Personal and social consequences of separation/divorce

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See more resources on Personal and social consequences of separation/divorce in the AIFS library catalogue

Psychosocial profiles of adolescents from dissolved families : differences in depressive symptoms in emerging adulthood.

Di Manno L, Macdonald J, Youssef G, Little K and Olsson C
Journal of Affective Disorders v. 241 Dec 2018: 325-337
This article explores the mental health of adolescents who had experienced parental separation, using data from the Australian Temperament Project. In particular, its investigates whether different groups of adolescents are at risk for developing depression. Adjustment, mental health, and antisocial behaviour were assessed throughout adolescence at 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18 years of age. The study found that most of the adolescents from separated families were well-adjusted, but there were two groups at higher risk of subsequent mental health problems, and who could benefit from targeted intervention.

Review of research and case law on parental alienation

Doughty J, Maxwell N and Slater T
Cardiff : Welsh Government, 2018.
"This review of research and case law on the topic of parental alienation aims to provide an evidence base to guide practice for Cafcass Cymru. The notion of parental alienation was first recognised by Wallerstein and Kelly in 1976, but it was Gardner's assertion in 1987 that parental alienation was a syndrome, that is, a mental condition suffered by children who had been alienated by their mothers, which has led to debate over the last 30 years ... This report begins with setting out the relevant law [in Wales] and the context of the review, followed by a description of the methods used. The research literature is then presented, followed by a case law review. The report ends with some discussion, conclusions and key messages for practice."--Introduction.

Family structure and childhood mental disorders : new findings from Australia.

Perales F, Johnson S, Baxter J, Lawrence D and Zubrick S
Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology v. 52 no. 4 Apr 2017: 423-433
This article investigates whether family structure is associated with mental disorders in childhood. Using data from Young Minds Matter, the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Well-being, it compares a range of mental disorders in children aged from 4 to 17 and the children's family arrangements and time since any family separation. The findings indicate that children in one-parent, blended, and step families experience a higher prevalence of mental disorders than children living with two biological parents.

Women and separation: managing new horizons

Rogers M, Pattenden R, Pullen J and Bickerdike A
Camberwell, Vic. : Relationships Australia Victoria, 2017.
Separation presents challenges for many women. This booklet is intended to help separated women make sense of their feelings, to offer guidance in constructive choices, and to raise awareness of the support services that are available. It covers the following topics: separation and women's experience; the separation; looking after yourself; children and separation; relating to your former partner; making formal arrangements; the future; research about women and separation; where to get further assistance; and suggested reading.

Domestic and family violence and parenting: mixed method insights into impact and support needs : key findings and future directions

Kaspiew R, Horsfall B, Qu L, Nicholson J, Humphreys C, Diemer K, Nguyen C, Buchanan F, Hooker L, Taft A, Westrupp E, Cooklin A, Carson R and Dunstan J
N.S.W. : ANROWS, 2017.
This paper presents key findings for policy and practice from a study into the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting capacity and parent-child relationships in Australia. Drawing on a mixed method approach involving analysis of three longitudinal data sets, a review of the literature, and interviews with service users, the study investigated parental conflict in families and impacts on the emotional health and parenting behaviours of mothers and fathers and child functioning; how DFV experienced before separation, after separation, or both affects parents' emotional health and parent-child relationships; and mothers' experiences of engagement with services in the domestic and family violence, child protection, and family law systems. The findings add to the evidence base on the impact of this violence and the issues that are shared or differ across gender and family structure.

Domestic and family violence and parenting: mixed method insights into impact and support needs : final report

Kaspiew R, Horsfall B, Qu L, Nicholson J, Humphreys C, Diemer K, Nguyen C, Buchanan F, Hooker L, Taft A, Westrupp E, Cooklin A, Carson R and Dunstan J
N.S.W. : ANROWS, 2017.
This report collates the findings of a research study into the impact of domestic and family violence on parenting capacity and parent-child relationships in Australia. The study focused on three main issues: parental conflict in families and impacts on the emotional health and parenting behaviours of mothers and fathers and child functioning; how DFV experienced before separation, after separation, or both affects parents' emotional health and parent-child relationships; and mothers' experiences of engagement with services in the domestic and family violence, child protection, and family law systems. A mixed method approach involving four separate components was employed, involving a review of the literature (also published separately), an analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, an analysis of data from the Longitudinal Study of Separated Families (LSSF) and the Survey of Recently Separated Parents (SRSP), and interviews with 50 women in contact with DFV services. The findings add to the evidence base by bringing together evidence on a diversity of Australian populations and capturing the experiences and impacts on fathers, mothers, and children at varying ages and stages, enabling the identification of important issues across gender and family structure.

Do housing wealth and tenure (change) moderate the relationship between divorce and subjective wellbeing?

Andre S, Dewilde C and Muffels R
Tilburg, Netherlands : Tilburg University, 2017.
In times of divorce, the 'home ownership' 'nest egg' can be a source of anxiety and financial stress and a burden. This paper investigates the moderating effect of two important aspects of housing - tenure and housing wealth - on the relationship between divorce and wellbeing. Data is taken from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey, for life satisfaction, happiness, and financial satisfaction of divorcing or separating couples. The paper finds that homeowners are more negatively affected by divorce or separation than tenants. When women move from an owned to a rented house, divorce has a smaller negative effect on happiness and financial satisfaction than when remaining in the owned home. For men however, housing wealth alleviates financial stress when the divorcees remain in an owner-occupied house after divorce.

Child outcomes after parental separation: variations by contact and court involvement

Goisis A, Ozcan B and Sigle W
London : Ministry of Justice, 2016.
This report adds to the research on the nature and consequences of post-separation contact. It investigates whether contact between a child and a non-resident parent is associated with child well-being at age 11, and whether this varies by parental marital status, the level of post-separation contact, and whether separation issues were resolved with court involvement or not. Data is taken from the Millennium Cohort Study from the United Kingdom, for the subset of children who had experienced parental separation at some point between the ages of 9 months and 7 years. Outcomes included subjective well-being, engagement in antisocial behaviours and risk taking, and social-behavioural problems. The report also investigates patterns in the nature and frequency of contact, whether the provision of financial support varies by family characteristics, and whether court use during the separation process varies by family characteristics. Consistent with previous studies, the report finds that children who experienced parental separation by age 7 tended to have worse outcomes at age 11 than those whose parents were married at the time of birth and remained married: these differences were small, however. The results also tentatively suggest that court involvement during the separation process might be negatively associated with child outcomes and that more contact with the non-resident parent was associated with better outcomes for children. Further research is required.

What do the children have to say?: children's perceptions of the children of divorce intervention program

Senko L
2016.
"Few of the child-focused interventions that have been developed to address the negative effects of divorce have been extensively evaluated to validate their positive outcomes. One school-based preventive program that has undergone in-depth evaluations with multiple treatment and control groups to document its efficacy among children of different backgrounds is the Children of Divorce Intervention Program (CODIP) (Pedro-Carroll, 2005). While many studies have documented the durability and generalizability of its positive outcomes, there is insufficient qualitative research exploring children's perceptions of the program ... Therefore, through a process evaluation study, involving approximately forty children of divorce who attend two elementary schools in a public school district in New Jersey, this study investigated children's perceptions of CODIP. The following research questions guided my study: (1) how do students describe their experiences in CODIP? (2) in what ways have students benefitted from their involvement in CODIP? (3) which components of CODIP contributed to students' positive outcomes? (4) which features of the program did students like the most/least? (5) how did participants' perceptions of the program vary across developmental age groups? My data analysis revealed three main findings: (1) children benefitted by learning how to express their feelings, solve divorce-related problems, and be part of a peer support system; (2) the positive group dynamics, strong relationships with facilitators, and experiential aspects of the program contributed to these benefits; and (3) participants offered constructive feedback about environmental conditions and their desire for more hands-on activities. The implications of these findings are considered for program developers and school counselors, and recommendations for modifications to the program and considerations for implementation are offered."--Author abstract.

Divorce and the experience of Australian men

Delaney S
2015.
This thesis investigates men's adaptation to divorce in Australia and the impact of various factors on how well they adjust. 134 men aged 18 to 60 years were interviewed regarding their experiences of emotional detachment, anger, grief, loss, self-worth, and overall adjustment, and the association of these with characteristics of their marriage, education and employment status, the presence of children and satisfaction with resulting custody arrangements, gender role identity, sources of post-divorce support, relationship with former spouse and in-laws, pre-divorce and post-divorce conflict with spouse, and involvement with fathers' rights groups.

Teachers facilitating support for young children experiencing parental separation and divorce.

Mahony L, Walsh K, Lunn J and Petriwskyj A
Journal of Child and Family Studies v. 24 no. 10 Oct 2015: 2841-2852
This article explores how teachers support young children experiencing parental separation and divorce. Interviews and focus groups were conducted with 21 early childhood teachers in Australia, revealing provision of emotional, behavioural, and academic support, and collaboration with parents and school personnel.

Life satisfaction across life course transitions [Reprint]

Qu L and De Vaus D
Journal of the Home Economics Institute of Australia v. 22 no. 2 2015: 15-27
Does life satisfaction improve or decline as people grow older? What happens to people's outlook as they pass through the common events of life? This paper investigates trends and patterns in life satisfaction across the life course, using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. Almost 27,000 people aged 15 years and older were followed for over a decade as they navigated through seven transition events - leaving the parental home, forming a relationship, having children, relationship separation, becoming 'empty nesters', retirement, and the death of a partner. The findings show how life satisfaction changes over time and the differences and similarities in how men and women respond to events.

Life satisfaction across life course transitions

Qu L and De Vaus D
Melbourne, Vic. : Australian Institute of Family Studies, 2015.
Does life satisfaction improve or decline as people grow older? What happens to people's outlook as they pass through the common events of life? This paper investigates trends and patterns in life satisfaction across the life course, using data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey. Almost 27,000 people aged 15 years and older were followed for over a decade as they navigated through seven transition events - leaving the parental home, forming a relationship, having children, relationship separation, becoming 'empty nesters', retirement, and the death of a partner. The findings show how life satisfaction changes over time and the differences and similarities in how men and women respond to events.

Recency of divorce, depression, and suicide risk.

Stack S and Scourfield J
Journal of Family Issues v. 36 no. 6 May 2015: 695-715
International studies have shown an association between divorce and suicide risk. This article adds to the research with a study on whether the recently divorced are at greater risk than the long-term divorced, and whether the impact of divorce on suicide risk is independent of psychiatric and social covariates. American data from the National Mortality Follow Back Survey are analysed, though general divorce risk data from Australia and overseas are also presented.

The effect of family disruption on children's personality development: evidence from British longitudinal dat

Prevoo T and Ter Weel B
Bonn, Germany : IZA, 2014.
"This research documents the effects of different forms of family disruptions - measured by separation, divorce and death - on personality development of British children included in the 1970 British Cohort Study. There are statistically significant correlations between family disruptions prior to the age of 16 and personality development in early childhood. Parental divorce has the largest negative effect on a child's personality development. Family disruptions have smaller effects on personality development when children are older and patterns differ by gender. The relationship between personality development and family disruption is partially driven by selection. Placebo regressions reveal significant correlations between family disruption and personality development before disruption. The omitted variable bias is mitigated by investigating mechanisms through which the selection operates."--Author abstract.

Partnership dissolution: how does it affect income, employment and well-being?

Brewer M and Nandi A
Colchester, UK : Institute for Social and Economic Research, 2014.
"Incomes, employment patterns, housing, mental health and life satisfaction can all change markedly when couples split up, but there is considerable variation within the population. Using data from all 18 waves (1991-2008) of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), an annual longitudinal survey that interviews every adult member of a nationally-representative sample of around 5,000 households, we assess comprehensively how these different domains change in the years following separation ... Our most important results are that children and their mothers see living standards fall by more, on average, after separation, than do fathers ... What is perhaps surprising is that the (proportionate) fall in living standards is far more acute for those from above-median couples than for those from below-median couples ... An even more striking finding, although one affecting fewer individuals, is the difference in post-separation living standards of men and women from couples whose children are no longer dependent: these women, who are mostly aged over 50 and tend to have been married, see living standards fall by far more, on average, after separation, than their former partners, and 30 percent of them fall into relative poverty after separation. On the other hand, this is the group that sees well-being rise (and mental distress fall) the most after separation."--Non technical summary.

Post-separation parenting, property and relationship dynamics after five years

Qu L, Weston R, Moloney L, Kaspiew R and Dunstan J
Canberra : Attorney-General's Dept., 2014
The Longitudinal Study of Separated Families examines the experiences, circumstances, and wellbeing of separated parents and their children in Australia. It was commissioned as part of the evaluation of the 2006 Family Law reforms, and three waves of surveys have now been conducted. This current report presents findings from wave 3, conducted in 2012 with 9,028 parents five years after separation. It explores the opinions and experiences of separated parents regarding: quality of inter-parental relationships; child-focused communication between parents; safety concerns and violence and abuse; use and perceived helpfulness of family law services; pathways for developing parenting arrangements; family dispute resolution; stability and change in care-time arrangements; property division and their timing and perceived fairness; and child support arrangements and compliance. The report also asks parents about their child's wellbeing, and compares this with care-time arrangements and family dynamics.

'I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy' : Western Australian fathers' perspectives on their marital separation experiences.

Mercadante C, Taylor M and Pooley J
Marriage and Family Review v. 50 no. 4 2014: 318-341
This article investigates fathers' experiences of separation. The study found that not only are fathers grieving the loss of their former marital relationship, but also their simultaneous loss of contact with their children, their fathering role, and their former family routine. The findings have implications for child contact arrangement hearings, with the authors arguing that fathers may be at a psychoemotional disadvantage during negotiations.

State-of-the-art report: effects of family forms and dynamics on children's well-being and life chances : literature review

Bernardi F, Hèarkèonen J and Boertien D
Europe : FamiliesAndSocieties project, 2013.
This review reports on the European and American literature on the impact of family forms and dynamics on children's short- and long-term wellbeing. It focuses on: the impact of family configurations - in particular separation and step-parenthood - on children's life chances; the more methodological contributions that explicitly try to identify to what extent these effects are causal; the role played by parenting and social relationships in mediating these effects; the heterogeneity of these effects for different groups of the population; and how these effects vary across countries and periods.

Family structure and children's wellbeing : a reply to Lucas, Nicholson and Erbas.

Parkinson P
Journal of Family Studies v. 19 no. 3 Dec 2013: 267-271
In the April 2013 edition of this journal, Lucas, Nicholson and Erbas published an article on 'Child mental health after parental separation: the impact of resident/non-resident parenting, parent mental health, conflict and socioeconomics'. The article used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to compare the mental health of children in couple-families and separated, mother-headed families, and to examine the reasons why children from separated families fared worse. One source cited by the article is a recent report by Patrick Parkinson, 'For kids sake'. However, Professor Parkinson disagrees with their interpretation of his work, and in this new article, he sets out his arguments.

Strengthening the social environment for Australian children : a reply to Parkinson.

Lucas N, Nicholson J and Erbas B
Journal of Family Studies v. 19 no. 3 Dec 2013: 272-275
In the April 2013 edition of this journal, Lucas, Nicholson and Erbas published an article on 'Child mental health after parental separation: the impact of resident/non-resident parenting, parent mental health, conflict and socioeconomics'. The article used data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children to compare the mental health of children in couple-families and separated, mother-headed families, and to examine the reasons why children from separated families fared worse. One source cited by the article is a recent report by Patrick Parkinson, 'For kids sake'. However, Professor Parkinson disagrees with their interpretation of his work, and has set out his arguments in this December edition. In this article, the original authors respond to his comments.

Family socio-economic status, childhood life-events and the dynamics of depression from adolescence to early adulthood

Contoyannis P and Li J
Parkville, Vic. : Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, University of Melbourne, 2013.
Using data from the American National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, this paper examines the roles of family socio-economic status, early childhood life-events, unobserved heterogeneity and pure state dependence in explaining the distribution of depression among adolescents and young adults. Variables studied include divorce or family bereavement or trauma during childhood, parental unemployment, occupation class, parental education, family income and poverty, gender, race, birth order, and maternal smoking or drinking during pregnancy.

Home front alert: the risks facing young children in military families

Murphey D
Bethesda, MD : Child Trends, 2013.
When a parent goes to war, families are deeply affected - young children in particular. This paper summarises the findings of a research review on what we know - and don't know - about how military life affects child wellbeing. It discusses why young children are at particular risk, demographic changes in military life in the United States today, deployment and parental separation, residential mobility, child care needs, return from deployment, and trauma and loss. The paper also considers the policy implications for supporting young children in military families.

Child mental health after parental separation : the impact of resident/non-resident parenting, parent mental health, conflict and socioeconomics.

Lucas N, Nicholson J and Erbas B
Journal of Family Studies v. 19 no. 1 Apr 2013: 53-69
Children of separated parents are consistently shown to have greater likelihood of poor mental health than children of intact families. Explanations to date have focussed on the impacts of parental conflict, and the role of resident mothers, neglecting the potential importance of non-resident fathers. Using recent data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, this study 1) compares the mental health of children from intact families with resident fathers to those from separated families with non-resident fathers and 2) explores predictors of poor mental health among children from separated families. Children from separated families had poorer mental health than those from intact families, but this difference was explained fully by exposure to parental conflict, socioeconomic status and parent mental health, and to a lesser extent by parenting practices. Among children from separated families, the strongest predictor of child mental health was maternal parenting consistency. Policy implications are discussed.

'Some of my children are worth more than others' : perceptions of nonresidential fathers with second families as to the fairness of the Australian Child Support Agency's handling of first family child support financial arrangements.

Stambulich D, Pooley J, Gately N and Taylor M
Marriage and Family Review v. 48 no. 8 Dec 2012: 318-341
Under Australian law, non-resident parents are obliged to support their children financially and are encouraged to maintain connections. However, the majority of these parents re-partner, and a significant number of families in Australia are step-families. This article adds to the debates around fairness in the context of custody, access, and financial support. It explores the experiences that shape non-resident fathers' perceptions of fairness in relation to providing financial support for children emanating both out of their first and second families, drawing on interview with nine fathers. Themes include financial distress, inequity, humiliation and distress, and negative experience in dealing with the Child Support Agency, characterised as inflexible and harassing.

Detection of Overall Risk Screen (DOORS) handbook [kit]

McIntosh J and Ralfs C
Canberra, A.C.T. : Attorney-General's Dept., 2012
The Family Law DOORS is a three-part framework for family law professionals to detect and respond to safety and wellbeing risks within separating families. This screening tool was commissioned by Australian Government Attorney-General's Department and developed by Family Transitions and the Australian Institute of Social Relations, a division of Relationships Australia (South Australia). This handbook explains how to use the framework and the self-report forms, discusses the domains of risk, and features a learning guide and additional resources. The handbook is accompanied by a DVD-ROM of the forms and handouts, and a DVD-Video demonstrating the use of the tool with clients.

The wellbeing of Australians: the impact of marriage

Cummins R, Woerner J, Weinberg M, Collard J, Hartley-Clark L, Perera C and Horfiniak K
Geelong, Vic. : Deakin University, 2012.
The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index monitors various aspects of the subjective wellbeing of Australians. Each survey involves a telephone interview with a new sample of 2,000 Australians, incorporating the Personal Wellbeing Index, which measures people's satisfaction with their own lives; the National Wellbeing Index, which measures how satisfied people are with life in Australia; and one or more special topics. As usual, the report includes data and analyses of the survey results, including comparisons by state, gender, age, marital status, income and with previous survey results, as well as discussion on how personal well being is constructed, influenced, and measured. This 28th report also investigates the impact of marriage on wellbeing. Participants were asked about marital status and duration of current status. The survey found that married people exhibited the highest wellbeing - with the surprising exception of newlyweds, whose levels of wellbeing tend to fall at the lower end of the normal range. This finding is believed to be largely due to the change in financial circumstances that accompanies marriage.

The state of our unions 2012: marriage in America : the President's marriage agenda.

Wilcox W
Charlottesville, VA : National Marriage Project, University of Virginia, c2012.
The State of Our Unions series monitors the current health of marriage and family life in America. This 2012 edition reviews statistics on marriage, divorce, unmarried cohabitation, loss of child centeredness, fragile families with children, and teen attitudes about marriage and family, and features the special articles: 'The President's marriage agenda for the forgotten sixty percent', by Elizabeth Marquardt, David Blankenhorn, Robert I. Lerman, Linda Malone-Colon, and W. Bradford Wilcox, regarding social change in middle America, and 'Marriage and relationship education: a promising strategy for strengthening low-income, vulnerable families', by Theodora Ooms and Alan J. Hawkins.

Taking a longer view of contact: the perspectives of young adults who experienced parental separation in their youth

Fortin J, Hunt J and Scanlan L
Brighton : Sussex Law School, 2012.
The British government is looking at amending family law to promote the greater involvement of non-resident parents in their children's lives. However, little is known about the long-term impact of current contact arrangements laws on children. This study aims to address this research gap by documenting the views of young adults who experienced parental separation in their youth. It draws on a survey with 398 adults in England aged 18 to 35, who experienced parental separation before they turned 16. The survey investigated parenting arrangements, contact with non-resident parents, contact problems and how these were addressed, relations with parents, participation and inclusion, contact safety concerns, parental conflict, and the effect on their adult lives.

Divorce and separation in the Australian mining sector : is it what we expect?

Greer L and Stokes K
Threadgold, Steven, ed. Kirby, Emma, ed. Germov, John ed. Local lives/global networks : TASA 2012 conference proceedings : the annual conference of The Australian Sociological Association 28 November - 1 December, The University of Newcastle. Canberra : TASA, 2012. 9780646567792: 23p
The recent rapid growth in resource intensive regions of Australia has been associated with a flurry of government activity at the local and state level with the intention of responding to the significant challenges that the rapid growth has introduced. The government activity has resulted in a number of positive developments in many cases as a result of community consultation and engagement. A common characterisation at community forums and other public sphere debates about resource developments has been a characterisation of mining workers as a homogenous group of mainly males who are 'barely civilised' residing in poorly constructed work camps and creating general community anomie. Miners are subsequently equated with various social ills. This paper questions one of the assumptions expressed within public forums. It takes a closer look at divorce and separation in the mining sector in response to the often heard statement that employment in the mining sector increases the likelihood of relationship stress resulting in higher than average divorce and separation rates.
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