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Family Matters No. 53 - June 1999

Family forms - family wellbeing

Ruth Weston and Jody Hughes

Abstract

The family plays a pivotal role in shaping the health and well being of the next generation of citizens. It can be a source of great happiness or of misery. The different pathways parents take after divorce have resulted in diverse family forms, each with special needs that may call for different strategies to strengthen family life and prevent further breakdown. This article first outlines some of the literature concerning the impact of divorce on children, then uses data from the Institute's Australian Living Standards Study to compare the well being of adolescent children and their parents in five family forms: intact families, stepfather families, stepmother families, sole mother families and sole father families.

 

 

The family plays a pivotal role in shaping the health and well being of the next generation of citizens. It can be a source of great happiness or of misery. The different pathways parents take after divorce have resulted in diverse family forms, each with special needs that may call for different strategies to strengthen family life and prevent further breakdown. This article first outlines some of the literature concerning the impact of divorce on children, then uses data from the Institute's Australian Living Standards Study to compare the well being of adolescent children and their parents in five family forms: intact families, stepfather families, stepmother families, sole mother families and sole father families.

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