Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

When a violent marriage ends, is co-parenting possible?

20.03.2009
When a marriage that has included violence ends, is co-parenting possible? It depends on whether intimate terrorism or situational violence was involved, says a new University of Illinois study published in Family Relations.

"There's a tendency to treat all violence as if it's the same, but different types of violence require different interventions," said Jennifer Hardesty, a U of I assistant professor of human and community development.

"In intimate terrorism, the goal is to control the other person, and the abuser may use not only physical violence but also psychological and financial abuse to dominate his spouse. This calls for rigid, formal post-divorce safety measures, including supervised visitation of children and treatment approaches, such as a batterer's intervention group or alcohol or substance abuse treatment," she said.

"Situational violence is more likely a result of poor conflict management rather than a desire to control a partner. There may have been a heated argument about finances that ended with a shove. These fathers can probably learn new ways to manage their anger, and they do have the potential to safely co-parent their children," she said.

Hardesty's study used in-depth interviews with 25 women to explore differences in their co-parenting relationships with their abusive ex-husbands.

Role differentiation was a big problem for fathers who had engaged in intimate terrorism, said the researcher. "These men had difficulty separating their role as a father from their desire to hold onto their relationship with the mother. And because they weren't able to differentiate those roles very well, control issues and abuse of the women tended to continue after the separation."

According to Hardesty, renegotiating boundaries after divorce poses unique challenges and risks for abused women. "Separating from an abusive partner does not necessarily end the violence. Instead, separation may threaten an abuser's sense of control and instigate more violence," she said.

Risk may continue if former partners co-parent after divorce because abusers still have access to their former wives, she said. "Women in the study who had been victims of intimate terrorism all continued to be afraid that their ex-husbands would hurt them or their children," she said.

In contrast, women who had experienced situational violence in their marriages often described safe co-parenting relationships characterized by respect for each other's boundaries.

Currently the legal system assumes it's in a child's best interests to maintain relationships with both parents after a divorce, Hardesty said. "As a result, women's attempts to protect their own and their children's safety are often undermined or overlooked," she noted.

Parent education classes that help participants redefine boundaries around their parental and spousal roles and teach conflict resolution and anger management skills may help persons who have engaged in situational couple violence, she said.

Different approaches for mothers and fathers work best when intimate terrorism has occurred, she said. For mothers, the course should contain information on coercive control, safety planning, risk assessment, and the legal and social benefits available to them and their children. For fathers, the classes should reinforce a rigid and enforced separation between them and their children and their access to mothers.

"In cases of intimate terrorism, parent education would ideally be part of a set of programs aimed at prioritizing safety and assessing risk over time if children's relationships with fathers are to continue," she said.

"Eventually we hope the courts will be able to screen for different types of violence and target interventions, but we're not yet able to put this into practice. More research is needed to tease out these difficulties. Until we can, I think we have to err on the side of safety," she added.

Co-authors of the study are Lyndal Khaw of the University of Illinois, Grace H. Chung of Montclair State University, and Jennifer M. Martin of the Bedford-Stuyvesant Family Center, Brooklyn Bureau of Community Services, in Brooklyn, New York. Funding was provided by the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Phyllis Picklesimer | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uiuc.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Multi-year study finds 'hotspots' of ammonia over world's major agricultural areas
17.03.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Diabetes Drug May Improve Bone Fat-induced Defects of Fracture Healing
17.03.2017 | Deutsches Institut für Ernährungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbrücke

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Steep rise of the Bernese Alps

24.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

How cheetahs stay fit and healthy

24.03.2017 | Life Sciences

When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short

23.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>