This completely updated second edition presents an integrated, multidisciplinary account of children's experiences of divorce from historical, cultural and demographic perspectives. The author highlights children's resilience, but is sensitive to children's pain throughout the divorce process and afterwards. In addition he reviews the psychological, social, economic and legal consequences of divorce, and examines how children's risk is predicted by parental conflict, relationships with both parents, financial strain, custody disputes, and other factors. The author uses his family systems model to integrate research findings into a theoretical whole and to evaluate psychological interventions with divorcing and divorced families.
Chapter 3: Methodological and Conceptual Issues
Methodological and Conceptual Issues
Research on children and divorce must be interpreted with an awareness of its limitations, especially given the complexity and social importance of the topic. Many issues in divorce research apply to studies of family or child development in general. This chapter focuses on only a few basic but essential conceptual and methodological issues: sampling, measurement, causal inference, and the confounding of children's age at divorce, time since divorce, and current age.
The major sampling issue in divorce research is whether the sample is representative of a larger population to which findings can be generalized. Representative sampling is of little importance in some areas of psychological investigation, but it is esssential to interpreting much divorce research. Many researchers, and consumers ...