Delayed Parental Divorce: How much do children benefit?

F.F. Furstenberg, K.E. Kiernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study compares children who experienced divorce in childhood with those who were young adults when their parents divorced to differentiate between long-term effects of divorce resulting from preexisting factors, including the child's behavioral problems and psychological status as well as the family's economic circumstances, and those resulting from divorce itself. We used National Child Development Study data on 11,409 British children born in 1958 and followed up until age 33. Children's long-term welfare appears to be linked both to conditions preceding and following the divorce event. The results point to some limitations of existing studies on divorce and suggest caution in drawing conclusions about average effects of divorce. The impact of divorce appears to be a complex blend of selection and socialization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-457
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Marriage and the Family
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2004

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