A new study on children of divorce has been mentioned in recent news headlines. Allen Li, of the Rand Corporation, evaluated children before and after their parents divorced, between 1979 and 2002. The more common methodology of past research had compared children of divorce to children in intact families.
Li’s study drew upon a national sample of more than 6,000 children between ages 4 and 15, whose mothers were surveyed during the term of the study.
The fact that Li interviewed the mothers, but not the fathers, of the children is puzzling. The study is being described as something that could reframe the debate on divorce. There is nothing to suggest that the research lacks validity just because the responses came from mothers only. But the exclusion of fathers from the study is a striking gap.
If this study is considered an improved methodology over past research, it would appear that future research could improve upon this current research by gathering data from both fathers and mothers.