Montclair, NJ (PRWEB) April 20, 2011
It isn’t just being a child of divorce that can determine the success of a marriage, it turns out it’s the tenor of the parents’ marriage preceding the divorce that has the greatest impact on the future unions of adult children of divorced couples. New research from Constance Gager, a sociologist and associate professor of Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University, and her partners Scott Yabiku, associate professor of sociology at Arizona State University, and Miriam Linver, associate professor of Family and Child Studies at Montclair State University, sheds new light on whether children who experience parental conflict and or divorce are more likely to experience a cohabiting break up or divorce as adults compared to children from low conflict and/or intact families.
Much of the past research documents that children of divorce are more prone to divorce themselves. But more recent work has argued that it may not be the divorce per se that leads to increased divorce, but rather the conflict that preceded the divorce. New research by Gager, Yabiku, and Linver furthers previous studies by comparing adult children who grew up in high- and low-conflict families and whether or not their parents divorced at a later time period. Specifically, the researchers examined the tenor of parental relationships prior to a divorce, as well as divorce on adult children’s relationship outcomes, extending previous research by also examining the likelihood of breakups among couples that live together.
“We find that adult children exposed to high conflict and whose parents divorced are less likely to experience a cohabiting or marital break up compared to those who grew up with high conflict parents who remained married,” said Dr. Gager. “Our research suggests that ‘staying together for the sake of the children’ may be misguided if children are exposed to high parental conflict.”
This research was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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