|Title||Data from Cologne study on divorce 1990-1996.|
|Original Title||Daten zur Kölner Scheidungsstudie 1990-1996.|
|Citation||Schmidt-Denter, U., & Beelmann, W. (2004). Data from Cologne study on divorce 1990-1996. [Translated Title] (Version 1) [Data and Documentation]. Trier: Center for Research Data in Psychology: PsychData of the Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information ZPID. https://doi.org/10.5160/psychdata.stuh96ko20|
|Language of variable documentation||German|
|Responsible for Data Collection||Schmidt-Denter, Ulrich; Beelmann, Wolfgang|
|Data Collection Completion Date||1996|
|Study Description||Investigated the change in family relationships following a marital separation/divorce. Family is understood as a unit which continues to exist in a reconstructed form following a separation/divorce. The change process is assumed to take place in phases while ultimately heading toward a relative stabilization of the unit. This process is experienced differently by family members, so that the change of the family unit cannot be adequately reconstructed from the perspective of a single family member only. These differing contexts by which family members view the situation are key considerations when hoping to correctly determine whether a family has experienced a successful or unsuccessful separation/divorce outcome.
The three-phase model of separation/divorce events which was used in a longitudinal study conducted at three different time points (10, 25, and 40 months after the separation) was supplemented by a fourth wave of data collection after 5.5 years. The data of the 60 participating families (first wave: one target child, mother, and father) were collected using a variety of instruments. Measures included the Familiendiagnostische Testsystem ("the Family Diagnostic Test System", Schneewind, Beckmann, & Hecht-Jackl, 1985), the Marburger Verhaltensliste ("Marburg Behavior List" Ehlers, Ehlers, & Makus, 1978), the German version of the Family Relations Test (Flämig & Woerner, 1977), the self-developed Kölner Fragebogen für Scheidungsfamilien ("Cologne Questionnaire for Divorced Families") featuring versions for mothers and fathers, and systematic interaction observations which were recorded by video to aid the analysis of mother-child dyads in standardized situations.
Main results regard the (ex-)spouse relationship, the family climate, and the childrearing practices from the perspectives of both the parents and children, with observed differentiating perspectives. One focus of the project was concerned with the child's experience of the separation and the consequences of this for the child's development. The occurrence of childhood behavior problems is alarming, although positive changes can also be demonstrated over time. From a differential perspective, three developmental types are distinguished: the "highly stressed" type, the "copes with stress" type, and the "mildly stressed" type. The strength of family relationships and social skills proved to be protective factors that moderated a child's adjustment process. The results support a consensus-oriented approach to deciding and agreeing upon custody and visitation rights.
In extensive datasets, the primary data of the study from 60 families on four occasions of measurement is available When established procedures were used, the scale scores are generally reported here. The data for the systematic interaction observation was derived from self-developed observation scales.
|Keyphrase||families' adaptation to divorce & marital separation, restructuring of family system, demands & coping behavior, differences between mothers & fathers & children & parents, effects of parents' coping with divorce on children's stress, 60 families, 6-year longitudinal empirical study, primary data|
|Funding||German Research Foundation|
Divorce & Remarriage
Parent Child Relations
|Research Method Description||Questionnaire Data|
|Classification of Data Collection||Combined Standardized Survey Instruments (Combination of various standardized sections)|
|Research Instrument||Several methods were used in the 4 study waves,.
(1) The first group was comprised of published test procedures, described only briefly here; reference to the original literature is made. In these methods, standard values for "normal" families are given; divorced families can be characterized by the deviation from these standard values.
"Marburger Behavior List" (Marburger Verhaltensliste, MVL): parent/child behavior problems occurring within the preceding 14 days were described using 80 items. 5 subscales were recorded: Emotional instability, Contact anxiety, unrealistic self-concept, social maladjustment, and inconsistent achievement.
Family Relations Test (FRT): The "subjective reality" of the family structure was captured from the child's point of view. The child first selected cardboard cutouts indicative of the different ages and sexes of all family members including themselves. 86 cards (40 in the preschool version) contained a statement which expressed a positive or negative feeling. The child assigned the cards to the member of the family to which it best fit. Cards that did not fit were placed on a "Mr. Nobody" cutout. The items were scored for individual family members by categorizing positive/negative feelings the child felt.
Family Diagnostic Test System (FDTS): the following items were selected from the modular test system: spouse relationship (mother and father), family environment (for mother, father, and child), and parenting practices (for mother, father, and child). Test instructions and individual items were adapted for those living separated.
- Spousal relationships: 2 subforms, one for the mother (M) and the other for the father (F). 4 scales are measured: Tenderness (M: 16 Items, F: 27 items), conflict (F: 11 items, M: 8 items), resigned dissatisfaction (M: 10 Items, F: 7 Items) and suppression (M: 6 Items F: 6 Items). The answers were given on a five-point rating scale ranging "always" to "never". The spouse relationship was not asked in the 4th wave.
-Family Climate: The family climate was recorded in a version for the mother (99 items), for the father (89 items), and child (99 items). The response alternatives were "correct" or "incorrect". The scales covered cohesion, openness, conflict tendency, independence, achievement orientation, cultural orientation, active recreational activities, religious orientation, organization, and control.
-Parenting practices: The mother's parenting practices in relation to the daughter from the mother's point of view (53 items), The father parenting practices in relation to the daughter from the father's point of view (53 items), the mother's parenting practices in relation to the son from the mother's point of view (53 items), The father parenting practices in relation to the son from the father's point of view (53 items), The mother's parenting practices from the child's point of view (44 items), and the parenting practices of the father from the child's point of view (46 items). Subscales are reward by loving care, material reward, restricted praise, withdrawal of love, withdrawal of material rewards, anger and contempt and physical punishment. The answers are given on a 5-point rating scale with the verbal anchors "always", "often", "sometimes", "rarely", or "never".
Used Only in the 4TH wave:
Hamburger Behavioral Assessment List (Hamburger Verhaltensbeurteilungsliste, HAVEL): This method is used to describe a mother's take on the child's current behavioral state. Every 10 items form 1 of the 4 subscales (dominance, vegetative instability, conscientiousness, and work attitude). The answers to the items were given on a 5-point rating scale (always or almost always, frequently, sometimes, rarely, never or almost never).
-Subjective Family Picture: data on the family relationships from the individual point of view of each family member. Child(ren) and parents all assess their relationships with each other based on the potency dimension (degree of individual autonomy) and the valence dimension (degree of emotional closeness) using a semantic differential.
(2) Cologne Questionnaire for Divorced Families
The questionnaire was developed specifically for the present study. The tool maps specific separation problems from the point of view of the mother and the father separately. In preliminary studies, a questionnaire was developed and tested that could be completed independently by the subjects. The 119-item questionnaire given the mother in the first wave covered questions concerning the child, the mother, personal and socio-demographic information, marriage information, the separation, and questions about the period immediately after the separation. In following waves the questions concerning the marriage and separation time were not presented again. There were also questions concerning new partnerships, the use of psychotherapeutic help, and details about the legal divorce and legal guardianship/visitation rights. Responses were partly given in a closed format, some with open formats. For the fathers' version most of the questions were repeated. Some areas were changed, added, or omitted due to distinctly different life situation the mother and child(ren).
(3) Systematic interaction observation of the mother-child dyad. For this, video observations of mothers and children in the home environment were carried out. 3 standardized play situations were recorded over a period of 10 minutes: Stacking game, building a Lego house, coloring a dream island. A 7-point rating scales was used with reference to the attachment research, the parenting style research, and the divorce research. The scales formed 3 groups: Mother's behavior (7 scales), Child's behavior (8 scales), and Dyadic Interaction (10 scales). A rating/training program was developed and implemented. In Wave 4, no systematic interaction observation was carried out.
Further information about the survey instruments and implementation can be found in Schmidt-Denter & Beelmann (1995).
|Data Collection Method||Data collection in the presence of an experimenter
- Individual Administration
- Paper and Pencil
- Photographs, Video and Audio Recordings
Data collection in the absence of an experimenter
- Mail Survey
|Time Points||repeated measurements|
|Survey Time Period||Wave 1: 10 months after the separation; began February 1990
Wave 2: 25 months after the separation; 1991-1992
Wave 3: 40 months after the separation; 1992 to August 1993
Wave 4: 6 years after the separation; 1996
|Characteristics||The fathers were sent questionnaires with a return envelope. An examination date was made with the mother. Preliminary questionnaires were sent, with a request to complete it before the examination date. The investigation took place in the maternal home and began after a short introductory talk along with video recordings of standardized interaction sequences. Then an investigator administered the test to the child. During this time, the mother and the lead investigator could have a conversation regarding the completed questionnaire. Total duration of the study was approximately 2 hours. With the following waves, this time was shortened due to the mother and child's familiarity with the procedure (1-1.5 hours).|
|Population||Separated families with a target child aged 4-10 years|
|Sample||Simple Random Sample|
|Subject Recruitment||For participant recruitment and information a cover letter and a special brochure was designed. Families received as thanks a list of local counseling services, 75 DM (25 DM per person), and an offer for a psychological consultation with the project staff. Recruitment was accomplished via articles and advertisements in various newspapers, at family centers, word of mouth between families, as well as through project staff and students.
Sample size of 60 families (180 individuals)
|Sample Size||60 families (=180 individuals)|
|Return/Drop Out||During the 2nd Wave only 50 families completed the sessions along with 3 cases in which only the mother or the father and child participated. During the 3rd Wave only 43 families participated while 7 mother/child dyads and 1 father took part. For the 4th Wave data from 46 mothers and children and 37 fathers are available.|
|Gender Distribution||43,3% female subjects (n=26, measurement point 1)
56,7% male subjects (n=34, measurement point 1)
|Age Distribution||4-10 years (measurmentpoint 1)|
|Variables||I. Economic situation:
Change of residence
Change of schools
II. Social relations system :
1. Parent-child relationships:
Perceived relationship quality
Coping with separation
Interaction qualities (only mother and child)
Joint problem solving vs conflict load
Perceived separation causes
Psychosomatic symptom load vs health/satisfaction
3. Extended social network
Child' familial circle of reference
Child's relationship with the new partner of parent
Familial circle of reference of the mother or the father
Number of contact persons
Frequency of support
Type of support
Satisfaction with the support
III. Child adaptation and coping
Child's reactions from the parent's point of view
|Data Status||Complete Data Set|
|Original Records||Questionnaires were completed by subjects or experimenter with closed and/or open-ended responses; Video recordings, photographs, taped recordings, etc.|
|Transformation||Of all the test standardized procedures used methods only the scale values are each reported. The corresponding derivatives are described in the test manuals. The data were assembled into a data file (stuh96ko20_pd1), which is provided with the corresponding code book (stuh96ko20_kb1). The data collected only at the 4th Wave were placed in a separate data file (stuh96ko20_pd7, code book: stuh96ko20_kb7).
The KFS data for the mothers and fathers were values that were directly transferred from the survey instrument using simple coding rules.
Open data were collected and categorized according to the requirements. Due to the abundance of the variables produced the responses of the mother (stuh96ko20_kb2, code book: stuh96ko20_pd2,) and that of the father (stuh96ko20_pd3, code book: stuh96ko20_kb3) were stored separately for the first 3 waves. Due to major changes in the questionnaire the data from the 4th wave were stored separately again (Mother: stuh96ko20_pd4, code book: stuh96ko20_kb4; Father: stuh96ko20_pd5; code book: stuh96ko20_kb5).
In regards to the systematic interaction observations, intervals and average ratings per scale for the first 3 waves are shared. These data are in the file stuh96ko20_pd6 with the associated code book stuh96ko20_kb6.
|Description||Primary study data (MVL, FRT and FDTS, Wave 1.-4.)|
|Data Content||60 subjects, 850 variables|
|Data Points||60*850=51,000 data points|
|Variables||Case ID number (1), Case ID number for MVL, Wave 1-4 (4), percentile rank values of scale MVL, wave 1-4 (24), scale values of MVL, dichotomized, wave 1-3 (18), scale values of MVL, trichotomic, wave 1-3 (18), MVL-process cluster (4), Case ID number for FRT, wave 1-4 (4), version of FRT, wave 1-3 (3), number of siblings, wave 1-4 (4), indications of quartils of FRT, wave 1-4 (168), existence of siblings, wave 1-4 (36), frequency indications of FRT, wave 1-4 (168), Case ID number for FDTS, wave 1-3/4 (34), STEN-scale-values of FDTS for different participants, wave 1-3/4 (364)|
|Description||Primary study data (KFSM, 1-3 Collection waves)|
|Data Content||60 subjects, 705 variables|
|Data Points||60*705=42,300 data points|
|Variables||Case ID number, total and individual waves 1-3 (4), General information on the children, Waves 1-3 (23); Socio-demographic data, Waves 1-3 (18); General information on separation (3); Information about child, Waves 1-3 (162); Information about the mother-child relationship, Waves 1-3 (42); Information about the father-child relationship, Waves 1-3 (135); Information about the mother, Waves 1-3 (48); Information about the household/ budget, Waves 1-3 (42); Details about a new partnership, Waves 1-3 (39); Information about family relationships, Waves 1-3 (12); Information about acquaintance relationships, Waves 1-3 (6); Information about coping with separation, Waves 1-3 (80); Information covering the time before the separation, Waves 1 (34); Information covering the actual separation, Wave 1 (50); Information concerning the legal divorce, Waves 2-3 (4); Duration of marriage (2); life of the target child (1)|
|Description||Primary study data (KFSV, 1-3 Collection waves)|
|Data Content||60 subjects, 752 variables|
|Data Points||60*752=45,120 data points|
|Variables||Case ID number, total and individual Waves 1-3 (4); Socio-demographic data, Waves 1-3 (30); General information about separation, Waves 1-3 (4); Information about Child, Waves 1-3 (87); Information about the mother-child relationship, Waves 1-3 (59); Information about the father-child relationship, Waves 1-3 (209); Details of the relationship of the child to the new partner, Waves 1-3 (56); Information about the Father, Waves 1-3 (82); Information about the new partnership, Waves 1-3 (32); Information on the household/ budget, Waves 1-3 (31); Details of any contact with (former) wife, Waves 1-3 (36); Information about separation stressors, Waves 1-3 (16); Information about period before separation, Waves 1 (26); Information concerning the actual separation, Wave 1 (54); information about people in the household, Waves 1-3 (26)|
|Description||Primary study data (KFSM, 4th Wave)|
|Data Content||49 subjects, 274 variables|
|Data Points||49*274=13,426 data points|
|Variables||Case ID number (1), Participants (1), Information about the child (88), information about the mother-child relationship (13), Information on the father-child relationship (37), Details of the relationship of the child to the new partner (26), Information about the mother (75), information about the household/budget (19), Socio-demographic information (5), Information concerning the legal separation/agreements (9)|
|Description||Primary study data (KFSV, 4th Wave)|
|Data Content||49 subjects, 279 variables|
|Data Points||49*279=13,671 data points|
|Variables||Case ID number (1), Participants (1), Information about the child (65), Information about the mother-child relationship (19), Information about the father-child relationship (71), Details of child's relationship to the new partner (32), Information about the father (68), household/budget information (17), Information concerning the legal separation/agreements (5)|
|Description||Primary data for the study (Systematic observation of behavior, Waves 1-3)|
|Data Content||60 subjects, 79 variables|
|Data Points||60*79=4,740 data points|
|Variables||Case ID number, total and individual Waves 1-3 (4), Ratings in the observation scales, Waves 1-3 (75)|
|Description||Primary study data (HAVEL, SFB, 4th wave)|
|Data Content||49 subjects, 43 variables|
|Data Points||49*43=2,107 data points|
|Variables||case ID number (1), case ID number for HAVEL (1), standard values of HAVEL scales (4), case ID number for SFB (1), sum scores of SFB scales (36)|
|German codebook of primary data file stuh96ko20_pd1.txt||stuh96ko20_kb1.txt|
|German codebook of primary data file stuh96ko20_pd2.txt||stuh96ko20_kb2.txt|
|German codebook of primary data file stuh96ko20_pd3.txt||stuh96ko20_kb3.txt|
|German codebook of primary data file stuh96ko20_pd4.txt||stuh96ko20_kb4.txt|
|German codebook of primary data file stuh96ko20_pd5.txt||stuh96ko20_kb5.txt|
|German codebook of primary data file stuh96ko20_pd6.txt||stuh96ko20_kb6.txt|
|German codebook of primary data file stuh96ko20_pd7.txt||stuh96ko20_kb7.txt|
|Publications Directly Related to the Dataset|
|Schmidt-Denter, U. (1997). Kindliche Reaktionen auf Trennung und Scheidung. Befunde aus der Kölner Langzeitstudie. Familie, Partnerschaft, Recht, 3 (2), 57-59.|
|Utilized Test Methods|
|Allison, P.D. & Furstenberg, F.F. (1989). How marital dissolution affects children: Variations by age and sex. Developmental Psychology, 25, 540-549.|
|Copeland, A.P. (1986). An early look at divorce: Mother-child-interactions in the first post-separation year. Journal of Divorce, 8 (2), 17-30.|
|Hetherington, E.M. (1988). Parents, children, and siblings: Six years after divorce. In R.A. Hinde & J. Stevenson-Hinde (Eds.), Relationships within families. Mutual influences (pp. 311-331). Oxford: Clarendon Press.|
|Hetherington, E.M. (1989). Coping with family transitions: Winners, losers, and survivors. Child Development, 60, 1-14.|
|Hetherington, E.M., Cox, M. & Cox, R. (1982). Effects of divorce on parents and children. In M.E. Lamb (Ed.), Nontraditional families: Parenting and child development (pp. 233-288). New York: Erlbaum.|
|Johnston, J.R. & Campbell, L.E.G. (1988). Impasses of divorce: The dynamics and resolution of family conflict. New York: Free Press.|
|Longfellow, C. (1979). Divorce in context: Its impact on children. In G. Levinger & O.C. Moles (Eds.): Divorce and separation. Context, causes and consequences (pp. 286-306). New York: Basic Books.|
|Neubauer, E. (1988). Alleinerziehende Mütter und Väter. Eine Analyse der Gesamtsituation. Schriftenreihe des Bundesministers für Jugend, Familie, Frauen und Gesundheit, Bd. 219. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.|
|Pett, M.G. & Vaughan-Cole, B. (1986). The impact of income issues and social status on post-divorce adjustment of custodial parents. Family Relations, 35, 103-111.|
|Schmidt-Denter, U. (1995). Soziale Entwicklung (3. Aufl.). Weinheim: Psychologie Verlags Union.|
|Wallerstein, J.S. & Kelly, J.B. (1980). Surviving the breakup. How children and parents cope with divorce. New York: Basic Books.|
|Werner, E.E. (1985). Stress and protective factors in children`s lives. In A.R. Nicol (Ed.), Longitudinal studies in child psychology and psychiatry (pp. 335-355). New York: Wiley.|