The Psychology of Everyday Life:Love, Marriage, and the Baby Carriage


What behaviors are most damaging to children during a divorce?

In a 2000 paper, Mary Whiteside and Betsy Jane Becker analyzed the research literature on children of divorce. They found that the child’s adjustment was impacted both by the relationship with each parent and by the parents’ relationship with one another. For example, both a positive father-child relationship and maternal warmth predicted to a child’s well-being. However, the degree of cooperation and hostility between parents also influenced the child’s emotional adaptation. Moreover, the relationship between the parents affected their behavior toward their children. In sum, a hostile, non-cooperative relationship between divorced parents has a long-term, destructive effect on children.


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