Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Divorced Couples’ Co-Parenting Relationships Can Improve, MU Researcher Says

16.08.2012
Focusing on children instead of relationship problems helps separated couples parent effectively, civilly
New research conducted at the University of Missouri offers hope for divorced parents and suggests hostile relationships can improve when ex-spouses set aside their differences and focus on their children’s needs.

“Most people falsely believe that, when people get divorced, they’ll continue to fight, to be hostile,” said Marilyn Coleman, Curators’ Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at MU. “We found in our study that’s not always true. Some couples get along from the very beginning, and, for about half of the women we interviewed, the couples whose relationships started badly improved over time.”

Coleman and her colleague interviewed 20 women who shared physical custody of their children with ex- partners. Nearly half of the women interviewed said they had contentious relationships with their former significant others and the other half reported amicable relationships. Of the women reporting cordial relationships with their ex-spouses, a few had always gotten along; the rest of the relationships had gone from combative to cordial.

“To me, it’s almost as if the parents in the bad-to-better relationships matured,” Coleman said. “Mostly, it’s because the parents began focusing on their children. The parents saw how upset their arguments made their kids, so they decided to put their differences aside and focus on what was best for the children.”

The women in amicable relationships reported that their ex-partners were responsible parents and that money was not a source of conflict. In addition, the women said they communicated with their ex-partners frequently and in multiple ways, via text, phone and email. Cordial parents also dealt with differences in parenting styles more efficiently by communicating issues that arose. In addition, the women who had better relationships with their former spouses did not try to limit their children’s interaction with their fathers and, instead, found ways to conveniently transition the children between two homes.

“Conflict within a marriage or after a divorce is the most harmful thing parents can do for their children’s development,” Coleman said. “If kids go through their parents’ divorce, they’ve lost some access to both parents. If the parental fighting continues, the children have not only lost access, they’re still involved in the conflict—in the ugliness—and it harms the kids.”

Coleman cautions that shared physical custody does not ensure cooperative, happy relationships post-divorce. Making the co-parenting relationships work requires conscientious efforts from parents.

“The courts tend to use a one-size-fits-all philosophy when dealing with divorces and determining custody of children, and that really doesn’t work for some parents—especially if there has been abuse or if high levels of conflict continue,” Coleman said. “We need to find out how joint-custody works for families. The goal for divorced parents should be to maintain the best co-parenting relationships possible by moving past prior relationship issues and focusing on children’s well-beings.”

The study, “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Divorced Mothers’ Experiences with Co-parenting,” will be published in the upcoming issue of Family Relations. Coleman’s co-author, Mindy Markham, received her doctorate at MU and now teaches at Kansas State University. The Department of Human Development and Family Studies is housed in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences.

Jesslyn Chew | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

nachricht Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck

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: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>