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  1. #1

    Father contact after divorce helps behaviour

    Father contact 'helps behaviour'
    Wednesday, 26 May, 2004
    BBC News

    Children who continue to have contact with their fathers after a family break-up suffer less behavioural problems, says new research. The study found that children who had infrequent or no contact were more likely to exhibit problems.

    The study looked at 162 children from broken marriages over a two-year period. Of those, 18% had no contact with their fathers.

    The research was part of the Bristol Children of the 90s study.

    The study, based at Bristol University, is following the progress of 14,000 children born in 1991.

    Lessons
    Professor Judy Dunn from the Institute of Psychology at Kings College, London, headed the study.

    She said there was a lesson to be learned: "Parents should make a great effort to get on well after they split up.

    "They should put their differences behind them for the sake of the children."

    The 162 children were interviewed initially at eight years old about their relationships with their mother, father or step-father.

    The mothers were then asked to report on their children's behaviour.

    "Our findings were unequivocal: more frequent and more regular contact was associated with closer more intense relationships with non-resident fathers."

  2. #2

    Fathers the key to child behaviour

    Another more detailed report of the same study:

    Fathers the key to child behaviour
    Tuesday, 25th May 2004
    Manchester News Online

    Children who have contact with their fathers following a family break-up suffer fewer behavioural problems, academics said today.

    Youngsters who have a close relationship with their natural father after their parents split up are likely to be less disorderly, anxious or aggressive.

    Researchers discovered that children who had infrequent or no contact at all with their non-resident fathers were more likely to externalise and internalise problems.

    Professor Judy Dunn from the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College, London, analysed data collected from 162 children whose parents had separated over a two-year period.

    Of those children, 18% had no contact with their father, and 16% had contact less than once a month.

    The research was part of the continuing Children Of The 90s project based at Bristol University, which has been monitoring the progress of 14,000 children in the Avon area since 1991.

    The findings were published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

    Prof Dunn said: "There is a practical message here - parents should make a great effort to get on well after they split up.

    "They should put their differences behind them for the sake of the children. The more contact there is the better the outcome for the children."

    Researchers interviewed all 162 children (initially at an average age of eight and a half) about their relationship with their mothers, fathers and stepfathers.

    The mothers were asked to report on children's behaviour, on whether they were aggressive or delinquent (externalising behaviour) or withdrawn, anxious, or depressed (internalising).

    The research comes in the wake of an attack on the Prime Minister with a purple flour bomb by campaign group Fathers 4 Justice.

    Rights
    The group claims current laws are failing children and fathers and wants better parenting rights for fathers.

    Prof Dunn said: "This research is the best kind of thing to support the case of some desperate campaigners who want more access to their children.

    "Our findings were unequivocal: more frequent and more regular contact was associated with closer more intense relationships with non resident fathers and fewer adjustment problems in children."

    Prof Dunn noted that the amount of contact between a child and a father was related to the relationship between the parents.

    She added: "This underlines the importance of parents developing a good working relationship over children's issues and of keeping any problems in their own relationships separate from their parenting."

    The research showed there tended to be less contact between children and their fathers if the mothers had been relatively young when pregnant.

  3. Trying To Maintain Contact but....

    I could use some advice please. My husband and I have been married two years and we have full custody of my four children and his three daughters live with us every second weekend. The relationship between him and his x-wife had been fairly amicable until our marriage and then it began steadily disintegrating. She is battling to maintain control over him through any means she can and the one that is most effective is in using their eldest daughter (age 15) as a go-between.

    This has had the unsurprising result of eroding my husband's relationship with his daughter much to his sorrow. He suggested to his ex that maybe it would be a good idea for him and this child to go to counseling together to try and heal their relationship.

    She phoned yesterday to say that *she* had found a good therapist and had made an appointment for herself (the ex-wife) and him to attend one meeting together next week followed by an appointment for the three of them (the two parents and the child) My husband feels that this is totally inappropriate and that this should be something he arranges and should be about him and his daughter - NOT the ex-wife.

    Thoughts please??

  4. #4

    Father contact after divorce helps behaviour

    I can see his point of view, although the therapist may well have suggested such a meeting anyway.

    I would suggest that he call the therapist and tell him/her that he would prefer to meet on his own first. He can suggest to his ex-wife that she do the same if she wants. He can then make up his mind after meeting with the therapist how he feels about a "family" session.

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