Divorce does not affect parenting practices: study

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London, Dec 12 (UNI) Divorce process may not exhibit a diminished capacity to parent, a new study has said, adding that more similarities than differences could be noted between recently divorced and married parents.

The study conducted by University of Alberta sociology used data from the 1994 and 1996 cycles of the National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NSLCY) to compare changes in parenting practices between 208 households that divorced between the first and follow up interview and 4796 households that remained intact.

Three measures of parenting behaviour-- nurturing, consistent, and punitive parenting-- were adopted to tap the belief that divorce was disrupted parenting practices.

The results, however, proved that there were no differences between divorced and stably married parents for any parenting behaviour either before or after a divorce has occurred.

''My findings that parenting practices are unrelated to divorce appear to fly in the face of accepted wisdom,'' Science Daily quoted lead researcher Lisa Strohschein as saying.

''Undoubtedly, some parents will be overwhelmed and unable to cope with the demands of parenting in the post-divorce period, but the expectation that all parents will be negatively affected by divorce is unfounded,'' she added.

Over the past decade, Canada and the US allocated considerable resources to provide parenting seminars on a mandatory or voluntary basis to parents who legally divorce.

''Although these programs do assist parents and children in adjusting to divorce, it is equally clear that not all parents will be well served by such programs,'' she said.

Researchers need to shed much more light on the predictors of parenting behavior in the post-divorce period and design programs that effectively target the real needs of divorced parents.


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