Co-parenting during a divorce.

#Parenting includes a broad spectrum of caregiving behaviours that change over the life course. High-quality parenting can act as a protective factor for children after divorce. King and Sobolewski found that quality of parenting—measured by children’s reports of how close, warm, and supportive their relationship was with their parents—was an important protective factor for adolescents with nonresident fathers.

Increases in the breadth of the role of fathers as caregivers in recent decades have led to a far greater emphasis on co-parenting and the co-parenting alliance as important features of family life. Essential dimensions of the co-parenting alliance include the degree of support and teamwork between parents, the degree of conflict between parents, the degree of active engagement with children, and how childcare duties are divided.


A study focused on how positive parenting relates to the co-parenting alliance as another potential mechanism to promote positive outcomes for children after a divorce.


The present study is based on 451 divorcing parents. Moreover, individuals were invited to participate if they had recently filed for divorce, shared a child under the age of 18 with the person they were divorcing, and had not been mandated to attend divorce education.

Low levels of conflict predicted strong levels of co-parenting alliance only when positive parenting was high and moderate. The simple slope analysis, used in the study, showed that the relationship between parental conflict and the co-parenting alliance was dependent on the level of positive parenting. When positive parenting was low, conflict no longer predicted alliance. This indicates that for parents engaging in lower levels of positive parenting, some other mechanisms might be at play that impacts their co-parenting alliance besides conflict.


Positive parenting could be a proxy for a parent’s overall capacity for healthy relationships and levels of relational engagement. Future work should continue to explore the reasons why positive parenting moderated the negative relationship between conflict and co-parenting. It should be also conducted additional research to explore how risk and protective factors interact for all systems affected by the divorce transition such as adults, parents, children, families, communities, potentially allowing for more precise and robust prevention and intervention efforts.

Source: Positive Parenting and Parental Conflict: Contributions to Resilient Coparenting During Divorce.
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