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The ties that bind : relationship attachment between former spouses
Using survey data from 219 divorced custodial mothers randomly selected
from public court records, this research investigated variables which may
contribute to increased attachment to a former spouse, postdivorce. A path
analysis was conducted to determine the effects of the selected variables on
attachment. The findings indicated that attachment was greater for women
whose husbands had wanted the divorce, for those who had been married for
a longer period of time, for those who were experiencing a difficult time with
parenting, and for those who had better coparental relationships with their
former sposues. The degree of hostility surrounding the divorce, current
conflict between the former spouses, the custody arrangement, and the
mother's satisfaction with financial support all had an indirect effect on
attachment through their effects on conflict and the quality of the coparental
relationship. Possible explanations for these findings as well as implications
for therapy are discussed.