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Impact of Childhood Family Disruption on Young Adults' Relationships with Parents

William S. Aquilino
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 56, No. 2 (May, 1994), pp. 295-313
DOI: 10.2307/353101
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353101
Page Count: 19
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Impact of Childhood Family Disruption on Young Adults' Relationships with Parents
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Abstract

The implications of childhood family disruption for parent-adult child relations are explored in a sample of 4,516 young adults. Among young adults raised in single-parent families, relationships with custodial mothers and custodial fathers remained quite positive into early adulthood. Becoming the noncustodial parent resulted in severe deterioration of the father-child relationship. Noncustodial mothers, in contrast, enjoyed relations with adult children that were nearly as good as those of custodial mothers. The impact of remarriage of the custodial parent differed greatly for noncustodial mothers and noncustodial fathers. In custodial father families, the father's remarriage sharply reduced the quality of adult children's relations with nonresidential biological mothers. In custodial mother families, in contrast, mother's remarriage had only a slight negative influence on adult children's relations with nonresidential biological fathers. Issues of timing of family structure transitions and degree of family instability are also examined.

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