Coparenting in low-income, African American, single mother households: an examination of their formation, and the roles of social support and relationship quality
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Fifty-nine mothers, each with at least one child between the ages of 2 and 6, were interviewed regarding the formation and quality of their coparenting relationships, the quality of dyadic relationships with coparents and the quality of mothers' social support networks. Coparenting relationships emerged at various points during young children's lives, usually through circumstances that mothers felt "just happened." Mothers appeared to be overwhelmingly satisfied with coparenting arrangements, and generally expected coparents to be permanent partners for childrearing, especially if mothers were coparenting with their own mothers. Mothers' perceptions of their relationships with both coparents and others who provided social support to them impacted the quality of coparenting relationships. Though this study provides evidence for relations between mothers' reported dyadic relationship quality with coparents and reported coparenting quality, the degree of spillover between these two systems appears to differ between coparenting dyads with high versus low social support from non-coparents.
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