Jesse Owen, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Assistant Professor, Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, College of Education and Human Development, University of Louisville; Galena K. Rhoades, PhD, Licensed Psychologist, Senior Researcher, Psychology Department, Center for Marital and Family Studies, University of Denver.
Reducing Interparental Conflict Among Parents in Contentious Child Custody Disputes: An Initial Investigation of the Working Together Program
Article first published online: 26 MAY 2010
© 2010 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 38, Issue 3, pages 542–555, July 2012
How to Cite
Owen, J. and Rhoades, G. K. (2012), Reducing Interparental Conflict Among Parents in Contentious Child Custody Disputes: An Initial Investigation of the Working Together Program. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38: 542–555. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2010.00215.x
- Issue published online: 16 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 26 MAY 2010
Interparental conflict is one of the primary risk factors for negative outcomes for children whose parents separate, and it is likely to be high while parents are separating. Results are mixed regarding the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing interparental conflict. This study examined co-parents who were court-ordered to attend a 12-hr co-parenting intervention and completed pre–postassessments (n = 20) and 2-month follow-up assessments (n = 17). The results demonstrated increases in co-parents’ relationship functioning and confidence in co-parenting. Both men and women reported decreased amounts of conflict in the presence of their children; however, only women reported decreases in general negative communication with the co-parent. These changes were generally maintained at a 2-month follow-up assessment. These findings suggest that interventions for high-conflict co-parents may increase their ability to work cooperatively.