Long-term effects of divorce on parent-child relationships: within-family comparisons of fathers and mothers

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Abstract

Using national representative survey data from the Netherlands, this article examines the effects of a parental divorce in childhood on relationships between adult children and their parents. Using a within-family design, we make comparisons between fathers and mothers within the same family. Our approach in part not only replicates earlier findings but it also provides new insights. A divorce not only is most often associated with a deterioration of the relationship with the father but it also occurs that only the relationship with the mother is negatively affected by a divorce. In general, a divorce increases inequality between the relationships that children have with their father and mother. We interpret these effects in terms of compensation between parents on the one hand and lingering feelings of conflicting loyalties among children on the other hand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-898
JournalEuropean Sociological Review
Volume29
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • SSCI

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