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Longitudinal Study: LSAC
Title: Interparental Conflict in Separated Families: The Effects of Pre-Separation Family Conflict and Changes to Family Structure
Authors: Aamalia, Jordana 
Institution: The University of Melbourne
Publication Date: 19-May-2015
Keywords: Relationships -- Separation
Families -- Parents and Parenting
Families -- Formation and Dissolution
Abstract: Evidence suggests that interparental conflict is prevalent in separated families, and deleterious for family wellbeing. International research indicates that interparental conflict may be exacerbated by a pre-existing history of family conflict, the event of separation, and parental repartnering. However, Australian data is limited. The present study extends prior research to examine the occurrence, persistence, and developing course of interparental conflict in separated families, using data drawn from The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC). Participants were a nationally representative sample of separated mothers (n=300), and a comparison group of continuously partnered mothers (n=2902), who reported on interparental conflict at three time-points. Descriptive analyses indicated that mothers’ reports of high interparental conflict increased from 30% to almost 50% within the first four years following separation, and that 40% of separated mothers experienced persistent and high interparental conflict. Logistic regression analyses indicated that pre-separation interparental conflict significantly predicted high conflict in the first two (OR = 2.16) and four (OR = 2.65) years after separation. Contrary to predictions, parental repartnering did not predict high interparental conflict. Results suggest that interparental conflict is high, prevalent, and persistent in separated Australian families, and tends to predate parental separation. It is therefore critical to broaden the scope of intervention to target all families experiencing high conflict, regardless of family structure.
Keywords: Relationships -- Separation; Families -- Parents and Parenting; Families -- Formation and dissolution
Research collection: Theses and student dissertations
Appears in Collections:Theses and student dissertations

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