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Information to parents participating in The Dynamics of Family Conflict Study

As a participant in The Dynamics of Family Conflict Study, you contribute to increased knowledge about how family conditions and dynamics are related to children's development and well-being.

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As a participant in The Dynamics of Family Conflict Study, you contribute to increased knowledge about how family conditions and dynamics are related to children's development and well-being.


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As a participant in The Dynamics of Family Conflict Study, you help us generate knowledge that can help provide parents and others with

  • better advice on how parents can take care of their children's needs as families go through difficult times
  • better help when parents experience conflicts and marital breakdown
  • better advice on how children can be heard in matters that concern them
  • better advice on custody arrangements for children

Who participate in the study?

Around 2800 families are participating in the study. In all participating families, parents had at least one common child aged 0-15 years when they were invited to participate. We especially want to find out more about children’s and parents’ well-being in families going through a difficult period and in families where parents have to move apart or already live apart.

Therefore, a large group of families who were in contact with the family welfare services were invited to participate; both families where parents had attended compulsory mediation, families where parents had lived apart for a while and families where the parents lived together.

What does it involve to participate?

  • Mothers, fathers and children over the age of 12 fill in an online questionnaire
  • Children between the ages of 7 and 11 are interviewed by trained interviewers
  • For children aged 0-6 years, we ask kindergarten or school teacher to fill in a questionnaire about the child

In the autumn of 2019, we contacted all participants again. Everyone is contacted about 18 months after you first participated, and participation in the second round is the same as when you last participated - filling out a questionnaire, and that your children can be interviewed if they are between 8 to 11 years old.

In order to find out more about how the families are doing over time, it will also be relevant to link the information from the questionnaires with data from registers such as the Norwegian Patient Register, the Prescription Database and Statistics Norway.

What questions do we ask in the survey?

For both parents and children, the questions are about their well-being, everyday life, interactions and relations in the family.

Parents are asked about:

  • his/her family background
  • conflicts and cooperation between parents
  • the relationship with their children
  • own well-being, mental health and behavior
  • children's well-being, mental health and behavior

A few families who have participated in mediation were interviewed in more detail about how parents and children experienced the mediation (qualitative in-depth interviews). These families are also contacted for the same type of participation in the second round of the study.

The children's questionnaires are about:

  • well-being, emotions and reactions children may have (e.g., whether they are often scared, sad or happy and about friendships with peers)
  • their everyday life (e.g., how they feel at school and if they have someone to talk to if they find something difficult)
  • the relationship with their parents (e.g., the degree of support from the parents, if they like to tell things to the parents and if they often argue with the parents)
  • conflicts between parents (e.g., how often they experience that the parents argue or disagree and how they react to their parents’ conflicts)

The questions for children and adolescents are adapted to the age group, and they can skip questions they do not want to answer.

Questions for kindergarten and school teachers

Kindergarten and school teachers are asked about the child's well-being and adjustment in social contexts. They are also asked about the child's behavior, and about the child’s social and emotional development.