Early parental separation and the psychosocial development of daughters 6-9 years old

Am J Orthopsychiatry. 1999 Jan;69(1):49-60. doi: 10.1037/h0080381.


The relationship of timing of early parental separation to psychosocial development of daughters was examined in 77 girls, 6-9 years of age over a four-year period. Disruptive behavior across contexts was prevalent in girls separated between birth and two years of age. Girls separated between three and five years of age showed more externalizing behavior problems, but only in school. Results suggest that early parental separation has more pervasive and stable negative effects on psychosocial adjustment of girls in this age group in single-parent families. Implications of the findings and directions for research are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Age Factors
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology
  • Child Development*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Divorce / psychology*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Life Change Events
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mental Health*
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neurotic Disorders / etiology
  • Nuclear Family / psychology*
  • Paternal Deprivation*
  • Personality Development
  • Single Parent / psychology
  • Social Adjustment