberg and Cherlin’s work was supported by grants from the NIH-National Institutes of Child Health and Development.
“Custody arrangements may matter far less for the well-being of children than had been thought…. The rationale for joint custody is so plausible and attractive that one is tempted to disregard the disappointing evidence and support it anyway. But based on what is known now, we think custody and visitation matter less for children than … how much conflict there is between the parents and how effectively the parent the child lives with functions. It is likely that a child who alternates between the homes of a distraught mother and an angry father will be more troubled than a child who lives with a mother who is coping well and who once a fortnight sees a father who has disengaged from his family. Even the frequency of visits with a father seem to matter less than the climate in which they take place. … Joint physical custody should be encouraged only in cases where both parents voluntarily agree to it… imposing joint physical custody would invite continuing conflict without any clear benefits… In weighing alternative public policies concerning divorce, the thin empirical evidence of the benefits of joint custody and frequent visits with fathers must be acknowledged.”
(Pages 75-76 in Divided Families)
e. Sara McLanahan and Gary Sandefur
Sara McLanahan is Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University. Gary Sandefur is Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. Their book, Growing Up With a Single Parent, summarizes more than a decade of research based on several different nationally representative samples of young adults that include information about the young adults’ family arrangements when they were growing up. The data sets include The National Longitudinal Sample of Youth (sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (sponsored by U.S. DHHS), High School and Beyond (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education), and the National Survey of Families and Households Waves I and II (sponsored by the National Institutes of Health). McLanahan and Sandefur’s research includes people who were aged 18 to 32 in 1986-1992. The research was supported by grants from the NIH-National Institutes of Child Health and Development.
“Joint custody arrangements, while not common, are found in many communities, particularly in more privileged socioeconomic groups… Whether or not high levels of contact with both biological parents can reduce or eliminate the negative consequences associated with divorce is an open question. To date, researchers have found very little evidence that it does.”
(Pages 6-7 in Growing Up With a Single Parent)
“We have demonstrated that children raised apart from one of their parents are less successful in adulthood than children raised by both their parents… For children living with a single parent and no stepparent, income is the single most important factor in accounting for their lower well-being as compared with children living with both parents. It accounts for as much as half their disadvantage.”
(Page 134 in Growing up With a Single Parent)
f. Joan Kelly
Joan B. Kelly is Executive Director of the Northern California Mediation Center and is a leading authority on the consequences of divorce for children. She is the coauthor (with Judith Wallerstein) of Surviving the Break-Up (1980), and continues to publish and lecture extensively on divorce-related topics. The following quotations are drawn from a 1993 review of research on children’s post-divorce adjustment published in Family and Conciliation Courts Review.
“Recent studies suggest that the relationship between child adjustment and conflict is neither universal, simple, nor particularly straightforward… It appears that, rather than discord per se, it is the manner in which parental conflict is expressed that may affect the children’s adjustment. High interparental discord has been found to be related to the child’s feeling caught in the middle, and this experience of feeling caught was related to adjustment… Adolescents in dual (shared) residence arrangements did not feel more caught than did adolescents in mother or father custody type arrangements. Nor was amount of visiting related to feeling caught. There was a significant effect, however, of the interaction between type of residence and the parental relationship. Dual residence arrangements appeared to be more harmful when parents were in high discord than were sole residence arrangements. In contrast, adolescents in dual residence arrangements where there was cooperative communication between parents benefited more than did adolescents in sole residence arrangements.”
(Pages 34-35 in “Current Research on Children’s Post-divorce Adjustment”)
g. Debra Friedman
Debra Friedman is Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Education at the University of Washington. Her book, Towards a Structure of Indifference, traces the origins of maternal custody after divorce in the U.S., and critically examines the consequences of maternal custody for the allocation of child rearing responsibility. The book offers a historical and theoretical analysis.
“On the face of it, joint custody seems to be an equitable solution to the problem of dividing the child…. [Proponents of joint custody] suggest that parents whose conflicts or incompatibility are so great as to necessitate divorce are somehow able to manage to concur on a joint path when raising their children…. Without coordination, and without a structure in which each parent has the means to compel the other to engage in appropriate behaviors and make investments in their children, joint custody is hardly akin to an intact family. Joint custody is at least as likely as alternative custody arrangements are to result in diffusion of responsibility for the child. When both take responsibility it is tantamount to neither doing so.”
(Page 129 in Towards a Structure of Indifference)
1Parental conflict does NOT refer to domestic violence and abuse, which may or may not be present. Domestic violence and abuse tends to be inadequately assessed in survey research where strong social norms mitigate against accurate reporting.
2As noted earlier, parental conflict does NOT refer to domestic violence and abuse, which may or may not be present. Domestic violence and abuse tend to be inadequately assessed in survey research where strong social norms mitigate against accurate reporting.
a. Research Articles
· Allison, P.D., and F.F. Furstenberg, Jr. 1989. “How marital dissolution affects children: Variation by age and sex.” Developmental Psychology 25:540-549.
· Amato, P.R. 1991. “The ‘Child of Divorce’ as a person prototype: Bias in the recall of information about children from divorced families.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:59-69.
· Amato, P.R., 1994. “Father-child relations, mother-child relations, and offspring psychological well-being in early adulthood.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 56:1031-42.
· Amato, P. R. 1996. “Explaining the intergenerational transmission of divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 58:628-640.
· Amato, P.R., and A. Booth. 1991. “The consequences of divorce for attitudes toward divorce and gender roles.” Journal of Family Issues 12:306-322.
· Amato, P.R., and B. Keith. 1991a. “Parental divorce and adult well-being: A meta-analysis.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:43-58.
· Amato, P.R., and B. Keith. 1991b. “Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A meta-analysis.” Psychological Bulletin 110:26-46.
· Amato, P.R., and S.J. Rezac. 1994. “Contact with nonresident parents, interparental conflict, and children’s behavior.” Journal of Family Issues 15:191-207.
· Arditti, J.A. 1992a. “Differences between fathers with joint custody and noncustodial fathers.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 62:186-195
· Arditti, J.A. 1992b. “Factors related to custody, visitation, and child support for divorced fathers: An exploratory analysis.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 17:23-42.
· Arditti, J.A., and T. Keith. 1993. “Visitation frequency, child support payment, and the father-child relationship post-divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:699-712.
· Argys, L.M., H. E. Peters, J. Brookes-Gunn, and J.R. Smith. 1998. “The impact of child support on cognitive outcomes of young children.” Demography 35:159-173.
· Asmussen, L., and R. Larson. 1991. “The quality of family time among young adolescents in single-parent and married-parent families.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:1021-1030.
· Astone, N.M., and S. McLanahan. 1991. “Family structure, parental practices, and high school completion.” American Sociological Review 56:309-320.
· Astone, N.M., and S. McLanahan. 1994. “Family structure, residential mobility, and school dropout: A research note.” Demography 31:575-584.
· Axinn, W.G., and J.S. Barber. 1997. “Living arrangements and family formation attitudes in early adulthood.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 59:595-611.
· Barnes, G.M. and M.P. Farrell. 1992. “Parental support and control as predictors of adolescent drinking, delinquency, and related problem behaviors.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:763-76.
· Baydar, N. 1988. “Effects of parental separation and reentry into unions on the emotional well-being of children.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 50:967-81.
· Bay, R.C., and S.L. Braver. 1990. “Perceived control of the divorce settlement process and interparental conflict.” Family Relations 39:382-387.
· Beller, A.H., and J.W. Graham. 1986. “Child support awards: Differentials and trends by race and marital status.” Demography 23:231-245.
· Belsky, J., L. Youngblade, M. Rovine, and B. Volling. 1991. “Patterns of marital change and parent-child interaction.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:487-98.
· Biblarz, T.J., and A.E. Raftery. 1993. “The effects of family disruption on social mobility.” American Sociological Review 97-109.
· Biblarz, T.J., A.E. Raftery, and A. Bucur. 1997. “Family structure and social mobility.” Social Forces 75:1319-1339.
· Bisnaire, L.M.C., P. Firestone, and D. Rynard. 1990. “Factors associated with academic achievement in children following parent separation.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 60:67-76.
· Block, J., J.H. Block, and P.F. Gjerde. 1986. “The personality of children prior to divorce: A prospective study.” Child Development 57:827-40.
· Block, J.H., J.Block, and P.F. Gjerde. 1988. “Parenting functioning and the home environment in families of divorce: Prospective and concurrent analyses.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 27:207-213.
· Bowman, M. and C. Ahrons. 1985. “Impact of legal custody status on father’s parenting post-divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 47:483-488.
· Braver, S., S. Wolchik, I. Sandler, B. Fogas, and D. Zvetina. 1991. “Frequency of visitation by divorced fathers: Differences in reports by fathers and mothers.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 61:448-451.
· Brotsky, M., S. Steinman, and S. Zemmelman. 1988. “Joint custody through mediation: A longitudinal assessment of children.” Conciliation Courts Review 26:53-58.
· Buchanan, C.M., E.E. Maccoby, and S.M. Dornbusch. 1991. “Caught between parents: Adolescents’ experience in divorced homes.” Child Development 62:1008-1029.
· Burnett, M.C. 1991. “Impact of joint versus sole custody and quality of coparental relationship on adjustment of adolescents in remarried families.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 9:439-449.
· Camera, K., and G. Resnick. 1989. “Styles of conflict resolution and cooperation between divorced parents: Effects on child behavior and adjustment.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 59:560-574.
· Cancian, M., and D.R, Meyer. 1998. “Who gets custody?” Demography 35:147-157.
· Cherlin, A.J., F.F. Furstenberg, Jr., P. L. Chase-Lansdale, K.E. Kiernan, P.K. Robins, D.R. Morrison, and J.O. Teitler. 1991. “Longitudinal effects of divorce on children in Great Britain and the United States.” Science 252:1386-89.
· Cherlin, A.J., K.E. Kiernan, and P. L. Chase-Lansdale. 1995. “Parental divorce in childhood and demographic outcomes in young adulthood.” Demography 32:299-318.
· Clark, S.C., R.A. Whitney, and J.C. Beck. 1988. “Discrepancies between custodial awards and custodial practices: De jure and De facto custody.” Journal of Divorce 11:219-228.
· Conger, R.D., G.T. Harold, and L.N. Osborne. 1997. “Mom and Dad are at it again: Adolescent perceptions of marital conflict and adolescent psychological distress.” Developmental Psychology 33:333-350.
· Cooksey, E.C., and P.H. Craig. 1988. “Parenting from a distance: The effects of paternal characteristics on contact between nonresidential fathers and their children.” Demography 35:187-200.
· Coysh, N., J. Johnston, J. Tschann, J. Wallerstein and M. Kline. 1989. “Parental post-divorce adjustment in joint and sole physical custody families.” Journal of Family Issues 10:52-70.
· Crockett, L.J., D.J. Eggebeen, and A.J. Hawkins. 1993. “Fathers’ presence and young children’s behavioral and cognitive adjustment.” Journal of Family Issues 14:355-377.
· Donnelly, D., and D. Finkelhor. 1992. “Does equality in custody arrangements improve the parent-child relationship?” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:837-845.
· Donnelly, D., and D. Finkelhor. 1993. “Who has joint custody? Class differences in the determination of custody arrangements.” Family Relations 39:388-394.
· Downey, D.B. , and B. Powell. 1993. “Do children in single-parent households fare better living with same-sex parents?” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:55-71.
· Downey, D.B. 1994. “The school performance of children from single-mother and single-father families: Economic or interpersonal deprivation?” Journal of Family Issues 15:129-147.
· Dudley, J. 1991a. “Increasing our understanding of divorced fathers who have infrequent contact with their children.” Family Relations 40:279-285.
· Dudley, J. 1991b. “The consequences of divorce proceedings for divorced fathers.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 16: 171-193.
· Duncan, Greg J., and Saul D. Hoffman. 1985b. “A Reconsideration of the economic consequences of marital dissolution.” Demography 22:485-497.
· Eggebeen, D.J., A.R. Snyder, and W.D. Manning. 1996. “Children in single-father families in demographic perspective.” Journal of Family Issues 17:441-465.
· Elliot J. and M. Richards. 1991. “Children and divorce: Educational performance and behavior before and after parental separation.” International Journal of Law and the Family. 4:258-76.
· Fine, M.A., and L.A. Kurdek. 1992. “The adjustment of adolescents in stepfather and stepmother families.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 725-736.
· Folk, K.F., J.W. Graham, and A.H. Beller. 1992. “Child support and remarriage: Implications for the economic well-being of children.” Journal of Family Issues 13:142-157.
· Fox, G.L. 1995. “Noncustodial fathers following divorce. Marriage and Family Review 20:257-282.
· Fox, G.L., and R.F. Kelly. 1995. “Determinants of child custody arrangements at divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 57:693-708.
· Fustenberg, F.F., Jr. and C. W. Nord. 1985. “Parenting apart: Patterns of childrearing after marital separation.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 47:893-904.
· Furstenberg, F.F., Jr., S. P. Morgan, and P.D. Allison. 1987. “Paternal participation and children’s well-being after marital dissolution.” American Sociological Review 52:695-701.
· Furstenberg, F.F., Jr., and J.O. Teitler. 1994. “Reconsidering the effects of marital disruption: What happens to children of divorce in early adulthood?” Journal of Family Issues 15:173-190.
· Garasky, S. and D.R. Meyer. 1996. “Reconsidering the increase in father-only families.” Demography 33:385-393.
· Garfinkel, I. and D. Oellerich. 1989. “Noncustodial fathers’ ability to pay child support.” Demography 26:219-233.
· Garfinkel, I., D. Oellerich, and P.K. Robins. 1991. “Child support guidelines: Will they make a difference?” Journal of Family Issues 12:404-429.
· Guidabaldi, J. and J.D. Perry. 1985. “Divorce and mental health sequelae for children: A two-year follow-up of a nationwide sample.” Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry 24:531-537.
· Hanson, S.M.H. 1985. “Healthy single parent families.” Family Relations 35:125-132.
· Hanson, T.L., S. McLanahan, and E.Thomson. 1996. “Double jeopardy: Parental conflict and stepfamily outcomes for children.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 58:141-154.
· Harris, K.M., and J. Marmer. 1996. “Poverty, paternal involvement and adolescent well-being.” Journal of Family Issues 17:614-40.
· Hawkins, A.J., and D.J. Eggebeen. 1991. “Are fathers fungible? Patterns of coresident adult men in marital disrupted families and young children’s well-being.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:958-72.
· Haurin, R. J. 1992. “Patterns of childhood residence and the relationship to young adult outcomes.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 54:846-860.
· Healy, J., Jr., J. Malley, and A. Stewart. 1990. “Children and their fathers after parental separation.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 60:531-543.
· Hill, M.S. 1992. “The role of economic resources and remarriage in financial assistance for children of divorce.” Journal of Family Issues 13:158-178.
· Hoffman, S.D., and G. J. Duncan. 1988. “What are the economic consequences of divorce?” Demography 25:641-645.
· Isaacs, M.B. 1988. “The visitation schedule and child adjustment: A three-year study.” Family Process 27:251-256.
· Isaacs, M.B., G.H. Leon, and M. Kline. 1987. “When is a parent out of the picture? Different custody, different perceptions.” Family Process 26:101-110.
· Jekielek, S. 1998 “Parental conflict, marital disruption, and children’s emotional well-being.” Social Forces 76:905.
· Johnston, J., M. Kline, and J.M. Tschann. 1989. “Ongoing post divorce conflict: Effects on children of joint custody and frequent access.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 59:576-592.
· Kalter, N., A. Kloner, S. Schreier, and K. Okla. 1989. “Predictors of children’s post-divorce adjustment.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 59: 605-620.
· Keith, V.M., and B. Finlay. 1988. “The impact of parental divorce on children’s educational attainment, marital timing, and likelihood of divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 50:797-809.
· King, V. 1994a. “Nonresident father involvement and child well-being: Can Dads make a difference.” Journal of Family Issues 15:78-96.
· King, V. 1994b. “Variation in the consequences of nonresident father involvement for children’s well-being.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 56:963-972.
· Kline, M., J.R. Johnston, and J.M. Tschann. 1991. “The long shadow of marital conflict: A model of children’s post-divorce adjustment.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:297-309.
· Kline, M., J.M. Tschann, J.R. Johnson, and J.S. Wallerstein. 1989. “Children’s adjustment in joint and sole custody families.” Developmental Psychology 25:430-435.
· Koel, A., S.C. Clark, R.B. Straus, R.R. Whitney, B.B. Hauser. 1994. “Patterns of relitigation in the post-divorce family.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 56:265-277.
· Koch, M.A.P., and C. Lowery. 1984. “Visitation and the non-custodial father.” Journal of Divorce 8:47-65.
· Krein, S.F., and A.H. Beller. 1988. “Educational attainment of children from single parent families: Differences by exposure, gender, and race.” Demography 25:221-234.
· Kurdek, L.A. 1988a. “A 1-year follow-up of study of children’s adjustment to divorce, custodial mothers divorce adjustment, and post-divorce parenting.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 9:315-28.
· Kurdek, L.A. 1988b. “Custodial mothers’ perceptions of visitation and payment of child support by noncustodial fathers in families with low and high levels of preseparation interparent conflict.” Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 9.
· Kurdek, L.A. 1991. “The relations between reported well-being and divorce history, availability of a proximate adult, and gender.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:71-78.
· Lowery, C.R. 1986. “Maternal and joint custody: Differences in the decision process.” Law and Human Behavior 10:303-15.
· Lowery, C.R., and S.A. Settle. 1985. “Effects of divorce on children: Differential impact of custody and visitation patterns.” Family Relations 34:455-463.
· Luepnitz, D.A. 1986. “A comparison of maternal, paternal, and joint custody: Understanding the varieties of post-divorce family life.” Journal of Divorce 9:1-12.
· Lye, D. N., D.H. Klepinger, P.D. Hyle, and A. Nelson. 1995. “Childhood living arrangements and adults children’s relations with their parents.” Demography 32:261-280.
· Maccoby, E.E., C.E. Depner, and R.H. Mnookin. 1990. “Coparenting in the second year after divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 52:141-155.
· MacKinnon, C.E. 1989. “An observational investigation of sibling interactions in married and divorced families.” Developmental Psychology 25:36-44.
· Mauldon, J. 1990. “The effect of marital disruption on children’s health.” Demography 27:431-446.
· McLanahan, S. and Larry Bumpass. 1988. “Intergenerational consequences of family disruption.” American Journal of Sociology 94:130-52.
· McKinnon, R., and J. S. Wallerstein. 1986. “Joint custody and the preschool child.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 4:169-183.
· Meyer, D. R. 1993. “Child support and welfare dynamics: Evidence from Wisconsin.” Demography 30:45-62.
· Meyer, D. R., and J. Bartfeld. 1996. “Compliance with child support orders in divorce cases.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 58:201-212.
· Meyer, D. R., and Steven Garasky. 1993. “Custodial fathers: Myths, realities, and child support policy.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:73-89.
· Mott, F. L. 1990. “When is a father really gone? Paternal-child contact in father-absent homes.” Demography 30:719-735.
· Najman, J.K., B.C. Behrens, M. Andersen, W. Bor, M. O’Callaghan, and G. Williams. 1997. “Impact of family type and family quality on child behavior problems: A longitudinal study.” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 36:1257-1365.
· Nord, C.W. and N. Zill. 1996. Non-custodial parents’ participation in their children’s lives: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation, Vol. 1. Final report prepared for the Office of Human Services Policy, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of health and Human Services.
· Paasch, K. and J.D. Teachman. 1991. “Gender of children and receipt of assistance from absent fathers.” Journal of Family Issues 12:540-466.
· Pearson, J.P. and N. Thoennes. 1988. “Supporting children after divorce: The influence of custody on support levels and payments.” Family Law Quarterly 22:319-39.
· Pearson, J.P. and N. Thoennes. 1990. “Custody after divorce: Demographic and attitudinal patterns.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 60:33-49.
· Pearson, J., N. Thoennes, and P. Tjaden. 1989. “Legislating adequacy: The impact of child support guidelines.” Law and Society Review 23:569-590.
· Peters, H. E. 1986. “Marriage and divorce: Informational constraints and private contracting.” American Economic Review 76:437-454.
· Peters, H. E., L.M. Argys, E. Maccoby, and R.H. Mnookin. 1993. “Enforcing divorce settlements: Evidence from child support compliance and award modification.” Demography 30:719-735.
· Peterson, J.L., and N. Zill. 1986. “Marital disruption, parent-child relationships, and behavior problems in children.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 48:295-307.
· Seltzer, J.A. 1990. “Legal and physical custody arrangements in recent divorces.” Social Science Quarterly 71:250-266.
· Seltzer, J. A., 1991a. “Relationships between fathers and children who live apart: The father’s role after separation.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 79-101.
· Seltzer, J. A., 1991b. “Legal custody arrangements and children’s economic welfare.” American Journal of Sociology 96:895-929.
· Seltzer, J.A. 1988. “Father by law: Effects of joint legal custody on nonresident fathers’ involvement with children.” Demography 35:135-146.
· Seltzer, J. A., and Yvonne Brandreth. 1994. “What fathers say about involvement with children after separation.” Journal of Family Issues 15:49-77.
· Seltzer, J.A., and I. Garfinkle. 1990. “Inequality in divorce settlements: An investigation of property settlements and child support awards.” Social Science Research 19:82-111.
· Seltzer, J.A., N.C. Schaeffer, and H. Charng. 1989. “Family ties after divorce: The relationship between visiting and paying child support.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 51:1013-1031.
· Sheets, V. L., and S.L. Braver. 1996. “Gender differences in satisfaction with divorce settlements.” Family Relations 45:336-342.
· Shiller, V. 1986a. “Joint versus maternal families with latency age boys: Parent characteristics and child adjustment.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 56:486-489.
· Shiller, V. 1986b. “Loyalty conflicts and family relationships in latency age boys: A comparison of joint and maternal custody.” Journal of Divorce 9:17-38.
· Shrier, D.K., S.K. Simring, and E.T. Shapiro. 1991. “Level of satisfaction of fathers and mothers with joint or sole custody arrangements: Results of a questionnaire.” Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 16:163-170.
· Simons, R.L., C. Johnson, and R.D. Conger. 1994. “Harsh corporal punishment versus quality of parental involvement as an explanation of adolescent maladjustment.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 56:591-607.
· Smith, H.L., and S.P. Morgan. 1994. “Children’s closeness to fathers as reported by mothers, sons, and daughters: Evaluating subjective assessments with the Rasch model.” Journal of Family Issues 15:3-29.
· Southworth, S., and J.C. Schwarz. 1987. “Post-divorce contact relationship with father and heterosexual trust in female college students.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 57:371-382.
· Steinman, S.B., S.F. Zemmelman, and T.M. Knoblauch. 1985. “A study of parents who sought joint custody after divorce: Who reaches agreement and sustains joint custody and who returns to court.” Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry 24:554-562.
· Stephens, L.S. 1996. “Will Johnny see daddy this week? An empirical test of three theoretical perspectives of post-divorce contact.” Journal of Family Issues 17:466-494.
· Teachman, J.D. 1991a. “Who pays? Receipt of child support in the United States.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 53:759-772.
· Teachman, J.D. 1991b. “Contributions to children by divorced fathers.” Social Problems 38:358-371.
· Teachman, J.D., and K.A. Polonko. 1990. “Negotiating divorce outcomes: Can we identify patterns in divorce settlements?” Journal of Marriage and the Family 52:129-139.
· Thomson, E., T.L. Hanson, and S. McLanahan. 1994. “Family structure and child well-being: Economic resources versus parental behaviors.” Social Forces 73:221-242.
· Umberson, D., and C.L. Williams. 1993. “Divorced fathers: Parental role strain and psychological distress.” Journal of Family Issues 14:378-400.
· Wallerstein, J.S. and R. McKinnon. 1986. “Joint custody and the preschool child.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 4:169-183.
· Weiss, Yoram, and Robert J. Willis. 1985. “Children as collective goods and divorce settlements.” Journal of Labor Economics 3:269-292.
· Wenk, D., C.L. Hardesty, C.S. Morgan, and S.L. Blair. 1994. “The influence of parental involvement on the well-being of sons and daughters.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 56:229-234.
· Zaslow, M. 1988. “Sex differences in children’s response to parental divorce. Part 1:Research methodology and post-divorce family forms.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 58:355.
· Zaslow, M. 1989. “Sex differences in children’s response to parental divorce. Part 2:Samples, variables, ages and sources.” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 59:118.
b. Books and Monographs
· Acock, A.C., and D.H. Demo. 1994. Family Diversity and Well-being. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
· Arendell, T. 1995. Fathers and Divorce. Thousand Oaks, Ca.: Sage Publications.
· Biller, H.B. 1993. Fathers and Families: Paternal Factors in Child Development. Westport, CT: Auburn House,
· Bozett, F.W., and S.M.H. Hanson. 1991. Fatherhood and Families in Cultural Context. New York, NY: Springer.
· Braver, Sanford L., with Diane O’Connell. 1998. Divorced Dads. New York: Tarcher Putnam.
· Buchanan, C.M., E.E. Maccoby, and S.M. Dornbusch. 1996. Adolescents After Divorce. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
· Cherlin, A.J. 1992. Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage. Revised and enlarged edition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
· Emery, R. 1988. Marriage, Divorce, and Children’s Adjustment. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.
· Friedman, D.. 1995. Towards a Structure of Indifference: The Social Origins of Maternal Custody. New York, NY: Aldine de Gruyter.
· Furstenberg, F. F., Jr., and A.J. Cherlin. 1991. Divided Families: What Happens to Children When Parents Part. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
· Maccoby, E., and R.H. Mnookin. 1994. Dividing the Child: Social and Legal Dilemmas of Custody. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
· McLanahan, S., and G. Sandefur. 1994. Growing Up With A Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
· Wallerstein, J.S., and S. Blakeslee. 1989. Second Chances: Men, Women, and Children a Decade After Divorce. New York, NY: Ticknor and Fields.
c. Review Articles and Discussion Articles
· Allen, K.R. 1993. “The dispassionate discourse of children’s adjustment to divorce.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:46-50.
· Amato, P.R. 1993a. “Children’s adjustment to divorce: Theories, hypotheses, and empirical support.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:23-38.
· Amato, P.R. 1993b. “Family structure, family process, and family ideology.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:50-54.
· Brown, S. 1984. “Changes in laws governing divorce: An evaluation of joint custody presumptions.” Journal of Family Issues 5:200-223.
· Buehler, C., and J.M. Gerard. 1995. “Divorce law in the United States: A focus on child custody.” Family Relations 44:439-458.
· Coltrane, S., and N. Hickman. 1992. “The rhetoric of rights and needs: Moral discourse in the reform of child custody and child support laws.” Social Problems 39:400-420.
· Demo, D. H. 1993. “The relentless search for effects of divorce: Forging new trails or tumbling down the beaten path.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:42-45.
· Ferreiro, B.W. 1990. “Presumption of joint custody: A family policy dilemma.” Family Relations 39:426-429.
· Furstenberg, F.F., Jr. 1990. “Divorce and the American family.” Annual Review of Sociology 16:379-403.
· Ihinger-Tallman, M., K. Pasley, and C. Buehler. 1993. “Developing a middle-range theory of father involvement post-divorce.” Journal of Family Issues 14:550-571.
· Johnston, J. R. 1995. “Children’s adjustment in sole custody compared to joint custody families and principles for custody decision making.” Family and Conciliation Courts Review 33:415-425.
· Kelly, J.B. 1988. “Longer term adjustment in children of divorce: converging findings and implications for practice.” Journal of Family Psychology 2:112-140.
· Kelly, J.B. 1993. “Current research on children’s post-divorce adjustment: No simple answers.” Family and Conciliation Courts Review 31:29-49.
· Kelly, J.B. 1994. “The determination of child custody.” The Future of Children 4:121-142.
· Kruk, E. 1992. “Psychological and structural factors contributing to the disengagement of noncustodial fathers after divorce.” Family and Conciliation Courts Review 30:81-101.
· Kurdek, L.A. 1993. “Issues in proposing a general model of the effects of divorce on children.” Journal of Marriage and the Family 55:39-41.
· Melli, M.S. and P.R. Brown. 1994. The economics of shared custody: Developing an equitable formula for dual residence.” Houston Law Review 31:543-84.
· Seltzer, J. A. 1994. “Consequences of marital dissolution for children.” Annual Review of Sociology 20:235-66.
· Warshak, R.A. 1986. “Father custody and child development: A review and analysis of psychological research.” Behavioral Science and the Law 4:185-202.
· Wolman, R. and K. Taylor. 1991. “Psychological effects of custody disputes on children.” Behavioral Sciences and the Law 9:399-417.
d. Articles in Edited Volumes and Edited Volumes
· Camera, K., and G. Resnick. 1989. “Interparental conflict and cooperation: Factors moderating children’s post-divorce adjustment.” In Impact of Divorce, Single Parenting, and Stepparenting on Children, edited by E.M. Hetherington and J.D. Arasteh. Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum.
· Cowan C., and P. Cowan. 1987. “Men’s involvement in parenthood: Identifying the antecedents and understanding the barriers.” In Men’s Transitions to Parenthood: Longitudinal Studies of Early Family Experience, edited by P. Berman and E. Pederson. Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.
· Duncan, G.J., and S. D. Hoffman. 1985a. “Economic consequences of marital instability.” In Horizontal Equity, Uncertainty, and Economic Well-being, edited by M. David and T. Smeeding. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
· Emery, R.E., E.M. Hetherington, and L.F. Dilalla. 1984. “Divorce, children and social policy.” In Child Development Research and Social Policy, Vol. 1, edited by H.W. Stevenson and A.E. Siegel. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
· Felner, R.D. and L. Terre. 1987. “Child custody dispositions and children’s adaptation following divorce.” In Psychology and Child Custody Determinations: Knowledge, Roles and Expertise, edited by L.A. Weithorn. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.
· Garfinkle, I., S. McLanahan, and P.K. Robbins. (eds.) 1994. Child Support and Child Well-being. Washington D.C.:The Urban Institute Press.
· Guidabaldi, J., J.D. Perry, and B.K. Nastasi. 1987. “Growing up in a divorced family: Initial and long term perspectives on children’s adjustment.” In Applied Social Psychology Annual, Vol. 7: Family Processes and Problems, edited by S. Oskamp. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
· Koel, A., S.C. Clark, W.P.C. Phear, and B.B. Hauser. 1988. “A Comparison of Joint and Sole Legal Custody Arrangements.” In Impact of Divorce, Single Parenting, and Stepparenting on Children, edited by E.M. Hetherington and J.D. Arasteh. Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum.
· Lamb, M.E. (ed.) 1981. The Role of the Father in Child Development. New York: Wiley.
· Lamb, M.E. (ed.) 1987a. The Father’s Role: Cross-Cultural Perspectives. Hilssdale, N.J.: Erlbaum.
· Lamb, M.E. (ed.) 1987b. The Father’s Role: Applied Perspectives. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
· D.L. Levy (ed.) 1993. The Best Parent is Both Parents: A Guide to Shared Parenting in the 21st Century. Norfolk Va.:Hampton Roads.
· Marsiglio, W. (ed.) 1995. Fatherhood. Newbury Park, Ca.: Sage Publications.
· Mnookin, R.H., E.E. Maccoby, C.R. Albiston, and C. Depner. 1990. “Private ordering revisited: What custodial arrangements are parents negotiating?” In Divorce Reform at the Crossroads, edited by S.D. Sugarman and H.H. Kay. New Haven: Yale University Press.
· Zill, N. 1988. “Behavior, achievement, and health problems among children in stepfamilies: Findings from a survey of child health.” In Impact of Divorce, Single Parenting, and Stepparenting on Children, edited by E.M. Hetherington and J.D. Arasteh. Hillside, NJ: Erlbaum.