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Redefining the Parent-Child Relationship Following Divorce: Examining the Risk for Boundary Dissolution

NCJ Number
Journal of Emotional Abuse Volume: 5 Issue: 4 Dated: 2005 Pages: 169-189
Tara S. Peris; Robert E. Emery
Date Published
21 pages
This paper discusses a new and potentially promising framework for considering parental support seeking, suggesting that the process of family restructuring may obscure specific parent-child boundaries related to intimacy and power.
The study of boundary dissolution, referred to in the article as a reversal of traditional parent-child roles whereby children come to provide care for and/or support to their parents, following divorce is found to hold great promise in the advancement of empirical understanding of family restructuring following marital disruption and for guiding intervening efforts with families undergoing divorce. The research suggests that children of divorce are at an increased risk of adverse outcomes, both behaviorally and emotionally. This paper discusses divorce as a contextual risk factor for boundary dissolution, emphasizing the emotional and supportive roles that children may assume in the family system following divorce. References