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Illinois study looks at parent-child relationship after divorce

Most of our readers in Illinois are probably aware of the fact that statistics can be misleading. For instance, a recent survey conducted at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that divorce when the children are young adversely affects the parent-child relationship later in life. 

Professor of psychology R. Chris Fraley and author of the study confirmed that of those 7,335 men and women who were surveyed, the ones whose parents divorced when they were 5 years old or younger viewed their relationship with parents as insecure. Taking that statistic at face value isn't enough, digging deeper, the data shows that there is much more to the story. 

For instance, there was a gender discrepancy in the statistics. Fraley said that he repeated the survey and took into account the gender of the parent with primary custody. In this survey, 7,500 men and women were surveyed. As for the feelings about the parent-child relationship, the results were the same.

In this second survey, the data showed that more of those surveyed reported having an insecure relationship with their dad. The feelings didn't seem to be based on gender of the parent but on child custody. Of those surveyed, 74 percent had lived with their mom and 11 percent with their dad.

"Something as basic as the amount of time that one spends with a parent or one's living arrangements can have the potential to shape the quality of the attachment relationship that one has with a parent," said Fraley.

It is an easy concept, but there is a false assumption that dads don't want to take on the role. For those who want to ensure that their parental rights are protected, choosing an attorney they know will fight for them can make the difference.

Source: WATE.COM, "Divorce in early childhood may harm adult ties with parents," Kathleen Doheny, July 16, 2013

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