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Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies 6/2022

08-10-2021 | Original Paper

Is It OK If Mommy Dates? The Influence of Mother’s Post-Divorce Dating Transitions for Children’s Behaviors

Auteurs: He Xiao, Michael R. Langlais, Edward Anderson, Shannon Greene

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Child and Family Studies | Uitgave 6/2022

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Abstract

Despite many mothers’ interest in establishing romantic relationships following divorce, some worry about the impacts of dating transitions, such as starting or ending a dating relationship, for their children’s adjustment. The literature illustrates that transitions in and out of relationships could hinder children’s post-divorce adjustment, but a supportive relationship between children and mothers could buffer the damaging effects. Prior research mostly focused on repartnering (i.e., cohabitation and remarriage) whereas a comparative form of romantic experience, post-divorce dating, is understudied. Post-divorce dating, a critical precondition for cohabitation and remarriage, is assumed to have the power to shape family stability and functioning. The goal of this study is to examine the impact of mothers’ post-divorce dating transitions for children’s adjustment. Additionally, we test child-mother rapport as a moderator for the relationship between dating transitions and children’s adjustment. Longitudinal data for this study comes from mothers of elementary-aged children who were within three months of filing for divorce (N = 316). Results from hierarchical linear models show that mothers’ dating transitions exert little direct effect on children’s adjustment. However, child-mother rapport moderated the relationships between the time in mothers’ dating relationships and children’s prosocial behaviors, and between mothers’ romantic breakups and children’s externalizing behaviors. This adds further support that high child-mother rapport benefits children’s adjustment within the context of divorce. Overall, the results suggest that the post-divorce dating relationship transitions may influence children’s well-being via indirect pathways and the moderation effect of child-mother rapport on children’s behavior are inconsistent across dating transitions. Implications for family adjustment and future research are discussed.
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Metagegevens
Titel
Is It OK If Mommy Dates? The Influence of Mother’s Post-Divorce Dating Transitions for Children’s Behaviors
Auteurs
He Xiao
Michael R. Langlais
Edward Anderson
Shannon Greene
Publicatiedatum
08-10-2021
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Child and Family Studies / Uitgave 6/2022
Print ISSN: 1062-1024
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-2843
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-021-02111-1