Postdivorce father-adolescent closeness

Mindy E. Scott, Alan Booth, Valarie King, David R. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Research indicates that closeness of the father-child bond following parental divorce is associated with better outcomes for children and adolescents. Unlike other investigations, this study takes a long-term developmental approach to understanding stability and change in postdivorce father-adolescent relationship closeness. Drawing on Add Health data (n = 483), we examine factors that explain (a) why some high-quality father-adolescent relationships remain the same after divorce whereas others decline, and (b) why some low-quality relationships are stable following divorce whereas others improve. High mother-offspring relationship quality and offspring feelings of well-being prevented close father-offspring relationships from deteriorating. Offspring's childbearing and cohabitation following parental divorce increase closeness in father-offspring relationships that were not close prior to divorce. Although a majority of offspring experienced a decline in closeness following divorce, results from this study show that some very close father-offspring relationships are maintained and some poor relationships become closer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1194-1209
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Marriage and Family
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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