Developmental differences in children's understanding of marriage, divorce, and remarriage

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One hundred and nineteen children in kindergarten, second, and fourth grades, living with never divorced biological parents or with divorced mothers, were interviewed with both open-and close-ended questions about their understanding of, and evaluative attitudes toward, marriage, divorce, remariiage, and stepfamilies. Results indicate clear developmental differences in children's understanding of these issues and in their opinions about marriage, divorce, and stepfamilies. No differences were found, however, between the understanding of children with divorced and nondivorced parents, or between boys and girls. Although children with divorced parents were more likely than children with nondivorced parents to expect themselves to divorce in the future, no other differences were found in their attitudes. Results are discussed within a constructivistic perspective of children's acquisition of social knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-212
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1993


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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