Influence of parental separation and divorce on father-child relationships




Peters, Brad

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Using a risk and resilience theoretical framework, the present study examined the influence of parental divorce during childhood on father-child relationship quality in young adulthood. This relationship quality was measured using nurturant fathering and modified father involvement scales, and self-reports of current amount of face-to-face and verbal father-child contacts. Comparisons on these measures were made between 107 young adults from intact and 96 from divorced family backgrounds. The divorce group was also examined in isolation to explore how divorce-related factors, including structural, early contact, and interparental relationship factors. predict young adults' perceptions of their father-child relationship. Results show young adults from intact family backgrounds to report a comparatively stronger father-child relationship. Among divorce group participants, structural factors (higher father SES and joint custody) and early contact (greater percentage of time spent with father post-divorce) were predictors of higher scores on combined nurturant fathering and involvement measures. Greater early contact and stronger interparental relationship factors (low conflict and high contact and cooperativeness) similarly predicted current contact.



children of divorced parents, father and child