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Why do fathers become disengaged from their children's lives? Maternal and paternal accounts of divorce in Greece.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1997
JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
Journal number1/2
Volume28
Number of pages29
Pages89-117
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

After divorce almost 50% of fathers lose touch with their children. Two explanations have been offered. The continuity hypothesis states that post-divorce relationships match pre-divorce contact. The discontinuity hypothesis, following Kruk (1991), states that fathers who have been highly involved are more likely to become disengaged bccause of the pain of separation from their children. In two Greek studies, mothers (Study l) and mothers and fathers (Study 2) were interviewed about the precursors of the father's current relationship with the child. The results from both studies provide strong support for the continuity hypothesis. Discrepancies between these and Kruk's data may be explained by the impact of expectations and practices concerning fathers in different cultures upon their involvement after divorce. In Greece disengagement appears to be the consequence of low paternal investment in parenting.