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Opportunities and Challenges

Buckley, Catherine K., PhD • February 28, 2013

About half of all American children will experiencetheir parents’ divorce, and 25% will also face divorce in a parent’s second marriage (Copen, Daniels, Vespa,& Mosher, 2012). While divorce is often stressful for families, a great deal of variability exists in children’s adjustment to divorce. One important factor linked with child outcomes after divorce is the quality of the divorced couple’s co-parenting relationship.

References & Citations

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Amato, P. R., & Dorius, C. (2010). Fathers, children, and divorce. In M. Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (pp. 177-201). New York, NY: Wiley. 

Copen, C. E., Daniels, K., Vespa, J., & Mosher, W. D. (2012). First marriages in the United States: Data from the 2006-2010 National Survey on Family Growth. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. 

Feinberg, M. E. (2003). The internal structure and ecological context of coparenting: A framework for research and intervention. Parenting: Science and Practice, 3, 95-131. 

McHale, J., Khazan, I., Erera, P., Rotman, T., DeCourcey, W., & McConnell, M. (2002). Coparenting in diverse family systems. In M. H. Bornstein (Ed.), Handbook of parenting (2nd ed., pp. 75-107). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. 

Pruett, M. K. (2007, May). More on overnights and child outcomes: Pathways demonstrating how an intervention for young children worked. Presentation at the annual conference of the American Association of Family and Conciliation Court Professionals, Washington, D.C. 

Pruett, M. K., & Barker, C. (2009). Joint custody: A judicious choice for families-but how, when, and why? In R. M. Galatzer-Levy & L. Kraus (Eds.), The scientific basis of custody decisions (2nd ed., pp. 417-462). New York NY: Wiley. 

Pruett, M. K., & Donsky, T. (2011). Coparenting after divorce: Paving pathways for parental cooperation, conflict resolution, and redefined family roles. In J. P. McHale & K. M. Lindahl (Eds.), Coparenting: A conceptual and clinical examination of family systems (pp. 231-250). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 

Pruett, K., & Pruett, M. K. (2009). Partnership parenting: How men and women parent differently – Why it helps your kids and can strengthen your marriage. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. 

Schoppe, S. J., Mangelsdorf, S. C, & Frosch, C. A. (2001). Coparenting, family process, and family structure: Implications for preschoolers’ externalizing behavior problems. Journal of Family Psychology, 15, 526- 545. 

Sobolewski, J. M., & King, V. (2005). The importance of the coparental relationship for nonresident fathers’ ties to children. Journal of Marriage and Family, 67, 1196-1212. 

Stright, A. D., & Bales, S. S. (2003). Coparenting quality: Contributions of child and parent characteristics. Family Relations, 52, 232-240. 

Van Egeren, L. A., & Hawkins, D. P. (2004). Coming to terms with coparenting: Implications of definition and measurement. Journal of Adult Development, 11, 165-178.