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(Re)doing parent-child relationships in dual residence arrangements: Swedish children’s narratives about changing relations post-separation

Journal article
Authors Rakel Berman
Published in Zeitschrift für Familienforschung - Journal of Family Research
Volume 2015
Issue 10
Pages 123-140
ISSN 1437-2940
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 123-140
Language en
Keywords dual residence, shared residence, joint physical custody, shared care, post-divorce childhood, divorce, doing family
Subject categories Family research


This article explores children’s experiences about growing up in dual residence arrangements, i.e. post-separation arrangements where children share their time equally between their parents. It focuses on children’s narratives of re-doing family relationships after separation. Guided by a social constructionist approach, the analysis is based on in-depth and reflexive in- terviews with nineteen co-parented children aged 9-17. The ways in which children and parents shape everyday life through interaction and negotiations in each family-unit, are illuminated by the concept of doing family. Many children point out how they get more attention and more time on their own with each parent. Results demonstrate that many participants perceive the relationships with their parents differently after separation, corresponding to a novel reflexivity concerning the family as well as new ways of positioning themselves. Over time, the break-up of the nuclear family, however difficult, brings an opportunity for children to reflect on family ties in a new way. In so doing, it becomes possible to question relationships as well as to build closer and more profound connections with family members.

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