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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98066 Find in a Library
Title: Effects of Divorce Mediation and Adjudication Procedures on Children (From Final Report of the Divorce Mediation Research Project, 1984 See NCJ-98054)
Author(s): J Pearson; N Thoennes; W F Hodges
Corporate Author: Assoc of Family and Conciliation Courts
Research Unit
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 37
Sponsoring Agency: Assoc of Family and Conciliation Courts
Denver, CO 80218
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Grant Number: 90-CW-634
Document: PDF
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study evaluated the degree to which various legal and nonadversarial proceedings associated with divorce affect child adjustment.
Abstract: Child adjustment outcomes were compared on the basis of interviews with three sets of parents who had varying divorce dispute characteristics. The first set consisted of 78 parents who divorced without contesting custody or visitation. The second set consisted of 50 parents who disputed custody/visitation issues but resolved them with the aid of attorneys, custody evaluators, or court hearings. The final set consisted of 172 parents who formally disputed custody/visitation but were diverted from traditional legal channels and attended mediation sessions at court-based programs. Two parent report scales dealing with child behavior and with positive and negative aspects of divorce were also administered. The noncontesting and adversarial samples were drawn in Colorado; the mediation samples, from Los Angeles Superior Court, Minnesota's Hennepin County Court, and Connecticut Superior Court. Three interviews were conducted with each set of parents. The first occurred as the case was identified; the second, 3 months later; and the third, 12 to 15 months after the initial interview. Finally, a small number of in depth interviews was conducted with both parents and children. Results reveal no significant differences in child adjustment to divorce among the groups studied. Future research should establish objective measures of child adjustment and develop and test them on children of divorce. Two figures, 8 tables, and 31 references are included.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; California; Child custody; Colorado; Connecticut; Divorce mediation; Domestic relations; Minnesota
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