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Reconsidering the “Good Divorce”


Department of Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, 211 Oswald Tower, University Park, PA 16803-6207 (


This study attempted to assess the notion that a “good divorce” protects children from the potential negative consequences of marital dissolution. A cluster analysis of data on postdivorce parenting from 944 families resulted in three groups: cooperative coparenting, parallel parenting, and single parenting. Children in the cooperative coparenting (good divorce) cluster had the smallest number of behavior problems and the closest ties to their fathers. Nevertheless, children in this cluster did not score significantly better than other children on 10 additional outcomes. These findings provide only modest support for the good divorce hypothesis.

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