"Children of Divorce Care for Parents Less" read the headline of a UPI article last September that reported the results of a study revealing that divorce predicts a significantly lower level of involvement among adult children in caring for their aging parents. The study's lead author, developmental psychologist Adam Davey of Temple University, contended that it wasn't the divorce itself that led to this estrangement but rather "what happens afterwards, such as geographical separation." But in a study of grown children of divorce that I conducted with sociology professor Norval Glenn at The University of Texas at Austin, we found that the divorce itself has a lot to do with how parents and children get along. The grown children of divorce in our study were far less likely to report that they had gone to either or both parents for comfort when they were younger. When they grew up, they were more likely to have strained relationships with their fathers and mothers.
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The New Alone