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Parent-child contact after divorce and child outcomes: a test of the instability argument

Dates:
  • Thu 22 Feb 2018 13.00 - 15.00
  Add to Calendar 2018-02-22 13:00 2018-02-22 15:00 Europe/Paris Parent-child contact after divorce and child outcomes: a test of the instability argument

A talk by Anne-rigt Poortman (Universiteit Utrecht) within the Inequality Working Group (22 February 2018)


During recent decades, shared parenting after divorce has become increasingly popular. Parents more often opt for shared physical custody (i.e., alternating or shared residence) nowadays and nonresident father-child contact has increased over time. The rise in shared residence sparked a lively debate about whether such an arrangement is in children’s best interests or not. Two opposing theoretical ideas exist. On the one hand, shared residence is argued to increase the level of parental resources available to children, which increases their well-being. On the other hand, shared residence implies instability because it requires the child to frequently change between different houses. Similar opposing arguments can be made with regard to frequent nonresident father-child contact. So far, most studies examined whether there is an association between shared residence or father-child contact frequency and child well-being. Positive and negative effects on children may, however, cancel each other out in such average associations. In this study, I argue that more theoretical insight is gained by examining conditions under which parent-child contact is more or less beneficial to children. Specifically, I provide a novel test of the stability argument by examining whether the associations between frequent parent-child contact (be it, shared residence or frequent visitation) and child outcomes (i.e., psychological well-being, educational performance, and peer contact) depend on the geographical distance between parents’ homes.

Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana DD/MM/YYYY
  Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana

A talk by Anne-rigt Poortman (Universiteit Utrecht) within the Inequality Working Group (22 February 2018)


During recent decades, shared parenting after divorce has become increasingly popular. Parents more often opt for shared physical custody (i.e., alternating or shared residence) nowadays and nonresident father-child contact has increased over time. The rise in shared residence sparked a lively debate about whether such an arrangement is in children’s best interests or not. Two opposing theoretical ideas exist. On the one hand, shared residence is argued to increase the level of parental resources available to children, which increases their well-being. On the other hand, shared residence implies instability because it requires the child to frequently change between different houses. Similar opposing arguments can be made with regard to frequent nonresident father-child contact. So far, most studies examined whether there is an association between shared residence or father-child contact frequency and child well-being. Positive and negative effects on children may, however, cancel each other out in such average associations. In this study, I argue that more theoretical insight is gained by examining conditions under which parent-child contact is more or less beneficial to children. Specifically, I provide a novel test of the stability argument by examining whether the associations between frequent parent-child contact (be it, shared residence or frequent visitation) and child outcomes (i.e., psychological well-being, educational performance, and peer contact) depend on the geographical distance between parents’ homes.


Location:
Seminar Room 4, Badia Fiesolana

Affiliation:
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Type:
Working group

Organiser:
Prof. Fabrizio Bernardi
Marco Cozzani (European University Institute)
Carlos Gil Hernandez (European University Institute)

Contact:
Martina Selmi (EUI - Department of Political and Social Sciences) - Send a mail

Speaker:
Dr. Anne-rigt Poortman (Universiteit Utrecht)
 
 

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