|SEITE 74 - SONNTAG, 28. JUNI 1998
Schlechtes Zeugnis für Alleinerziehende *
Kinder Alleinerziehender werden laut einer neuseeländischen Studie wesentlich häufiger kriminell und sind drogengefährdeter als Kinder, die in Haushalten mit Vater und Mutter aufwachsen.Die krasse Forderung der Autoren der Studie: Alleinerziehende sollten ihr Kind besser adoptieren lassen. Diese "Empfehlung" stieß bei Familienpolitikern nur auf verhaltene Begeisterung. So betonte die Unterhausabgeordnete Alice Mahon, daß Alleinerziehende Kinder sehr wohl ebenso wirksam erziehen können wie Ehepaare. Man sollte Alleinerziehende nicht immer "zu Sündenböcken abstempeln".
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In krassem Gegensatz zu obiger Aussage von Alice Mahon die nachfolgende Studie aus Neuseeland
Hier ist eine Kurzfassung der Studie des neuseeländischen Wissenschaftlerteams:
Divorce and separation:The outcomes for children June 1998 - Ref 6108
Research over many decades about the impact of divorce and separation on children has generated useful knowledge, but also led to confusion and misunderstanding. A comprehensive review of over 200 research reports, summarised here, finds:
Children of separated families have a higher probability of:
Factors affecting outcomes:
- the absence of a parent-figure is not the most influential feature ofseparation for children's development;
- the age at which children experience separation is not in itself important;
- boys are not more adversely affected than girls.
If recent trends continue, more than a third of new marriages will end within 20 years and four out of ten will ultimately end in divorce. More than one in four children will experience parental divorce by age 16. Divorce rates in England and Wales (but not Scotland or Northern Ireland) are among the highest in Europe, though considerably less than in the United States (where most research has been carried out).
This Foundations reviews the existing research into the nature of, and possible underlying causes of, particular outcomes for those experiencing parental separation. The factors responsible for poorer outcomes are not well understood. The review presented here identifies the main areas in which children from separated families are likely to be disadvantaged, both in the short and long term, and evaluates possible explanations.
Children's experience of parental separation
Interviews with children around the time of separation show that most wish their parents had stayed together and hope they will get back together. They are likely, in the short term, to experience unhappiness, low self-esteem, problems with behaviour and friendships, and loss of contact with a significant part of their extended family. Good, continuing communication and contact between children and both parents appear especially important in assisting children to adapt. Clear explanations about 'what' is happening and 'why' can help, as can reassurance for younger children that they are not being abandoned and that a parent can still be a parent even if he/she leaves the home to live elsewhere.
The immediate distress surrounding parental separation usually fades with time and most children settle into a pattern of normal development. Nevertheless, studies have found that there is a greater probability of poor outcomes for children from separated families than others - and that these can be observed many years after separation, even in adulthood.
Disadvantages among children of separated families
Typically, the areas of disadvantage identified by research only apply to a minority of those whose parents have separated during childhood. There is no simple or direct relationship between parental separation and children's adjustment, and poor outcomes are far from inevitable. As a rule of thumb many adverse outcomes are roughly twice as prevalent among children of divorced families compared with children from intact families. Outcomes which research suggests occur with a higher probability among children of separated families are listed in the box.
Children of separated families:
Although the differences in outcomes are clear, it cannot be assumed that parental separation is their underlying cause. The complexity of factors that impinge on families before, during and after separation indicates a process, rather than a single event, that merits careful examination. Much of the confusion seen in media coverage, and even academic debate, about 'the effects of divorce on children' reflects a failure to distinguish between separation as a process and separation as an event. An understanding of process and of the factors that influence this process is crucial if ways are to be found of optimising the chances that children experiencing the separation of their parents will emerge relatively unharmed.
Step-families and lone-parent families
There are many adjustments that children whose parents separate may have to make, most obviously that of no longer living with both parents. If their parents subsequently form new partnerships, they may experience a further transition into a household comprising one birth parent, another adult and, sometimes, step-siblings. Research findings for children from step-families suggest a number of ways in which they do not fare as well as those from intact families - and, in some instances, not as well as those from lone-parent families. The risk of adverse outcomes for young people in step-families compared with those in lone-parent families appears higher for older children, especially in areas of educational achievement, family relationships and sexual activity, partnership formation and parenthood at a relatively young age. Young children in step-families seem to fare better, possibly because it is easier to adapt to a new family structure at an age when they have had a relatively short period of living with either both or just one birth parent.
Parental death and parental separation
Children from separated families and children who have experienced the death of a parent share the impact of parental loss and the longer-term experience of parental absence (more often of fathers than mothers). Research suggests that bereaved children are adversely affected, but not across the same range of outcomes as children whose parents have separated. In particular, parental death does not carry the same risks of poorer educational attainment, lower socio-economic status and poorer mental health. There is evidence for an impact of bereavement on some behavioural outcomes in childhood and adolescence, including substance use and leaving home at an early age, but these do not appear to persist as disorders in adulthood.
Factors affecting outcomes
Studies in the United Kingdom and elsewhere that have sought to explain the links between parental separation and the poor outcomes experienced by some children have highlighted the following points:
· The relative well-being of children in bereaved families and
the poorer outcomes identified among children in step-families suggest
that the absence of a parent figure is not the most influential feature
of separation for children's development.
A major strength of British studies concerned with the welfare of children whose parents separate has been the use of large-scale longitudinal cohort studies to analyse long-term outcomes. This provides a firm basis for further research. Future studies should, however, avoid the tendency to treat parental separation as if it were an event, rather than a process where circumstances before, during and after can exert a critical influence on some children.
Another current area of weakness is the shortage of studies concerned with the more immediate impact of separation and the role of underlying factors, such as family conflict. Greater understanding of the way that short-term distress relates to longer-term outcomes is essential.
There is also a lack of research into the part that family support initiatives
and other interventions might play in reducing the risks of adversity for
children whose parents separate.
Policy and practice implications
Although there are deficiencies in current knowledge about children
and parental separation, it would be unreasonable to delay improvements
to the support offered to families until the research gaps (see box above)
have been filled. A number of policy and practice implications can be drawn,
with caution, from the existing research findings:
About the study
Auch Matthias Matussek hat bereits in seinem Buch "Die vaterlose Gesellschaft" auf ähnliche Studien in den U. S. A. hingewiesen (Seite 44 seines Buches) , aber leider keine Quelle oder Autoren genannt:
Amerikanische Soziologen haben längst begonnen, die Verheerungen
einer vaterlosen Gesellschaft zu untersuchen. Aus vaterlosen Familien stammen
in den USA
Die neuseeländische Studie ist erhältlich bei:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation The Homesteadt, 40 Water End YORK Y03 6LP Tel. 0044-1904-629241 Fax 0044-1904-620072 oder
York Publishing Services 64 Hallfield Road Layerthorpe YORK Y031 7ZQ England Phone: 0044-1904-430033 Fax : 0044-1904-430868
Bryan Rodgers and Jan Pryor Divorce and separation: the outcomes for children ISBN 1 85935 043 7, price 11.95 Englische Pfund
(wahrscheinliche) Privatanschrift der Autorin:
Frau Dr. Jan Pryor 77c Vauxhall Rd. Devenport Auckland Tel. 0064-9-4459612 Newzealand
Deutsche Bestelladresse: MISSING LINK VERSANDBUCHHANDLUNG Inh.: Winand Ehls Westerstr. 114, 28199 Bremen Tel. 0421-504348, Fax 0421-504316
Preis des Buches DM 37.86 (+Versandkosten) Lieferzeit ca. 3 Wochen
Mit freundlichen Grüßen
|Autor: Reinhold Schöler Datum 17.07.1998 Mail: Reihhold Schöler|
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