mindful divorce
Responsible Divorce mindful vs mindless

research bibliography on divorce and shared parenting

American Psychological Association, Division 16 recommendations from June of 1995.

They advocate that joint custody is best for kids.

See also the March,2002 issue of the Journal of Family Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association. It states that children in joint-custody settings have fewer behavioral and emotional problems, have higher self-esteem, better family relations and better school performance than children in sole custody, usually with the mother.

GPO Doc.# 1996-722-442/83215
Non-Custodial Parents' Participation in Their Children's Lives: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation;
Volume II; Synthesis of Literature (released 8/96)

L.M.C. Bisnaire, P.Firestone and D. Rynard. Factors associated with academic achievement in children following parent separation. American J.of Orthopsychiatry. v.60(1), p.67-76, 1990

Visitation found to be a most significant factor in enabling children to maintain pre-divorce academic standards.

(Reviewed by David Garrod) 

Sanford Braver. Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths. Tarcher/Putnam, 1998

G.M. Bredefeld. Joint Custody and Remarriage: its effects on marital adjustment and children. Doctoral Thesis. California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno. UMI No. 85-10926

Both sole and joint custody children adjusted well to the remarriage of their parent; no significant difference found between the groups. The parents of joint custody situations, however, expressed more satisfaction with their children and indicated that they appreciated the time alone with their new spouse. Sole custody children also reported seeing their father less often after remarriage of the mother; this did not happen in joint custody situations.

(Reviewed by David Garrod) 

D.B. Cowan. Mother Custody versus Joint Custody: Children`s parental Relationship and Adjustment. Doctoral Thesis 1982. University of Washington. UMI No. 82-18213.

Cowan compared 20 joint custody and 20 sole (maternal) custody families. Children in joint physical custody were rated as better adjusted by their mothers compared with children of sole custody mothers. The children's perceptions in sole custody situations correlated with the amount of time spent with their father.

The more time children from sole maternal custody spent with their fathers, the more accepting both parents were perceived to be, and the more well-adjusted were the children.

(Reviewed by David Garrod) 

B.H. Granite. An investigation of the relationships among self-concept, parental behaviors, and the adjustment of children in different living arrangements following a marital separation and/or divorce. Doctoral thesis

1985. Unviersity of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. UMI No. 85-23424.

Parents in sole custodial homes (both maternal and paternal) were perceived as using psychological pressure techniques to control children. e.g. inducing guilt. However, in joint custody homes, the perception of the children was that such techniques were seldom used. No difference in self-concept was detectable among the different homes. Children`s ages 9-12 years. 15 joint, 15 maternal sole, 15 paternal sole.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

S. Handley. The experience of the child in sole and joint custody.

Doctoral thesis 1985. California Graduate School of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Joint custody children more satisfied than sole custody children.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

S.M.H.Hanson. Healthy single parent families. Family Relations v.35,

p.125-132, 1985.

21 joint custody and 21 sole custody families compared. Mothers in joint custody found in better mental health. Mothers with sole custody sons had the least amount of social support and mothers with joint custody of sons had the most. Joint custody mothers reported best child-parent problem solving of all.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

M.B. Isaacs, G.H. Leon and M. Kline. When is a parent out of the picture? Different custody, different perceptions. Family Process, v.26, p.101-110, 1987.

This study compares children from five groups: joint physical custody, joint-legal maternal-physical, joint-legal paternal-physcial, sole maternal and sole paternal custody. On their measurement of how children perceive the importance of family members, sole custody children were three times more likely to omit one parent than joint custody situations.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

E.B. Karp. Children`s adjustment in joint and single custody: An Empirical Study. Doctoral thesis 1982. California school of professional psychology, Berkeley. UMI No. 83-6977.

Age range of children 5 to 12 years, studying early period of separation or divorce. Boys and girls in sole custody situation had more negative involvement with their parents than in joint custody situation. There was an increase reported in sibling rivalry reported for sole custody children when visiting their father (ncp). Girls in joint custody reported to have significantly higher self-esteem than girls in sole custody.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

J.B. Kelly. Longer term adjustment in children of divorce: Converging

Findings and Implications for Practice. Journal of Family Psychology, v.2, p.112-140, 1988.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

M. Kline, J.M. Tschann, J.R. Johnson and J.S. Wallerstein. Children`s adjustment in joint and sole custody families. Developmental Psychology, v. 25, p. 430-435, 1989.

This work finds that in non-conflicted joint and sole custody families there is little measurable difference between a child's behavior in sole or joint custody.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

James A. Levine and Todd L. Pittinsky   "Working Fathers. New Strategies for Balancing Work and Family". Addison Wesley, 1997

This book is based on ten years of research by The Fatherhood Project at the Families and Work Institute in New York City. The title "Working Fathers" reflects the study's dual focus on men's changing dynamics around work and family. The book points out how men's commitment to their family (especially to their role as a father) is now at least as important as their commitment to work and career. The book also cites surveys showing that a vast majority of American adults believe should be "equally responsible" for taking care of children, including infants.

What the book also points out is that, while the difficulties faced by working mothers have been well-documented in the media, the challenges facing working fathers have largely remained invisible. Much of the book is devoted to strategies for balancing the work-family equation.

J.A. Livingston. Children after Divorce: A Psychosocial analysis of the effects of custody on self esteem. Doctoral thesis 1983. State University of New York at Buffalo. UMI No. 83-26981.

Children in joint custody situations were found to be better adjusted than children in sole custody situations.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

D. A. Luepnitz. Child Custody: A Study of Families after Divorce.

Lexington Books 1982.

Luepnitz studied single parent custody and joint custody. Most single parent children were dissatisfied with the amount of visitation they had, whereas the children of joint custody arrangements seemed reasonably happy with their exposure to both their parents. The quality of the parent-child relationship was determined to be better for joint custody. (The ncp-child relationship is described as more like an aunt or uncle - child relationship.)

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

E.E. Maccoby, R.H. Mnookin and C.E. Depner. Post-divorce families:

Custodial arrangements compared. American Association of Science, Philadelphia. May 1986.

Mothers with joint custody were found to be more satisfied, when compared with mothers in sole custody situation.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

L.P. Noonan. Effects of long-tern conflict on personality functioning of children of divorce. Doctoral thesis 1984. The Wright Institute Graduate School of Psychology, Berkeley. UMI No. 84-17931.

Long-term effects were studied in joint custody, sole maternal custody and intact families. Children in joint custody families were found to be more active than in sole custody families or intact families. In low conflict situations children did better (demonstrated less withdrawal) than in either sole custody or intact families.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

S.A. Nunan. Joint custody versus single custody effects on child development. Doctoral thesis 1980. California School of Professional Psychology, Berkeley, UMI No. 81-10142

Nunan compared 20 joint custody children (ages 7-11) with 20 age-matched children in sole maternal custody. All families were at least two years after separation or divorce. Joint custody children were found to have higher ego strengths, superego strengths and self-esteem than the single custody children. The joint custody children were also found to be less excitable and less impatient than their sole custody counterparts. For children under four at the time of separation the differences were very small.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

M.R. Patrician. The effects of legal child-custody status on persuasion strategy choices and communication goals of fathers. Doctoral Thesis 1984. University of San Francisco. UMI No. 85-14995.

90 fathers were questioned regarding how unequal recognition of parental rights might encourage conflict. Joint legal custody was found to encourage parental cooperation and dis-courage self-interest. Sole custody in both custodial AND non-custodial status encouraged punishment-oriented persuasion strategies. Unequal custody power was perceived as inhibiting parental cooperation by both parents.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

J. Pearson and N. Thoennes. Custody after divorce: Demographic and attitudinal patterns. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, v.60(2), p. 233-249, 1990.

Regular visitation shown to be significant in a number of factors explaining postive adjustment patterns.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

J. Pearson and N. Thoennes. The Judges Journal, Winter, 1986.

Child support compared among sole custody and joint custody. Joint custody shown to produce much better compliance in child support payments to the mother.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

E.G. Pojman. Emotional Adjustment of Boys in Sole and Joint Custody compared with Adjustment of Boys in Happy and Unhappy Marriages. Doctoral thesis 1982. California Graduate Institute. UMI No. ?

Pojman compared children in the age range 5 to 13 years old. Boys in joint custody were significantly better adjusted than boys in sole maternal custody. Comparing boys in all groups, boys in joint custody compared very similarly to boys from happy families.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

D. Popenoe, Associate Dean for Social and Behavioral Sciences of Rutgers University, co-chairman of the Council on Families in America. "The Controversial Truth: Two-parent Families are Better." Published in Speak out for Children, v.8 Winter 1992-3.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

Dr. Rivlin. Children Held Hostage

The book is available through the ABA 312-988-5522.

This book is based on a 12-year study. It gives strong recommendations for shared parenting with substantial data references.

The premise is how mothers traditionally hold children hostage (75%) vs fathers, in an effort to leverage custody battles or other court outcomes. It gives a very detailed example of the practices typically used and specific recommendations for de-programming brainwashed children, with one solution being added shared parenting time.

This is a very nuts and bolts accounting, lots of clinical data and very easy to digest.

(Reviewed by Craig Borncamp)

V. Shiller. Joint and Maternal Custody: The outcome for boys aged 6-11 and their parents. Doctoral thesis 1984. University of Delaware. UMI No.85-11219.

The thesis compares 20 boys in joint custody with 20 matched boys in sole maternal custody. A number of tests were used. Boys from a joint custody environment were found to be better adjusted than boys from a sole custody environment.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

V. Shiller. Joint versus maternal families with latency age boys:

Parent characteristics and child adjustment. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, v. 56, p. 486-9, 1986.

Interviews with boys as well as with both parents. Age group 6-11. Found boys from joint custody families better adjusted than comparison group of boys from sole maternal custody families.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

J.S. Wallerstein and S. Blakeslee. Second chances: Men, women and children after divorce. New York, Ticknor and Fields. 1989

(Suggested by David Garrod)

J.S. Wallerstein and R. McKinnon. Joint Custody and the Preschool Child.

Behavioral Sciences and the Law, v.4, p.169-183, 1986.

This paper presents joint custody for young children in a negative light.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

Ph. Warshank. "The Custody Revolution"

This book focuses on the premise that fathers are more beneficial to sons in a SOLE custody environment and mothers are more beneficial for daughters in a SOLE custody environment. It does not principally focus on joint parenting but it does speak clearly to the value that both gender roles play in the proper emotional and physical development of children.

(Reviewed by Craig Borncamp)

Dudley Weeks, Ph.D The Eight Essential Steps to Conflict Resolution: Preserving Relationships at Work, at Home, and in the Community (1992).

From the Table of Contents:

Part I: Understanding Conflict

Part II: The Eight Essential Steps to Conflict Resolution

Appendix A: Handling Frequent Problem Areas

Appendix B: Two Cases That Demonstrate the Conflict Partnership Process

(Reviewed by Jan F Cohen)

B. Welsh-Osga. The effects of custody arrangements on children of divorce. Doctoral thesis 1981. University of South Dakota. UMI No. 82-6914.

Welsh-Osga compared children in intact families with joint custody and single custody families. Age range 4 1/2 to 10 years old. Children from joint custody were found to be more satisfied with the time spent with both parents. Parents in joint custody were found to be more involved with their children. (Joint custody parents found to be less overburdened by parenting responsibilities than sole custody parents.) Children from all four groups (intact families, sole maternal, sole paternal, joint custody) were found to be equally well adjusted by their various standardized measures.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

F.S. Williams. Child Custody and Parental Cooperation. American Bar Assn, Family Law, August 1987.

Williams studied high-conflict, high-risk situations. He found that children in sole custody (typically but not exclusively maternal) much more likely to be subject to parental kidnapping and/or physical harm. He found that high-conflict families do better and are more likely to learn cooperative behavior when given highly detailed orders from the judge.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

Zaslow M. Samples, Variables, Ages and Sources. Am. J. Orthopsychiatry

59:118, 1989.

(Suggested by David Garrod)

Zaslow M. Sex Differences in children's response to parental divorce.

Paper 1. Research methodology and postdivorce family forms. American J. of Orthopsychiatry. 58:355, 1988.

(Reviewed by David Garrod)

To get any of these books:

Visit your local bookstore or ask your local library.If you like a book, let your bookstore or librarian know it, so that they recommend it to others.

Many of these books can also be purchased online. See books.

Address for obtaining Academic Theses:

University Microfilms International
300 North Zeeb Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48106


Free e-book | About | Children | Legal | Parenting | Pledge |Teens | More

mindful divorce

© Mindful vs Mindless

Resources: Demystifying mindfulness - From mindless to mindful - Mindful pause - Mindfulness exercises - Mindfulness exercises - Relational mindfulness - Relational mindfulness - 12 steps without god - Somatic psychotherapy - Focusing-oriented therapy - Proactive mindfulness quotes