Predicting Parental Separation: Do Parent-Child Relationships Matter?

Holly Schindler, Boston College

Research aimed at understanding the causes of divorce has often focused on the relationship between the two parents. This paper seeks to extend past research by investigating the role that parent-child relationships play in parental separation, defined here as the father moving out of the household. Using a complimentary log-log analysis, three waves of data from the 1997 National Longitudinal Study of Youth were analyzed (N=2085). While results concur with previous research regarding the significance of parental relationship quality, results also found that parent-child relationships significantly predict fathers leaving a household. Specifically, results indicate that a father is more likely to move out of the household if his youth has a more supportive relationship with the mother. Additionally, fathers who demonstrate more consistent monitoring of their adolescent are more likely to remain in the household, suggesting that father involvement may serve as a protective factor for couples.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 3: Children and Youth, Adolescence, Parenting, Transition to Adulthood, Life Course