Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2014

Thesis Advisor(s)

Edna Brown

Honors Major

Human Development and Family Studies


This study examined the influence of co-parenting on the parent-child relationship. Using data from the 7th wave of collection of the Early Years of Marriage Study factors such as parents’ perceptions of parent-child relationship quality, the role of gender on time parents spend with their children on parent-child relationship quality were analyzed to determine whether perceptions of the co-parenting relationship were related to the parent-child relationship in divorced families. Results indicated that certain aspects of the co-parenting relationship affected some aspects of the parent-child relationship but not others. There were also differences based on parent gender where fathers reported more satisfaction with their ex-spouse’s relationship with their children than mothers. Further, satisfaction with one’s relationship with their former spouse was the single greatest predictor of overall parent-child relationship quality. Results of this study demonstrate that establishing a cooperative post-divorce co-parenting relationship for both former spouses as well as parent-child relationships. If parents come to better understand the importance of cooperative co-parenting, divorce may less negatively affect family functioning.