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Parenting Apart: Patterns of Childrearing after Marital Disruption

Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr. and Christine Winquist Nord
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 47, No. 4 (Nov., 1985), pp. 893-904
DOI: 10.2307/352332
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352332
Page Count: 12
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Parenting Apart: Patterns of Childrearing after Marital Disruption
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Abstract

Divorce and remarriage have become prominent features of American life. Nowadays many parents divide their attention and resources among two or more families, and children frequently grow up with multiple parents. Using a nationally representative household sample of children, we describe relations among parents, stepparents, and children after separation and divorce. Our results suggest that most children have little contact with their nonresident parents, and what contact there is tends to be social rather than instrumental. Contrary to popular impressions, however, when the former spouse remains active in the child's life, stepfamily life—at least in mother-stepfather families—does not seem to suffer.

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