Main Variables Related to the Level of Parental Conflict

Session : Workshop 1-1: Current Status of Research on Shared Parenting and Family Violence

  • Time : 10:05 am PDT To 11:20 am PDT on
  • Venue : Virtual Room 1

Full Abstract

Forty three French family mediators agreed to answer a questionnaire concerning the families with whom they had had at least one interview. The level of conflict of these families was assessed in relation to other variables including shared parenting. 175 families were observed from this questionnaire. There were up to four children per family, but families with only one child represented 45% of the sample. The statistical data were interpreted using the chi2 test. Very significant links were observed between the level of conflict and the child's residence. 54% of the parents had higher education whereas this percentage is only 42% in the general population. This result shows that the clients of family mediators have a significantly higher intellectual level than the average. 34.5% of families practiced shared residence for the child, which is also above the average in France. Shared residence was more common in families with moderate conflict. Physical violence between parents was more frequent, however, in families with high conflict. The variables related to the level of parental conflict experienced by the parents were: the child's residence, the contact impediments made by the other parent, the disparagement exercised with the child, using the child as a message carrier for the other parent who is not spoken to, etc. The variables related to the level of parental conflict assessed by professionals were: the ability to listen to the other parent, the ability of the parent to put the child's needs before their own, the non-compliance with the arrangements made for the child's residence, unilateral decisions to change the child's place of residence, etc. The feeling of being looked down upon by the other parent was among the most frequent complaints encountered in this study. The main cause of disputes with the other parent for the fathers was disagreement on the child's main place of residence while for mothers the main cause of disputes concerned the unfolding of the father's visiting rights. This study was made possible thanks to the cooperation of the AIFI (International Francophone Association of Interveners with separated families).