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  • Effect of divorce on children

    Hi
    I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, but
    thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone know a good
    resource for real research on the effect of divorce on children? I would be
    very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would really like to find some
    dispassionate, non-partisan research material, rather than rely on feel-good
    (or feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and long
    term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the
    way you do things.
    Many thanks.



  • #2
    Effect of divorce on children


    "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]
    Hi I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. Many thanks.
    Actually if you go to the local school they could hook you up on groups and such that meet for kids of divorce parents, also If you are actually doing a research project of some sort any family councellor or childrens doctor can hook you up with the right reference material. Thats usually what they specialize in.

    Comment


    • #3
      Effect of divorce on children

      "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote:
      Hi I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. Many thanks.
      Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest longitudinal study
      on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and the study is still going
      on. She has published a lot of papers and books regarding divorce. Here
      are two citations:

      Wallerstein, J., Lewis, J., & Blakeslee, S. (2002). The unexpected legacy
      of divorce: A 25 year landmark study. Journal of the American Academy of
      Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41(3), 359-360.

      Wallerstein, J. S., & Lewis, J. (1998). The long-term impact of divorce on
      children: A first report from a 25-year study. Family and Conciliation
      Courts Review, 36(3), 368-383.

      Comment


      • #4
        Effect of divorce on children

        These guys http://www.marriagemovement.org/ have pointers to divorce effects



        "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote in message
        news:[email protected]
        Hi I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on children? I would
        be
        very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research material, rather than rely on
        feel-good
        (or feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. Many thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          Effect of divorce on children

          [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
          "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote:
          Hi I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. Many thanks.
          Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest longitudinal study on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and the study is still going on. She has published a lot of papers and books regarding divorce. Here are two citations:
          There are two really important criticism of Wallerstein's work.

          First her work is anecdotal; she is following a small number of
          children (131 I think), and has no real control group nor any way to
          correct for researcher bias.

          Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a
          bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_.

          Comment


          • #6
            Effect of divorce on children

            Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
            [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
            "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote:
            Hi I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. Many thanks.
            Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest longitudinal study on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and the study is still going on. She has published a lot of papers and books regarding divorce. Here are two citations:
            There are two really important criticism of Wallerstein's work. First her work is anecdotal;
            Not all of her study is anecdotal. She also measured children's adjustment
            in school by the number of school problems (referals, etc). This isn't a
            GREAT measure, but it isn't just anecdotal.
            she is following a small number of children (131 I think),
            In the social sciences (and especially in a longitudinal study) 131 is
            pretty **** big).
            and has no real control group nor any way to correct for researcher bias.
            This is true, but because her work is anecdotal you wouldn't really need a
            control group.
            Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_.
            That would be true of any research in divorce. How many good marriages end
            in divorce?

            Comment


            • #7
              Effect of divorce on children

              Jim Justjim wrote:
              Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
              [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
              "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote:> Hi> I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses,> but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone> know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on> children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would> really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research> material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions!> I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be,> and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things.> Many thanks. Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest longitudinal study on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and the study is still going on. She has published a lot of papers and books regarding divorce. Here are two citations:
              There are two really important criticism of Wallerstein's work. First her work is anecdotal;
              Not all of her study is anecdotal. She also measured children's adjustment in school by the number of school problems (referals, etc). This isn't a GREAT measure, but it isn't just anecdotal.
              she is following a small number of children (131 I think),
              In the social sciences (and especially in a longitudinal study) 131 is pretty **** big).
              and has no real control group nor any way to correct for researcher bias.
              This is true, but because her work is anecdotal you wouldn't really need a control group.
              Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_.
              That would be true of any research in divorce. How many good marriages end in divorce?
              Related to this, it is probably better for the children if the parents DO get a
              divorce and can be on friendly terms (in some cases), versus just staying
              together "for the sake of the marriage commitment", while constantly fighting
              and disrespecting each other.

              The issue is more complex than it seems on the surface, and I'm not sure if it
              is even possible to delineate the two with any research methodology. After
              all, we're dealing with a *human* "control group", if there really is such a
              thing.


              Comment


              • #8
                Effect of divorce on children

                [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
                Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
                [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
                "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote: > Hi > I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, > but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone > know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on > children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would > really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research > material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions! > I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, > and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. > Many thanks. Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest longitudinal study on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and the study is still going on. She has published a lot of papers and books regarding divorce. Here are two citations:
                There are two really important criticism of Wallerstein's work. First her work is anecdotal;
                Not all of her study is anecdotal. She also measured children's adjustment in school by the number of school problems (referals, etc). This isn't a GREAT measure, but it isn't just anecdotal.
                It is still fundamentally anecdotal information in the absence of a
                control group. Just like "my divorced cousin's daughter* didn't make
                it into Harvard" is accurate information that says something about her
                high school performance, but is still anecdotal.
                she is following a small number of children (131 I think), In the social sciences (and especially in a longitudinal study) 131 is pretty **** big).
                Unfortunately this is true in sociology. And control groups are rare.
                Which shows you just how fragile the "science" part of social science
                is.
                and has no real control group nor any way to correct for researcher bias. This is true, but because her work is anecdotal you wouldn't really need a control group.
                You need a control group if you wish to draw conclusions about the
                _effect_ of divorce. Otherwise she is, at best, noticing phenomena
                which are correlated with divorce, but which aren't necessarily caused
                by them.
                Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_. That would be true of any research in divorce.
                Exactly. Hence the scarcity of any real data.

                If your point is "it would be hard to do better than Wallerstein," I
                agree. If your point is "because it would be hard to do better, we
                are justified in concluding that she is saying something serious about
                the effects of divorce" then I disagree.


                *my divorced cousin doesn't actually have any children, and if he did,
                they'd be too young for college anyhow, but you get the point.

                Doug

                Comment


                • #9
                  Effect of divorce on children

                  On Fri, 12 Dec 2003 05:27:58 GMT, Doug Anderson
                  <[email protected]> wrote:
                  [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
                  Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
                  [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes: > "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote: > > Hi > > I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, > > but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone > > know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on > > children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would > > really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research > > material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions! > > I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, > > and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. > > Many thanks. > > Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest longitudinal > study on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and the study is > still going on. She has published a lot of papers and books regarding > divorce. Here are two citations: There are two really important criticism of Wallerstein's work. First her work is anecdotal;
                  Not all of her study is anecdotal. She also measured children's adjustment in school by the number of school problems (referals, etc). This isn't a GREAT measure, but it isn't just anecdotal.
                  It is still fundamentally anecdotal information in the absence of acontrol group. Just like "my divorced cousin's daughter* didn't makeit into Harvard" is accurate information that says something about herhigh school performance, but is still anecdotal.
                  she is following a small number of children (131 I think), In the social sciences (and especially in a longitudinal study) 131 is pretty **** big).
                  Unfortunately this is true in sociology. And control groups are rare.Which shows you just how fragile the "science" part of social scienceis.
                  and has no real control group nor any way to correct for researcher bias. This is true, but because her work is anecdotal you wouldn't really need a control group.
                  You need a control group if you wish to draw conclusions about the_effect_ of divorce. Otherwise she is, at best, noticing phenomenawhich are correlated with divorce, but which aren't necessarily causedby them.
                  Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_. That would be true of any research in divorce.
                  Exactly. Hence the scarcity of any real data.If your point is "it would be hard to do better than Wallerstein," Iagree. If your point is "because it would be hard to do better, weare justified in concluding that she is saying something serious aboutthe effects of divorce" then I disagree.
                  So did she use any divorced couples who got along and didn't fight
                  over custody issues? I am curious as my daughter was very well
                  adjusted, a lot better than her friends who had intact families with
                  parents who didn't get along.

                  My daughter's teachers were always surprised as how well my ex and I
                  got along. People were always suggesting that we remarry because of
                  how well we got along (the main reason we got along was the fact that
                  we weren't married)
                  *my divorced cousin doesn't actually have any children, and if he did, they'd be too young for college anyhow, but you get the point. Doug

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Effect of divorce on children

                    Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
                    [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
                    Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
                    [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes: > "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote: > > Hi > > I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful > > responses, but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. > > Does anyone know a good resource for real research on the effect > > of divorce on children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if > > you do. I would really like to find some dispassionate, > > non-partisan research material, rather than rely on feel-good (or > > feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and > > long term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad > > effects by the way you do things. Many thanks. > > Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest > longitudinal study on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and > the study is still going on. She has published a lot of papers and > books regarding divorce. Here are two citations: There are two really important criticism of Wallerstein's work. First her work is anecdotal;
                    Not all of her study is anecdotal. She also measured children's adjustment in school by the number of school problems (referals, etc). This isn't a GREAT measure, but it isn't just anecdotal.
                    It is still fundamentally anecdotal information in the absence of a control group. Just like "my divorced cousin's daughter* didn't make it into Harvard" is accurate information that says something about her high school performance, but is still anecdotal.
                    she is following a small number of children (131 I think), In the social sciences (and especially in a longitudinal study) 131 is pretty **** big).
                    Unfortunately this is true in sociology. And control groups are rare. Which shows you just how fragile the "science" part of social science is.
                    I agree. In psychology this is also very true.
                    and has no real control group nor any way to correct for researcher bias. This is true, but because her work is anecdotal you wouldn't really need a control group. You need a control group if you wish to draw conclusions about the _effect_ of divorce. Otherwise she is, at best, noticing phenomena which are correlated with divorce, but which aren't necessarily caused by them.
                    Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_. That would be true of any research in divorce.
                    Exactly. Hence the scarcity of any real data. If your point is "it would be hard to do better than Wallerstein," I agree. If your point is "because it would be hard to do better, we are justified in concluding that she is saying something serious about the effects of divorce" then I disagree.
                    My point is that Wallerstein is a good starting point for future studies.
                    You have to start somewhere. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on
                    how you look at it) social scientists will not be "assigning" children to
                    experimental and control groups for divorce, anytime soon.
                    *my divorced cousin doesn't actually have any children, and if he did, they'd be too young for college anyhow, but you get the point.
                    Hmmmm... but this is purely anecdotal. :-)
                    Doug

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Effect of divorce on children

                      Rauni wrote:
                      On Fri, 12 Dec 2003 05:27:58 GMT, Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:
                      [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
                      Doug Anderson <[email protected]> wrote:> [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:>>> "Rick" <[email protected]> wrote:>>> Hi>>> I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses,>>> but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone>>> know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on>>> children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would>>> really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research>>> material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions!>>> I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be,>>> and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things.>>> Many thanks.>>>> Judith Wallerstein did (and is still doing) the largest longitudinal>> study on divorce. She started in the early 1970s and the study is>> still going on. She has published a lot of papers and books regarding>> divorce. Here are two citations:>> There are two really important criticism of Wallerstein's work.>> First her work is anecdotal; Not all of her study is anecdotal. She also measured children's adjustment in school by the number of school problems (referals, etc). This isn't a GREAT measure, but it isn't just anecdotal.
                      It is still fundamentally anecdotal information in the absence of a control group. Just like "my divorced cousin's daughter* didn't make it into Harvard" is accurate information that says something about her high school performance, but is still anecdotal.
                      > she is following a small number of> children (131 I think), In the social sciences (and especially in a longitudinal study) 131 is pretty **** big).
                      Unfortunately this is true in sociology. And control groups are rare. Which shows you just how fragile the "science" part of social science is.
                      > and has no real control group nor any way to> correct for researcher bias. This is true, but because her work is anecdotal you wouldn't really need a control group.
                      You need a control group if you wish to draw conclusions about the _effect_ of divorce. Otherwise she is, at best, noticing phenomena which are correlated with divorce, but which aren't necessarily caused by them.
                      > Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a> bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_. That would be true of any research in divorce.
                      Exactly. Hence the scarcity of any real data. If your point is "it would be hard to do better than Wallerstein," I agree. If your point is "because it would be hard to do better, we are justified in concluding that she is saying something serious about the effects of divorce" then I disagree.
                      So did she use any divorced couples who got along and didn't fight over custody issues? I am curious as my daughter was very well adjusted, a lot better than her friends who had intact families with parents who didn't get along.
                      Exactly. I think it basically comes down to: "the strife in the life".....is
                      bad for the kids. Hell, it's bad for ALL parties! In those cases, divorce
                      would be a better option than staying married, I believe (unless the strife and
                      lack of respect issues could be resolved).
                      My daughter's teachers were always surprised as how well my ex and I got along. People were always suggesting that we remarry because of how well we got along (the main reason we got along was the fact that we weren't married)
                      Which is sadly ironic, in some cases.....


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Effect of divorce on children

                        [email protected] (Jim Justjim) writes:
                        My point is that Wallerstein is a good starting point for future studies.
                        Yes, I agree with this. My point though, is that one really can't
                        draw any conclusions about the effects of divorce from her work.
                        You have to start somewhere. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) social scientists will not be "assigning" children to experimental and control groups for divorce, anytime soon.
                        Exactly. Fortunately (or unfortunately). In fact to do real work on
                        this, you would want very carefully matched families.
                        Unfortunately, even this seems impossible since the fact that one pair
                        of parents divorced and the other didn't already tells you they are
                        too different to match up.

                        I think "divorce" just can't be separated from its correlate "unhappy
                        marriage." And without doing that, you can't separate the effects of
                        "divorce" from the effects of "unhappy marriage."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Effect of divorce on children

                          Rick <[email protected]> wrote:
                          Hi I posted this in alt.support.divorce, and had some useful responses, but thought it might also be appropriate to post here. Does anyone know a good resource for real research on the effect of divorce on children? I would be very grateful for a pointer if you do. I would really like to find some dispassionate, non-partisan research material, rather than rely on feel-good (or feel-bad!) assertions! I'm interested in both what the short and long term effects might be, and on how you can minimise any bad effects by the way you do things. Many thanks.
                          The last time I checked there really wasn't any ggod research, but that
                          was a few years ago. All there was was collections of anecdotes and
                          nothing ressembling a control group.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Effect of divorce on children

                            Jim Justjim <[email protected]> wrote:
                            In the social sciences (and especially in a longitudinal study) 131 is pretty **** big).
                            Not if there's no control group. It wouldn't be that hard. Start with
                            a bunch of people having marital difficulties and follow them through
                            life. Some will get divorced and some won't. Choosing only divorced
                            peoples guarantees you won't know how the other group did.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Effect of divorce on children


                              "Jim Justjim" <[email protected]> wrote in message
                              news:[email protected]
                              Secondly, it is impossible in her work to separate the effects of a bad marriage between the parents from the effects of the _divorce_. That would be true of any research in divorce. How many good marriages
                              end
                              in divorce?
                              Well, exactly. There is little point to comparing how children of divorced
                              parents do compared to children of all married parents, since the second
                              group includes parents who are happy with each other but the first doesn't.
                              Wallerstein has successfully shown that kids of parents who are happy with
                              each other do better than kids whose parents aren't happy with each other,
                              but I'm not sure how important a research achievement that is.

                              The relevant research would be comparing kids whose unhappy parents get
                              divorced to kids whose unhappy parents stay together (either by becoming
                              happier or simply by declining to divorce regardless). That is the choice
                              that families actually face in real life. Wallerstein did not make that
                              comparison and I'm unaware of any other long-term rigorous research that
                              has. It wouldn't be easy to pull off, I imagine.



                              Comment

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