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Are Children with One Parent at Psychological Risk? A Methodological Review

Elaine A. Blechman
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 44, No. 1 (Feb., 1982), pp. 179-195
DOI: 10.2307/351272
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/351272
Page Count: 17
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Are Children with One Parent at Psychological Risk? A Methodological Review
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Abstract

Is the child reared by one parent at risk for psychological maladjustment? Four decades of research have not provided conclusive information. Design errors include poor control over extraneous natural covariates of family type, particularly socioeconomic status; unrepresentative samples; and invalid dependent measures. Conceptual blind spots include equation of conventional with healthy behavior and failure to anticipate either developmental lag or beneficial effects among children reared by one parent. Should findings of no difference attributable to number of parents and cause of parent absence continue to result from well-controlled studies, the hypothesis of risk among children with one parent will have to be judged without empirical support.

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