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Entries in sshared parenting (4)

Tuesday
Feb202018

Shared parenting outcomes independent of family income or parental conflict

Dr Linda NielsenA roundup of 60 research studies published by Linda Nielsen shows that joint physical custody (shared parenting) is linked to better outcomes for children on all the measures of behavioural, emotional, physical and academic wellbeing, compare with sole physical custody.

This meta-analysis published in the Journal of Child Custody considers results from studies published in English which had statistically analysed quantitative data that considered outcomes for children in shared or sole parental care after considering both family income and parental conflict.  These factors are sometimes considered to affect the likelihood of successful shared care, but Nielsen's analysis showed that shared parenting is generally linked to better outcomes independent of either factor.

This does not mean that children do not benefit in any way from living in higher income households or experiencing low levels of conflict between their parents, but better outcomes can occur even in low income or conflicted situations.  Given this, it is suggested that the quality of the children's relationships with their parents, step-parents and grandparents are more important indicators of wellbeing.

Tuesday
Feb282017

Swedish shared residence research

Children living in shared residence (joint physical custody where the child is sharing time equally between two parent's homes) have similar outcomes to children living with two parents in the same household over a range of measures.  Children living with one parent show worse outcomes for some of these outcomes.

These results come from "The living conditions of children with shared residence - the Swedish example" a research study published in Child Indicators Research Journal.

The differences between shared and sole parenting were particularly true for economic and material conditions, relations with parents and health related outcomes while fewer differences were found in the school conditions studied here. These patterns were robust and only minimally affected by adjustment for parental education and country of birth.

The study took data from the yearly Swedish Living Conditions survey and its child supplement using information collected from children and parents. Sweden is ranked very high in the European index of child wellbeing and has high levels of shared parenting after separation.  Since 1998 the Swedish court has been able to order shared residence even if one parent opposes if the court finds this solution to be in the best interest of the child.

The researchers suggest that there is a need for further study the role of timing of the parental separation and the long-term consequences of growing up in various family forms.

Monday
May022016

Research project on shared parenting

FNF Scotland have appointed a student intern to carry out research into the benefits of Shared Parenting.

Shared Parenting is when both parents are actively involved in all aspects of their children’s lives and share meaningful parenting responsibility. Children gain different things from fathers and mothers or from two same-sex parents, and therefore benefit from shared parenting whether the parents live in the same or different households.

Our intern Beth Nandwani will write a report on shared parenting which will include details from academic research, and also interviews with parents about the shared parenting they have achieved and the issues they face.  The Internship is through the University of Edinburgh Employ.ed scheme, funded by Santander.

The report will be used to promote shared parenting and help those who are trying to achieve it, and also as part of our lobbying work to encourage reform of Scots family law.

Beth will be carrying out interviews with parents to find out how they made shared parenting work and what problems were faced along the way, as well as what advice can be passed on. If you would be interested in becoming involved in this project email her for further details or ring the Edinburgh office on 0131 557 2440.

Friday
Apr102015

High conflict separations shouldn't prevent shared parenting

Dr Edward KrukAn article by Dr Edward Kruk in Psychology Today puts the arguments for shared parenting in high-conflict separations, giving a useful roundup of the results from recent research studies.

He refers to various recent studies that contradict a presumption that the amount of parenting time should be limited in cases of high conflict. High conflict should not be used to justify restrictions on children’s contact with either of their parents.

He goes on to point out that: " research has demonstrated that sole custody is associated with exacerbation or creation of conflict, as fully half of first-time violence occurs after separation, within the context of the adversarial “winner-take-all” sole custody system."

Dr Kruk suggests that the main therapeutic task in high conflict families is to help divorcing parents separate their previous marital hostilities from their ongoing parenting responsibilities. Parents who remain challenged in this regard also have the option of parallel co-parenting. Over time, as the dust settles, parallel parenting may become replaced by a more cooperative co-parenting arrangement.

FNF Scotland sometimes hears of sheriffs who reject proposals for shared parenting in cases where there is still significant amount of conflict between parents.  While we don't deny that such conflict is not good for the children involved, or indeed their parents, we suggest that the eventual benefits of shared parenting should be taken very seriously.