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Children Likely to be Better Adjusted in Joint vs Sole Custody Arrangements

Children needd to spend substantial time with both parents, especially with their fathers.

Children Likely to be Better Adjusted in Joint vs Sole Custody Arrangements in Most Cases, According to Review of Research

Living Situation Not as Influential as Time Spent with Parent

Washington - Children from divorced families who either live with both parents at different times or spend certain amounts of time with each parent are better adjusted in most cases than children who live and interact with just one parent, according to new research on custody arrangements and children's adjustment.

Psychologist Robert Bauserman, Ph.D., of AIDS Administration/Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore, Maryland conducted a meta-analysis of 33 studies between 1982 to 1999 that examined 1,846 sole-custody and 814 joint-custody children. The studies compared child adjustment in joint physical or joint legal custody with sole-custody settings and 251 intact families. Joint custody was defined as either physical custody - where a child spends equal or substantial amounts of time with both parents or shared legal custody - where a child lives with primarily one parent but both parents are involved in all aspects of the child's life. This article will appear in the March issue of the Journal of Family Psychology, published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

Children in joint custody arrangements had less behaviour and emotional problems, had higher self-esteem, better family relations and school performance than children in sole custody arrangements. And these children were as well-adjusted as intact family children on the same measures, said Bauserman, "probably because joint custody provides the child with an opportunity to have ongoing contact with both parents."

These findings indicate that children do not actually need to be in a joint physical custody to show better adjustment but just need to spend substantial time with both parents, especially with their fathers, said Bauserman. Also, joint custody couples reported less conflict, possibly because both parents could participate in their children's lives equally and not spend the time arguing over childcare decisions. Unfortunately a perception exists that joint custody is more harmful because it exposes children to ongoing parental conflict. In fact, the studies in this review found that sole-custody parents reported higher levels of conflict.

It is important to recognize that the results do not support joint custody in all situations. When one parent is abusive or neglectful or has a serious mental or physical health problem, sole-custody with the other parent would clearly be preferable, said Bauserman. The judges, lawyers, social workers, psychologists and other professionals involved in divorce counselling and litigation should be aware of these findings to make informed decisions of what environment is best for a child in a custody situation.

Furthermore, to address the question of how much the parents' emotional health compared with the custody arrangement influenced the children's adjustment, Bauserman explained that custody arrangement seemed to have more influence. By statistically controlling for past parental conflict (which indicates parental maladjustment), the joint custody children still were significantly better adjusted. This result was also found in other studies cited in Bauserman's review. More primary research is needed, said Bauserman, "on the past and current adjustment of joint custody and sole custody parents before this question can be completely answered."

Article: "Child Adjustment in Joint-Custody Versus Sole-Custody Arrangements: A Meta-Analytic Review," Robert Bauserman, Ph.D., AIDS Administration/Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 16, No. 1.

Full text of the article is available at
ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.
http://www.apa.org/journals/releases/fam16191.pdf

Robert Bauserman, PhD can be reached by telephone at 410-767-4322

Attachment
As usual with American material be circumspect and quote it at your peril in an Australian Court.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 

There is more to Shared Parenting than Law and Courts

The above is not for use in a court in Australia.  It has been posted in Shared Parenting forum area.

It is information about the benefits of shared parenting.  As such it is not country specific.  If followed through it would point people to peer reviewed articles and the like.

The information may be of use for one parent to provide to another to educate them about the benefits of shared parenting (and may point them to other information).

I don't believe it is necessary to continually warn people about this.  A person who is stupid enough to take this directly into court is just as likely to take other local Australian material, that is nevertheless inappropriate - such as concepts/terms like "Appellant Supervisory power" and "Writ of Certiorari".

The only useful material I had when I went through the court/legal system was from overseas.  I used it and secured week-about shared parenting for my child for 11 years.

So I see relevant material - whether Australian or overseas - as very important and believe it should be posted in a forum area that is topically related.
dad4life said
I don't believe it is necessary to continually warn people about this.  A person who is stupid enough to take this directly into court is just as likely to take other local Australian material, that is nevertheless inappropriate - such as concepts/terms like "Appellant Supervisory power" and "Writ of Certiorari".
Actually you might be surprised (or horrified) at just what people do take into Court. The last month we have had 'HAP' quoted (and no I am not going to explain to anybody this American terminology) and Shared Parenting statistics from the Netherlands. These have been met with the usual astonishment and the bench request for local (Australian) support material.

The new forums will put this Overseas material in a different area.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Agog said
Actually you might be surprised (or horrified) at just what people do take into Court. The last month we have had 'HAP' quoted (and no I am not going to explain to anybody this American terminology) and Shared Parenting statistics from the Netherlands. These have been met with the usual astonishment and the bench request for local (Australian) support material.
1. I see your HAP and raise you an MMS.

2. All I had when I went through the system (courts and lawyers - 1997) was useless Australian material telling me that post-separated parenting was "standard parenting" where the children live with mum and see dad every second weekend, one evening in the off-week and half of school holidays.

Overseas material opened my eyes to the possibilities and guided me in the preparation of my plan (orders).  Additionally, an annotated bibliography (lost with a HD crash) was very useful for 'educating' both my ex and the FCA counsellor.

Part of the problem is that there is very little useful and father-friendly material produced in Australia.  The AIFS is too busy studying lesbian household incomes, etc - anything other than fathers (and this will get worse with the departure of Bruce Smythe last year).  A content analysis of AIFS articles, studies and reports would show that men and fathers are under-represented.
Agog said
The new forums will put this Overseas material in a different area.
3. Whilst it is a useful idea to have some overseas material in a distinct forum area, I will continue to post selected overseas items in appropriate thematic areas.  To do otherwise would be to quarantine and minimise the material as second class.

There is a distinction between the conceptual (my focus) and legal/court (your focus).

That some people cannot or do not rightly discern the difference should not prevent others being provided this material in a on-topic thematically relevant thread/forum area.

Perhaps a function of the proposed overseas forum area could be to educate those readers who need it to be a) wise in what information they take to court; and b) not to use overseas material overtly.
dad4life said
All I had when I went through the system (courts and lawyers - 1997) was useless Australian material telling me that post-separated parenting was "standard parenting" where the children live with mum and see dad every second weekend, one evening in the off-week and half of school holidays.
Things have changed since 1997 we have the Internet to share home grown material on.
dad4life said
Overseas material opened my eyes to the possibilities and guided me in the preparation of my plan (orders).  Additionally, an annotated bibliography (lost with a HD crash) was very useful for 'educating' both my ex and the FCA counsellor.
Overseas material that relates to legal processes is a waste of time and effort and is for idle research and reading. Common sense material is not - however there is an abundance of home grown material available and some of it is far superior to that produced overseas.
dad4life said
Part of the problem is that there is very little useful and father-friendly material produced in Australia.  The AIFS is too busy studying lesbian household incomes, etc - anything other than fathers (and this will get worse with the departure of Bruce Smythe last year).  A content analysis of AIFS articles, studies and reports would show that men and fathers are under-represented.
There is just as much anti Father material produced overseas and in fact others forums are sometimes full of it. An analysis of funding in the USA would illustrate the same lopsided funding and reporting as occurs in Australia.
Agog said
The new forums will put this Overseas material in a different area.
dad4life said
3. Whilst it is a useful idea to have some overseas material in a distinct forum area, I will continue to post selected overseas items in appropriate thematic areas.  To do otherwise would be to quarantine and minimise the material as second class.
It is not an attempt to quarantine material but rather to put it in its due place. There is is nothing incorrect with using selected material in some normal posts providing the irrelevancies are removed or highlighted.
dad4life said
There is a distinction between the conceptual (my focus) and legal/court (your focus).
And therein lies the difference, we see it from the front line as the damage it can do (and does) in the Court arena.
dad4life said
That some people cannot or do not rightly discern the difference should not prevent others being provided this material in a on-topic thematically relevant thread/forum area.
Unfortunately not all people are able to discern the difference and when you add the heightened trauma induced by separation and the Court system it is adding an unnecessary complexity into the mix.
dad4life said
Perhaps a function of the proposed overseas forum area could be to educate those readers who need it to be a) wise in what information they take to court; and b) not to use overseas material overtly.
The existing forum areas cover Australian Courts. By all means educate - but even using Overseas material covertly is playing with dynamite.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
I can vow to this. When 'our' ex started becoming entrenchedly difficult, I went looking for answers on the net as to the why. She falls smack bang at the upper end of Hostile Agressive Parenting. But if we'd mentioned that in court, the reaction from the magistrate would have been very bad.

It would have been even more confusing if I'd seen this material, not clearly labelled, on this website.

For starters the guy who came up with the theory has been wildly discredited. He didn't just research this, he went the next step as to state some radical ways in which to counter act it. Also, quite a bit of his research was not conducted terribly well. He was trying to prove that HAP was a mental illness, whereas it is more an innappropriate behaviour set. Although there are strong links to the mental condition of narcissm and depression, a correlation has not been firmly established.

Yes, information is power - but what the Australian courts will accept and how they need to be engaged is very specific, and that's what I need advice from this site.

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Agog said
Overseas material that relates to legal processes is a waste of time and effort and is for idle research and reading.
The leading post in this thread is not about legal processes but about the advantages of shared parenting over sole (maternal) custody for children.

This thread started off being about the benefits and superiority of shared parenting.  However, subsequent postings have been off-topic and irrelevant and have essentially served to derail the topic.
Agog said
Common sense material is not - however there is an abundance of home grown material available and some of it is far superior to that produced overseas.
I don't believe that there is enough local Australian useful and practical material about shared parenting and parenting plans.

Further I believe that there is useful overseas material that should be included in relevant topics, such as shared parenting, and not relegated to an "overseas" backwater.

The need for discussion on Shared Parenting

Dad4life makes an extremely valid point. Australian research on share parenting is very scarce. In fact one of the arguments routinely used against the concept is the lack of evidence.

It is essential that pieces of overseas research like this one are discussed in Australia and publicised. No they don't belong in our courts, but pressure will lead to similar research being undertaken here which WILL be valid in our courts.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies is currently running a long term study following the lives of a significant sample of Australian children. Eventually this is likely to lead to a better understanding of the effects family breakdown has on children and the merits of various post separation parenting arrangements. Don't make any mistake, the courts will hear about it. Significant new research gets presented to the Judicial officers at their conferences.

For example, "Primary Attachment Theory", which is based on social research. How often do Judicial Officers quote or refer to it without it being part of the evidence offered in a particular case.

The bottom line is that the more evidence there is supporting shared parenting, as the preferred outcome offering children the greatest chance of adjustment, the easier it will be to argue that actively isolating the other parent is abusive and needs to be effective and URGENTLY managed.

For me - Shared Parenting is a Reality - Maybe it can be for you too!
It's starting to move towards benefiting the children more isn't it with FRC's etc. It was made clear to me that parents who are actively hostile and prevent their children have a meaningful relationship with the other partner can now result in fines and jail.

Bring it on I say - get tough on hostile parents!

When you are swimming down a creek and an eel bites your cheek, that's a Moray.
I would like to know the statistics on how many resident parents (ie Mum's) use daycare, but are against shared parenting, or offerng Dad first crack at caring for children when they are unable.

Being happy with putting a young child into care, kinda blows the attachment theory out of the water.

How does it work with being happy to put the child into the care of strangers, but not with a loving parent?

Junior Executive of SRL-Resources

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (Look for the Avatars). Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
dad4life said
This thread started off being about the benefits and superiority of shared parenting.  However, subsequent postings have been off-topic and irrelevant and have essentially served to derail the topic.

I don't believe that there is enough local Australian useful and practical material about shared parenting and parenting plans.

Further I believe that there is useful overseas material that should be included in relevant topics, such as shared parenting, and not relegated to an "overseas" backwater.
It was not an attempt to derail the topic but to emphasize the point of being wary of overseas material - just quote that research an an Australian Court and see what the reaction is.

Those forums are not overseas backwaters - they illustrate that the material is not Australian.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
Artemis said
I would like to know the statistics on how many resident parents (ie Mum's) use daycare, but are against shared parenting, or offerng Dad first crack at caring for children when they are unable.

Being happy with putting a young child into care, kinda blows the attachment theory out of the water.

How does it work with being happy to put the child into the care of strangers, but not with a loving parent?
The Primary attachment theory seems highly variable depending on who is spruiking it in a Courtroom.

You hit the nail on the head with 'into the care of strangers or a loving parent' - basic common sense implies the later.

I have yet to read how the theory holds up when a baby of a couple of months is put into full time day care - sometimes for 12 hours a day - what this does to Primary attachment. Perhaps the proponents of 'PAT' expect the Day Care Centre to get residency of the child.

Executive Member of SRL-Resources, the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) Be mindful what you post in public areas. 
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