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

High-Conflict Divorce
Janet R. Johnston


The intent of this paper is first to discuss the problem of identifying important elements of conflict in divorce and, on the bases of various definitions, to review the available research about their incidence. The second aim is to examine the various factors that are believed to contribute to high-conflict divorce and to propose a theoretical model explaining how these factors interrelate. Third, the focus will turn to what is known about the effects on children of interparental conflict, in general, and what is known about the characteristics of children living in high-conflict divorce situations, in particular. Fourth, dispute resolution procedures and preventive and interventive programs, together with available data on outcome effectiveness, will be outlined. Finally, implications of the current research base for social policy with respect to custody and access in cases of high-conflict divorce will be discussed.