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Journal Issue: Children and Divorce Volume 4 Number 1 Spring/Summer 1994

Life-Span Adjustment of Children to Their Parents' Divorce
Paul R. Amato


  1. Furstenberg, Jr., F.F., and Cherlin, A.J. Divided families: What happens to children when parents part. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991, pp. 1–15; Uhlenberg, P. Death and the family. Journal of Family History (1980) 5:313–20.
  2. Cherlin, A. Marriage, divorce, remarriage. Rev. ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.
  3. Bumpass, L. Children and marital disruption: A replication and update. Demography (1984) 21:71–82.
  4. For examples, see the articles in The child in his family: The impact of disease and death. E.J. Anthony, ed. New York: Wiley, 1973.
  5. Crook, T., and Eliot, J. Parental death during childhood and adult depression: A critical review of the literature. Psychological Bulletin (1980) 87:252–59.
  6. The cross-sectional and longitudinal designs are used widely in adjustment research and other developmental research because they are suited for studies in which there are one or more nonmanipulable independent variables. In this instance, the researcher must select subjects who already possess different levels of a particular characteristic. Examples of nonmanipulable independent variables include age, sex, marital status of parents, and socioeconomic status. The use of nonmanipulable independent variables in a study usually precludes the use of true experimental designs which involve the random assignment of subjects to groups. Subjects are randomly assigned to eliminate the influence of extraneous variables. If the influence of extraneous variables has been accomplished in a study and there are significant differences found between groups on a dependent variable, then the researcher may state with confidence that the independent variable caused the results to differ between groups. In studies without random assignment of subjects, including those using cross-sectional and longitudinal designs, statements about cause and effect relationships cannot be made. Researchers are unable to determine which variable caused which or if some other extraneous variable(s) could be responsible for an observed relationship between the variables. It should be noted that this difficulty is inherent in the literature on adjustment to divorce. Although cause and effect relationships may not be known, what is known is that there is a correlation between parental marital status and children's adjustment, and the knowledge that this correlation exists helps to assist the process of policymaking in this area. For a further discussion of the differences between experimental and nonexperimental designs, see Miller, S.A. Developmental research methods. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1987; Cozby, P.C., Worden, P.E., and Kee, D.W. Research methods in human development. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 1989.
  7. The optimal comparison group would be families that would potentially divorce, but stay together for the sake of the children. However, this population of families would be very difficult to sample. Another available comparison group would be continuously intact two-parent families. However, this comparison group is not consistently used by researchers. Many classifications in cross-sectional research are based on the current marital status of parents. The intact group is heterogeneous as to marital history, and the divorced group is not similar as to the time of divorce or the age of the children when it took place. Some of the most prominent longitudinal studies have no comparison group of intact families. See, for example, Wallerstein, J.S., and Corbin, S.B. Father-child relationships after divorce: Child support and educational opportunity. Family Law Quarterly (1986) 20:109–28; Maccoby, E.E., and Mnookin, R.H. Dividing the child: Social and legal dilemmas of custody. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992.
  8. For example, a researcher using a cross-sectional design might study four different groups of children, grouped by age (for example, 3, 6, 9, and 12) and parental marital status (married or divorced) to see if children from divorced families exhibit significantly more aggression than children from intact families. If the researcher finds that aggressive behavior is, indeed, significantly more likely in children from divorced families, the researcher cannot determine the direction of the relationship, that is, whether the divorce increased aggression in these children or high levels of aggression in the children caused the divorce. In addition, the researcher is unable to determine if some extraneous variable caused both high aggression and divorce, for example, low socioeconomic status. For the developmental researcher, there are advantages and disadvantages to using this type of research design. The cross-sectional design is relatively inexpensive and timely, which makes it a popular choice for many researchers. However, a number of difficulties may threaten the validity and reliability of the results. These difficulties include the following: there is no direct measure of age changes; the issue of individual stability over time cannot be addressed; there is a possibility of selection bias; there may be difficulty establishing measurement equivalence; and there is an inevitable confounding of age and time of birth. Some of these problems are avoidable with adequate planning and control; however, the problem of the confounding of age and time of birth (cohort) is intrinsic in the cross-sectional design, and it is impossible to avoid. Another design that is available to researchers but is seldom used is called the cross-sectional-sequential design. A cross-sectional-sequential study tests separate cross-sectional samples at two or more times of measurement. In comparison to a standard cross-sectional design, this sequential design has the advantage of at least partly unconfounding age and year of birth (because there are at least two different cohorts for each age tested), and it also provides a comparison of the same age group at different times of testing (called a time-lag comparison). It would be advantageous to use this research design in the future for some types of adjustment research.
  9. There are major advantages and disadvantages to this type of design. The advantages include the following: a researcher can observe actual changes occurring in subjects over time; irrelevant sources of variability are not of concern; there are no cohort effects because the same cohort is being studied over time and there is no selection bias. Disadvantages that may influence reliability and validity include the following: an expensive and time-consuming design; subject attrition; selective dropout; possible obsolescence of tests and instruments; a potentially biased sample; measurement of only a single cohort; effects of repeated testing; reactivity; difficulty of establishing equivalent measures; and the inevitable confounding of the age of subjects and the historical time of testing. As with the cross-sectional design, some of these problems are avoidable. However, it is impossible to avoid the confounding of age with time of measurement in the longitudinal approach. This confounding follows from the fact that the age comparisons are all within subject. Therefore, if we want to test subjects of different ages, we must test at different times. For an in-depth discussion of longitudinal designs, see Menard, S. Longitudinal research. Series: Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences, No. 07-076. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1991. A design that is available to developmental researchers and is more complicated but should assist in disentangling the contributions of age, generation, and time of measurement is called the longitudinal-sequential design. In this design, the samples are selected from different cohorts (that is, years of birth), and they are tested repeatedly across the same time span. This design offers at least three advantages over a standard longitudinal design. The longitudinal comparisons are not limited to a single generation or cohort because samples are drawn from different birth years. In addition, there is a cross-sectional component to the design because different age groups are tested at each time of measurement. Finally, the same age group is represented at different times of measurement. More information is provided than in a standard longitudinal design, and there is greater opportunity to disentangle causative factors. See Baltes, P.B., Reese, H.W., and Nesselroade, J.R. Life-span developmental psychology: Introduction to research methods. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole, 1977.
  10. Wallerstein, J.S. Children of divorce: Preliminary report of a ten-year follow-up of young children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1984) 54:444–58; Wallerstein, J.S. Children of divorce: Preliminary report of a ten-year follow-up of older children and adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry (1985) 24:545–53; Wallerstein, J.S. Women after divorce: Preliminary report from a ten-year follow-up. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1986) 56:65–77; Wallerstein, J.S. Children of divorce: Report of a ten-year follow-up of early latency-age children. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1987) 57:199–211; Wallerstein, J.S., and Blakeslee, S. Second chances: Men, women, and children a decade after divorce. New York: Ticknor and Fields, 1989; Wallerstein, J.S., and Corbin, S.B. Daughters of divorce: Report from a ten-year follow-up. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (October 1989) 59:593–604; Wallerstein, J.S., and Kelly, J.B. Surviving the breakup: How children and parents cope with divorce. New York: Basic Books, 1980.
  11. For a discussion of sampling, see Kerlinger, F.N. Foundations of behavioral research. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973.
  12. It should be noted that there are no perfect random samples on this subject. The national studies select ever-divorced families, who are limited by geography, the choice of schools included (rarely private schools, which is a problem in places where a large segment of children, often those with the best advantages, are not enrolled in public schools), or use the court sampling frame, which offers insufficient address data to draw a comprehensive sample.
  13. This type of random selection of samples should not be confused with random assignment of subjects to groups.
  14. For a discussion of matching, see note no. 6, Miller.
  15. See, for example, Guidubaldi, J., Cleminshaw, H.K., Perry, J.D., and McLoughlin, C.S. The impact of parental divorce on children: Report of the nationwide NASP study. School Psychology Review (1983) 12:300–23; Hetherington, E.M., Cox, M., and Cox, R. Effects of divorce on parents and children. In Nontraditional families. M.E. Lamb, ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1982, pp. 223–88; see note no. 10, Wallerstein and Kelly.
  16. See, for example, Baydar, N. Effects of parental separation and reentry into union on the emotional well-being of children. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1988) 50:967–81; Enos, D.M., and Handal, P.J. Relation of parental marital status and perceived family conflict to adjustment in white adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (1986) 54:820–24; Mechanic, D., and Hansell, S. Divorce, family conflict, and adolescents' well-being. Journal of Health and Social Behavior (1989) 30:105–16.
  17. Amato, P.R., and Ochiltree, G. Child and adolescent competence in intact, one-parent, and stepfamilies. Journal of Divorce (1987) 10:75–96.
  18. See Glass, G.V., McGaw, B., and Smith, M.L. An evaluation of meta-analysis. In Meta-analysis in social research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1981.
  19. The term meta-analysis refers to the quantitative combinations of data from independent studies. The procedure is valuable when the result is a descriptive summary of the weight of the available evidence. Summaries are necessary primarily because there are conflicting results in the literature and, at some point, it is valuable to know where the weight of the evidence falls. The primary goals of meta-analysis include determining whether significant effects exist for the topic being reviewed, estimating the magnitude of effects, and relating the existence and magnitude of effects of variations in design and procedure across studies. Proponents of meta-analysis argue that meta-analysis can achieve a greater precision and generalizability of findings than single studies. They then have the potential to provide more definitive evidence for policymaking than can be realized by other means. However, there are logical and methodological difficulties with the technique that need to be understood when interpreting the results of any meta-analysis. First, there is the problem of the selection of studies, that is, how to determine which studies should be included in the meta-analysis. Oakes contends that any rule establishment in this area presents impossible difficulties. A second problem is that, if a researcher includes only published studies in the meta-analysis, there is the danger of overestimating differences between groups. This danger arises because journal articles are not a representative sample of work addressed in any particular research area. Significant research findings are more likely to be published than nonsignificant research findings. To control for this problem, the researcher must trace unpublished research and incorporate it into the analysis. A third problem is that the use of meta-analysis may overinflate differences between groups because a high proportion of reported statistically significant results are spurious. Finally, because of the diversity of the types of samples that are included in the meta-analysis, it is difficult—if not impossible—to know what population the results are applicable to. For more in-depth discussions of the technique, its advantages, and its disadvantages, see note no. 18, Glass, McGaw, and Smith; Oakes, M. The logic and role of meta-analysis in clinical research. Statistical Methods in Medical Research (1993) 2:146–60; note no. 6, Miller; Thompson, S.G., and Pocock, S.J. Can meta-analyses be trusted? The Lancet (November 2, 1991) 338:1127–30; Wolf, F.M. Meta-analysis: Quantitative methods for research synthesis. Series: Quantitative Applications in Social Sciences, No. 07-059. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage, 1986.
  20. Amato, P.R., and Keith, B. Parental divorce and the well-being of children: A meta analysis. Psychological Bulletin (1991) 100:26–46. Studies were included if they met the following criteria: (1) were published in an academic journal or book, (2) included a sample of children of divorce as well as a sample of children from continuously intact two-parent families, (3) involved quantitative measures of any of the outcomes listed below in note no. 21, and (4) provided sufficient information to calculate an effect size.
  21. In the meta-analysis for children, measures of well-being were coded into the following eight categories: academic achievement (standardized achievement tests, grades, teachers' ratings, or intelligence); conduct (misbehavior, aggression, or delinquency); psychological adjustment (depression, anxiety, or happiness); self-concept (self-esteem, perceived competence, or internal locus of control); social adjustment (popularity, loneliness, or cooperativeness); mother-child and father-child relations (affection, help, or quality of interaction), and other.
  22. Mean effect sizes ranged from .06 for the "other" category (not significant) to -.23 for conduct (p .001), with an overall effect size of -.17 across all outcomes. Effect sizes reflect the difference between groups in standard deviation units. A negative effect size indicates that children of divorce exhibit lower well-being than do children in intact two-parent families. With the exception of the "other" category, all mean effect sizes were statistically significant (p .001).
  23. Amato, P.R., and Keith, B. Parental divorce and adult well-being: A meta-analysis. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1991) 53:43–58.
  24. In the meta-analysis for adults, outcomes were coded into the following 15 categories: psychological well-being (emotional adjustment, depression, anxiety, life-satisfaction); behavior/conduct (criminal behavior, drug use, alcoholism, suicide, teenage pregnancy, teenage marriage); use of mental health services; self-concept (self-esteem, self-efficacy, sense of power, internal locus of control); social well-being (number of friends, social participation, social support, contact with parents and extended family); marital quality (marital satisfaction, marital disagreements, marital instability); separation or divorce; one-parent family status; quality of relations with one's children; quality of general family relations (overall ratings of family life); educational attainment (high school graduation; years of education); occupational quality (occupational prestige, job autonomy, job satisfaction); material quality of life (income, assets held, housing quality, welfare dependency, perceived economic strain); physical health (chronic problems, disability), and other.
  25. Mean effect sizes ranged from -.02 for relations with children (not significant) to -.36 for becoming a single parent (p .001), with an effect size of -.20 across all outcomes. All mean effect sizes were significant (at least p .01) except for relations with children and self-concept.
  26. Kendall-Tackett, K.A., Williams, L.M., and Finkelhor, D. Impact of sexual abuse on children: A review and synthesis of recent empirical studies. Psychological Bulletin (1993) 113:164–80. Effect sizes in this meta-analysis ranged from .39 to .66, indicating poorer adjustment for sexually abused children than for nonabused children.
  27. Rutter, M. Sex differences in children's responses to family stress. In The child in his family. Vol. 1. E.J. Anthony and C. Koupernik, eds. New York: Wiley, 1970.
  28. See, for example, Booth, A., Brinkerhoff, D.B., and White, L.K. The impact of parental divorce on courtship. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1984) 46:85–94; Smith, T.E. Parental separation and adolescents' academic self-concepts: An effort to solve the puzzle of separation effects. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1990) 52:107–18.
  29. Slater, E., Steward, K.J., and Linn, M.W. The effects of family disruption on adolescent males and females. Adolescence (1983) 18:931–42.
  30. See Peterson, J.L., and Zill, N. Marital disruption, parent-child relationships, and behavior problems in children. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1986) 48:295–307; Hetherington, E.M., and Chase-Lansdale, P.L. The impact of divorce on life-span development: Short and long term effects. In Life-span development and behavior. P.B. Baltes, D.L. Featherman, and R.M. Lerner, eds. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1990.
  31. See note no. 7, Wallerstein and Corbin.
  32. Hetherington, E.M., Camara, K.A., and Featherman, D.L. Achievement and intellectual functioning of children in one-parent households. In Achievement and achievement motives. J.T. Spence, ed. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman, 1983.
  33. Del Carmen, R., and Virgo, G.N. Marital disruption and nonresidential parenting: A multicultural perspective. In Nonresidential parenting: New vistas in family living. C. Depner and J. Bray, eds. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993, pp. 13–36.
  34. See note no. 10, Wallerstein and Kelly.
  35. See note no. 10, Wallerstein and Blakeslee.
  36. For a summary of these studies, see Amato, P.R. Children's adjustment to divorce: Theories, hypotheses, and empirical support. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1993) 55:23–38.
  37. See note no. 20, Amato and Keith.
  38. Furstenberg, Jr., F.F., and Nord, C.W. Parenting apart: Patterns of child-rearing after marital disruption. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1985) 47:893–904; Seltzer, J.A. Relationships between fathers and children who live apart: The father's role after separation. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1991) 53:79–101.
  39. This trend was confirmed in the meta-analysis by Amato and Keith; see note no. 23. For examples of studies, see Amato P.R. Parental absence during childhood and depression in later life. Sociological Quarterly (1991) 32:543–56; Gregory, I. Introspective data following childhood loss of a parent: Delinquency and high school dropout. Archives of General Psychiatry (1965) 13:99–109; Saucier, J., and Ambert, A. Parental marital status and adolescents' optimism about their future. Journal of Youth and Adolescence (1982) 11:345–53. Our meta-analysis also showed that, although children who experience parental death are worse off than those in intact two-parent families, they have higher levels of well-being than do children of divorce.
  40. Cochran, M., Larner, M., Riley, D., et al. Extending families: The social networks of parents and their children. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1990; Dornbusch, S., Carlsmith, J.M., Bushwall, S.J., et al. Single parents, extended households, and the control of adolescents. Child Development (1985) 56:326-41.
  41. Kelly, J.B. Current research on children's postdivorce adjustment: No simple answers. Family and Conciliation Courts Review (1993) 31:29–49.
  42. Amato, P.R., and Rezac, S.J. Contact with nonresident parents, interparental conflict, and children's behavior. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society. Chicago, IL, 1993; Healy, Jr., J., Malley, J., and Stewart, A. Children and their fathers after parental separation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1990) 60:531–43; see note no. 15, Hetherington, Cox, and Cox.
  43. See note no. 15, Hetherington, Cox, and Cox. See also Simons, R.L., Beaman, J., Conger, R.D., and Chao, W. Stress, support, and antisocial behavior traits as determinants of emotional well-being and parenting practices among single mothers. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1993) 55:385–98.
  44. Kline, M., Tschann, J.M., Johnston, J.R., and Wallerstein, J.S. Children's adjustment in joint and sole physical custody families. Developmental Psychology (1989) 25:430–38. Guidubaldi, J., and Perry, J.D. Divorce and mental health sequelae for children: A two year followup of a nationwide sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry (1985) 24:531–37; and Kalter, N., Kloner, A., Schreiser, S., and Olka, K. Predictors of children's postdivorce adjustment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1989) 59:605–18.
  45. Guidubaldi, J., Cleminshaw, H.K., Perry, J.D., et al. The role of selected family environment factors in children's post-divorce adjustment. Family Relations (1986) 35:141–51; see note no. 15, Hetherington, Cox, and Cox. See note no. 10, Wallerstein and Kelly; note no. 44, Kalter, Kloner, Schreiser, and Olka; note no. 30, Peterson and Zill.
  46. Of course, it is also likely that well-behaved children allow parents to behave in a positive and competent manner, whereas ill-behaved children stimulate problematic parental behaviors. Undoubtedly, children influence parents just as parents influence children. However, this does not invalidate the notion that divorce-induced stress can interfere with a person's ability to function effectively as a parent and that a parent's failure to function effectively might have negative consequences for children.
  47. Emery, R. Interparental conflict and the children of discord and divorce. Psychological Bulletin (1982) 92:310-30; Grych, J.H., and Fincham, F.D. Marital conflict and children's adjustment: A cognitive-contextual framework. Psychological Bulletin (1990) 108:267–90.
  48. See note no. 28, Booth, Brinkerhoff, and White. See note no. 16, Enos and Handal; and Mechanic and Hansell; Long, N., Forehand, R., Fauber, R., and Brody, G.H. Selfperceived and independently observed competence of young adolescents as a function of parental marital conflict and recent divorce. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (1987) 15:15–27; see note no. 30, Peterson and Zill.
  49. Cherlin, A.J., Furstenberg, Jr., F.F., Chase-Lansdale, P.L., et al. Longitudinal studies of effects of divorce on children in Great Britain and the United States. Science (1991) 252:1386–89. Similar findings were reported by Block, J.H., Block, J., and Gjerde, P.R. The personality of children prior to divorce. Child Development (1986) 57:827–40.
  50. Johnston, J.R., Kline, M., and Tschann, J.M. Ongoing postdivorce conflict: Effects on children of joint custody and frequent access. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1989) 59:576–92; Kurdek, L.A., and Berg, B. Correlates of children's adjustment to their parents' divorces. In Children and divorce. L.A. Kurdek, ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1983; Shaw, D.S., and Emery, R.E. Parental conflict and other correlates of the adjustment of school-age children whose parents have separated. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (1987) 15:269–81.
  51. It is also probable that children's problems, to a certain extent, exacerbate conflict between parents.
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  57. McLanahan, S. Family structure and the reproduction of poverty. American Journal of Sociology (1985) 90:873–901.
  58. For a review of the effects of serial marriages (involving three or more marriages) and divorces on child adjustment, see Brody, G.H., Neubaum, E., and Forehand, R. Serial marriage: A heuristic analysis of an emerging family form. Psychological Bulletin (1988) 103:211–22.
  59. Hodges, W.F., Tierney, C.W., and Buchsbaum, H.K. The cumulative effect of stress on preschool children of divorced and intact families. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1984) 46:611–19; Stolberg, A.L., and Anker, J.M. Cognitive and behavioral changes in children resulting from parental divorce and consequent environmental changes. Journal of Divorce (1983) 7:23–37.
  60. See note no. 16, Baydar. Hetherington and her colleagues found that the remarriage of the custodial mother was associated with increased problems for girls but decreased problems for boys. Hetherington, E.M., Cox, M., and Cox, R. Long-term effects of divorce and remarriage on the adjustment of children. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry (1985) 24:518–30.
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  62. For similar perspectives, see Hetherington, E.M. Coping with family transitions: Winners, losers, and survivors. Child Development (1989) 60:1-14; Kurdek, L.A. An integrative perspective on children's divorce adjustment. American Psychologist 36:856-66.
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  64. See note no. 63, Glendon; Sweet, J.A., and Bumpass, L.L. American families and households. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1990.
  65. See note no. 1, Furstenberg and Cherlin.
  66. See note no. 7, Maccoby and Mnookin.
  67. Seltzer, J. Legal custody arrangements and children's economic welfare. American Journal of Sociology (1991) 96:895–929.
  68. Arditti, J.A. Differences between fathers with joint custody and noncustodial fathers. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1992) 62:186-95; Bowman, M., and Ahrons, C.R. Impact of legal custody status on fathers' parenting postdivorce. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1985) 47:481-88; Dudley, J.R. Exploring ways to get divorced fathers to comply willingly with child support agreements. Journal of Divorce (1991) 14:121–33; Leupnitz, D. A comparison of maternal, paternal, and joint custody: Understanding the varieties of postdivorce family life. Journal of Divorce (1986) 9:1–12.
  69. See note no. 68, Arditti; Little, M.A. The impact of the custody plan on the family: A five year follow-up. Family and Conciliation Courts Review (1992) 30:243–51; Shrier, D.K., Simring, S.K., Shapiro, E.T., and Greif, J.B. Level of satisfaction of fathers and mothers with joint or sole custody arrangements. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage (1991) 16:163–69.
  70. Buchanan, C.M., Maccoby, E.E., and Dornbusch, S.M. Adolescents and their families after divorce: Three residential arrangements compared. Journal of Research on Adolescents (1992) 2:261–91; Glover, R.J., and Steele, C. Comparing the effects on the child of postdivorce parenting arrangements. Journal of Divorce (1989) 12:185-201; Wolchik, S.A., Braver, S.L., and Sandler, I.N. Maternal versus joint custody: Children's postseparation experiences and adjustment. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology (1985) 14:5-10.
  71. Kline, M., Tschann, J.M., Johnston, J.R., and Wallerstein, J.S. Children's adjustment in joint and sole physical custody families. Developmental Psychology (1988) 25:430-38; Leupnitz, D. Child custody. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath, 1982; Pearson, J., and Thoennes, N. Custody after divorce: Demographic and attitudinal patterns. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1990) 60:233–49.
  72. See note no. 68, Arditti; note no. 71, Pearson and Thoennes; Steinman, S. The experience of children in a joint custody arrangement: A report of a study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1981) 24:554–62.
  73. Nelson, R. Parental hostility, conflict, and communication in joint and sole custody families. Journal of Divorce (1989) 13:145–57.
  74. Buchanan, C.M., Maccoby, E.E., and Dornbusch, S.M. Caught between parents: Adolescents' experience in divorced homes. Child Development (1991) 62:1008–29; Johnston, J.R., Kline, M., and Tschann, J.M. Ongoing postdivorce conflict: Effects on children of joint custody and frequent access. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry (1989) 59:576–92.
  75. Downey, D., and Powell, B. Do children in single-parent households fare better living with same-sex parents? Journal of Marriage and the Family (1993) 55:55-71.
  76. U.S. Bureau of the Census. Child support and alimony: 1987. Current Population Reports, Series P-23, No. 167. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1990.
  77. Public Law No. 100-485, reprinted in 1988 U.S. Code Cong. & Admin. News, 102 Stat. 2343.
  78. See note no. 52, Duncan and Hoffman.
  79. Furstenberg, Jr., F.F., Morgan, S.P., and Allison, P.D. Paternal participation and children's well-being after marital dissolution. American Sociological Review (1987) 52:695–701; King, V. Nonresidential father involvement and child well-being: Can dads make a difference? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America. Cincinnati, OH, 1993.
  80. For a discussion of child support reform, see Garfinkel, I. Assuring child support: An extension of Social Security. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1992; Garfinkel, I., and McLanahan, S.S. Single mothers and their children: A new American dilemma. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press, 1986.
  81. Seltzer, J.A., and Bianchi, S.M. Children's contact with absent parents. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1988) 50:663–77; Seltzer, J., Schaeffer, N.C., and Charng, H. Family ties after divorce: The relationship between visiting and paying child support. Journal of Marriage and the Family (1989) 51:1013–32.
  82. Britto, K. The Family Support Act of 1988 Welfare Reform (Public Law 100-485). Vol. 2, No. 3. National Conference of State Legislatures. Denver, CO, 1989.
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