Examining the Impact and Process of Union Dissolution (Live Stream)

Concurrent Sessions 12

Adam M. Galovan, Claire M. Kamp Dush, Rachael R. Doubledee; Natasha Cabrera, Justin Dyer, Elizabeth Karberg, Jay Fagan; Erin Kramer Holmes, Nathan Stoddard; M. Selenga Gürmen, Scott Huff, Edna Brown

Discussant: Melissa Curran

Presider: Carol Johnston

8:30 AM
9:45 AM
Location
Key Ballroom 5
Session #
403
Session Type
Paper
Session Focus
  • Research
Organized By
  • Research & Theory

About the Session

  • Is Union Dissolution Always Harmful? Child Outcomes in Fragile Families
    Presented by: Adam M. Galovan, Claire M. Kamp Dush, Rachael R. Doubledee
  • When are Union Transitions Bad for Children? Variation by Fathers' and Mothers' Characteristics
    Presented by: Natasha Cabrera, Justin Dyer, Elizabeth Karberg, Jay Fagan
  • Do Attitudes About Cohabitation Mediate the Effects of Parental Cohabitation and Remarriage Happiness on Emerging Adults' Risk Attitudes About Sex?
    Presented by: Erin Kramer Holmes, Nathan Stoddard
  • Divorced Yet Still Together: Ongoing Personal Relationship Among Divorced Co-parents
    Presented by: M. Selenga Gürmen, Scott Huff, Edna Brown

Abstract(s)

Is Union Dissolution Always Harmful? Child Outcomes in Fragile Families

Presented by: Adam M. Galovan, Claire M. Kamp Dush, Rachael R. Doubledee

Using data from married and cohabiting families in the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing study (N=1382), we explore differential associations between relationship dissolution and child internalizing and externalizing problems. We found that children from continuously married families had fewer internalizing and externalizing problems at age 3 than children from continuously cohabiting couples. Using change score models, we found that dissolution between ages 3 and 5 was associated with increases in internalizing problems for children from both married and cohabiting families. Girls from dissolved married families also showed greater increases in internalizing and externalizing problems than girls from dissolved cohabiting families.

When are Union Transitions Bad for Children? Variation by Fathers' and Mothers' Characteristics

Presented by: Natasha Cabrera, Justin Dyer, Elizabeth Karberg, Jay Fagan

Recent findings have suggested that instability, generally defined as multiple union transitions, is negatively related to children's behavior problems. Although some studies have shown that instability might have negative consequences for children when parents exhibit conflict, others have shown that the presence of of a high risk paper might actually be beneficial for children. Thus it is unclear under what conditions instability has negative effects on children's EPB. We address this gap by examining how does parental context – mothers' and fathers' characteristics including involvement and levels of risk – moderate the association between instability/transition on children's EPB.

Do Attitudes About Cohabitation Mediate the Effects of Parental Cohabitation and Remarriage Happiness on Emerging Adults' Risk Attitudes About Sex?

Presented by: Erin Kramer Holmes, Nathan Stoddard

For the estimated 33% of Americans in stepfamilies, information regarding within group variations can be a useful resource. This research project explored within stepfamily variations of emerging adults. We found that emerging attitudes about cohabiting mediated the association between parental remarriage happiness, parental cohabitation, and emerging adults' attitudes about sex. Final results will include a multi-group comparison of both ethnicity and gender. These findings are a valuable resource for researchers, practitioners, educators, and members of stepfamilies.

Divorced Yet Still Together: Ongoing Personal Relationship Among Divorced Co-parents

Presented by: M. Selenga Gürmen, Scott Huff, Edna Brown

The current study explores the relationship between ongoing personal and emotional involvement between former spouses and their perceptions of quality of co-parenting relationship. Dyadic analysis of 54 formerly married couples revealed that both men and women rate their co-parenting as better when they also report ongoing personal and emotional involvement with their former spouse. Furthermore, when men reported ongoing involvement, their former wives reported better coparenting. The opposite effect (women's involvement affecting men's reports of coparenting), however, was not found. This pattern held for both Black American and White American families. Clinical implications of this study are also discussed.

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