Divorce Research Update– intimate partner violence, 8-3-15


Intimate partner violence in the divorce process remains a complicated situation for courts, families and those who care about them.  By understanding variations in intimate partner violence and the patterns of the divorce process can provide a better foundation for helping these families.

A more complete list of research report about divorce, remarriage and stepfamilies published in 2015 or between 2010-2015.

Gulliver, P., & Fanslow, J. L. (2015). The Johnson Typologies of Intimate Partner Violence: An Investigation of Their Representation in a General Population of New Zealand Women. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 25-46. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037051

Hardesty, J. L., Hans, J. D., Haselschwerdt, M. L., Khaw, L., & Crossman, K. A. (2015). The Influence of Divorcing Mothers’ Demeanor on Custody Evaluators’ Assessment of Their Domestic Violence Allegations. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 47-70. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2014.943451

Kaplan, P. L. (2015). Comment on Kleinman and Walker’s “Protecting the Psycotherapy Clients From the Shadow of the Law: A Call for the Revision of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) Guidelines for Court-Involved Therapy”. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 93-95. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037053

Khaw, L., & Hardesty, J. L. (2015). Perceptions of Boundary Ambiguity in the Process of Leaving an Abusive Partner. Family Process, 54(2), 327-343. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/famp.12104

Lambert, J. E. (2015). Introduction to the Special Issue on Attitudes and Current Research Concerning Intimate Partner Violence: Issues for Child Custody. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 1-3. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1039918

Meier, J. S. (2015). Johnson’s Differentiation Theory: Is It Really Empirically Supported? Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 4-24. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037054

Saunders, D. G. (2015). Research Based Recommendations for Child Custody Evaluation Practices and Policies in Cases of Intimate Partner Violence. Journal of Child Custody, 12(1), 71-92. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15379418.2015.1037052

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Leaving Abusive Relationships–Complications.


A frequent question about intimate partner violence (domestic violence) is why don’t women leave.  In this short video, Professor Lyndal Khaw discusses the challenges faced by women in making the decision to leave.   Here is the complete article.

Reducing Stepmothers’ Stress


Stepparents will tell you that this is a hard and stressful role.  Stepmothers in particular have many challenges.  Although there is much research that supports this finding, there is still relatively little understanding of the mechanisms and factors that contribute to this stress.  And there is even less information about what we can do about it.

Recent work by Danielle Shapiro at the University of Michigan provides some new insights about the parenting stress experienced by stepmothers.  She notes that in general couples with higher quality marriages report less parenting stress and writes, “…this was particularly pronounced for stepparents. In addition, stepparents with traditional gender views reported higher levels of parenting stress…  for stepparents, both nontraditional gender views and high marital quality jointly predicted the greatest protection from parenting stress. In fact, stepparents with both high marital adjustment and nontraditional gender views were indistinguishable in terms of parenting stress from biological parents, while stepparents who were low on one or both of these dimensions experienced substantially more parenting stress.”

Shapiro suggests that programs and treatment programs for stepparents should include attention to gender roles and marital quality as ways to address parental stress.

Shapiro, D. (2014). Stepparents and parenting stress: The roles of gender, marital quality, and views about gender roles. Family Process, 53(1), 97-108. doi:10.1111/famp.12062

More 2014 studies on stepparenting and stepfamilies…..

Doodson, L. J., & Davies, A. P. C. (2014). Different challenges, different well-being: A comparison of psychological well-being across stepmothers and biological mothers and across four categories of stepmothers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 49-63. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.862094

Ganong, L., & Coleman, M. (2014). Responsibility inferences and intergenerational obligations to parents and stepparents: Are Step/Children less obligated when older adults are at fault for their problems? Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 64-81. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.862098

Nuru, A. K., & Wang, T. R. (2014). “She was stomping on everything that we used to think of as a family”: Communication and turning points in cohabiting (step)families. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(2), 145-163. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.871957