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Journal ArticleDOI

Parenting in Post-Divorce Estonian Families: A Qualitative Study:

Leeni Hansson1
25 Feb 2010-Sociological Research Online (SAGE PublicationsSage UK: London, England)-Vol. 15, Iss: 1, pp 1-10
TL;DR: In Estonia, taking care of children is considered to be mainly mother's task and children's living arrangeme... as mentioned in this paper, and children are assumed to be the responsibility of mothers.
Abstract: Estonia is a society characterised by persistence of traditional gender role attitudes. Accordingly, taking care of children is considered to be mainly mother's task and children's living arrangeme...

Summary (2 min read)

Introduction

  • 1 Population surveys carried out in the last decades have revealed that family and children are very highly valued by the Estonian people (Narusk et al., 1999).
  • In the mid-1990s the crude divorce rate in Estonia (5.2) was the highest in Europe and the number of divorces in relation to the number of marriages for the same year was over 100 per cent (Kutsar & Tiit, 2000).
  • The family law act also states that children of divorced parents have the right to close relationships with both parents.
  • 3 Under the Soviet regime, the dual earner family became the dominant family model in Estonia (Narusk, 1992).

Theoretical framework

  • In the majority of European countries the last decades of the 20th century were marked by significant changes in family models as well as in gender relations.
  • When it comes to dependent children, there seems to be a shared agreement across cultures that in the family reorganisation process parents should make their choices according to children's best interest.
  • There are personal preferences, cultural norms and social expectations that not always match the actual situation in the post-divorce families.
  • Similar results were obtained also in the studies carried out in Sweden (Eriksson, 2008) and in Finland (May, 2005).
  • In her studies on the standards of motherhood and fatherhood in Soviet Estonia Anu Narusk (1992) came to the conclusion that like in Russia, in Estonia parental relationships were built on a traditional family model with workoriented father and home-oriented (although employed) mother.

The study

  • The goal of the study was to shed some light on the post-divorce parenting issues in Estonia, and to understand how cultural norms and traditions affect both divorced mothers expectations concerning nonresident fathers' roles as well as their own decisions and behaviour.
  • The general interview guide approach (Patton, 1990) was used, i.e. a set of issues to be explored in the interviews were specified in outline form, and the interviewers could decide the order and exact wording of questions in the course of each particular case.
  • Involvement of teachers in finding potential interviewees was justified because the teachers were well informed about the family background of their pupils and marital status of their pupils' parents.
  • In the article I am analyzing the transcripts of the interviews with divorced mothers.
  • All the interviewees lived in the capital city and they were ethnic Estonians.

Findings

  • The interviewees usually started with accounts describing the circumstances under which they had got married.
  • The spouses who have decided to divorce may choose between divorce court or simplified divorce proceedings.
  • It was characteristic of a cooperative parenting case that contacts between divorced parents were frequent, and nonresident father not only supported his children financially and spent time with them, but he also took part in the decision making concerning children, their education, hobbies, etc.

Distant fathers

  • The cases where divorced parents had managed to maintain normal communication and nonresident father was involved with his children, the majority of interviews presented divorce histories, which were characterized by loosened or even missing father-child(ren) contacts.
  • The interviews revealed that by some of the divorced mothers, who had established a new permanent relationship, the former husband, even when interested in his children, was converted into a distant father.
  • And as to his support, it's not that much after all.
  • Thus, by the interviewed mothers the image of a good nonresident father was mostly constructed in relation to economic support, and not to involvement with children.

Sole parenting

  • 22 The third group of the post-divorce parenting cases (three cases) were defined as sole parenting characterized by no paternal involvement.
  • But I wouldn't prohibit him seeing his children, not that.
  • I know that it's very often done that way.
  • There was also another reason mentioned in the interviews explaining why divorced mothers did not use their legal rights to sue for child support.
  • In one of the sole parenting cases the interviewee told us how the nonresident father had tried to reestablish contacts with his daughter, but instead of facilitating contacts the interviewee had tried to impede father's involvement.

Conclusion

  • The present study was focused on two main research questions: first, how the parenting issues were arranged in post-divorce families, and second, how prevailing cultural norms and attitudes affected divorced mothers' expectations concerning nonresident fathers' involvement with their children.
  • Interviewed mothers' expectations concerning nonresident fathers' responsibilities and involvement with their children were rather modest.
  • And second, the findings of their study were consistent with the findings of previous studies (e.g. Furstenberg, 1990; Manning & Smock, 1999; Amato et al., 2009) that a new permanent partner and new coresident children reduce frequency and strength of father-child contacts.
  • In the present study, the interviewed mothers shared traditional gendered expectations both in parenting practices following divorce as well as in parental roles in general.
  • The limitation of the present study was its small sample size, as a small-scale study cannot be anything than illuminative.

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Parenting in Post-Divorce Estonian Families: A Qualitative Study
by Leeni Hansson
Institute of International and Social Studies at Tallinn University, Estonia
Sociological Research Online 15(1)1
<http://www.socresonline.org.uk/15/1/1.html>
doi:10.5153/sro.2074
Received: 8 Oct 2008 Accepted: 12 Dec 2009 Published: 28 Feb 2010
Abstract
Estonia is a society characterised by persistence of traditional gender role attitudes. Accordingly, taking
care of children is considered to be mainly mother's task and children's living arrangements following
divorce are usually solved in the most traditional way - children stay with their mother.
Based on qualitative interviews with divorced mothers the study focused on the attitudes of mothers
towards fathers' involvement in parenting following divorce. It was possible to differentiate between three
post-divorce parenting patterns: (1) cooperative parenting with nonresident father involved with his children,
(2) distant parenting characterized by loose contacts between children and nonresident father, and (3) sole
parenting without any paternal involvement or financial support. The interviewees basically agreed that
shared parental responsibilities would be the ideal form of post-divorce parenting but in practice their
expectations concerning father's involvement were rather modest. The interviewees mostly approved
prevailing in Estonia normative gendered parental role obligations with mother as the primary parent who
had to take main responsibility for children both in the marriage as well as in the post-divorce period.
Keywords: Divorce; Parenting Patterns; Traditional Gender Roles; Qualitative
Study; Estonia
Introduction
1.1 Population surveys carried out in the last decades have revealed that family and children are very
highly valued by the Estonian people (Narusk et al., 1999). At the same time both ofcial statistics as well
as population surveys demonstrate that the dominance of the traditional marriage based family has
decreased in Estonia, whereas the rate of non-marital cohabitation has increased (Hansson, 2000).
Furthermore, according to the Eurostat data (Population Statistics, 2006), Estonians seem to have a higher
propensity to divorce than do people in the majority of EU countries. In the mid-1990s the crude divorce
rate in Estonia (5.2) was the highest in Europe and the number of divorces in relation to the number of
marriages for the same year was over 100 per cent (Kutsar & Tiit, 2000). In the next decade the divorce
rate decreased slowly but still remained higher than the average in Europe. In 2004, the average crude
divorce rate of the 25 EU countries was 2.1 and that of Estonia ? 3.1. Only in two EU countries ? Czech
Republic and Lithuania ? the crude divorce rate was a bit higher (3.2) than in Estonia (for more detail, see
Population Statistics, 2006). In the Estonian context the decrease in divorce rate does not mean higher
union stability as divorce statistics do not account for dissolution of cohabiting unions. In 2004, 25 per cent
of Estonian children aged 0-14 living in couple families had unmarried parents, the proportion being the
highest among the OECD countries (OECD Family Database, 2006). The frequency of parental separation
and divorce means that many children have father, who lives in a different household. According to the
OECD family database (ibid.), in 2007, 67 per cent of Estonian children younger than 15 years lived with
both their mother and father, 25 per cent lived with single mother and one per cent with single father.
1.2 After restoration of independent statehood in 1991, Estonia had to build a new legislative framework for
family policies. Like the majority of new legal acts, Estonian family law followed the principles of the
corresponding acts of the European Union. Accordingly, today both parents have equal rights and
responsibilities with respect to their children regardless of with whom the children reside (Family Law Act,
1994). The family law act also states that children of divorced parents have the right to close relationships
with both parents. Furthermore, the parent with whom the children reside cannot restrict the other parent's
contacts with them. The population surveys carried out in Estonia in the last decades have revealed that
the situation in separated and divorced families is not that simple, and for many Estonian children parents'
divorce results in significant reduction of contacts with their father (Hansson, 2007).
1.3 Under the Soviet regime, the dual earner family became the dominant family model in Estonia (Narusk,
1992). In spite of the fact that the majority of women with pre-school-age children were actively employed,

traditional attitudes towards gender roles were still prevailing both in the public as well as in the private
sphere (Narusk, 1997; Kurvinen, 2008). In the family, parental roles were viewed in traditional terms, i.e.
taking care of children and domestic tasks were mother's responsibilities, whereas father's role was that of
the main economic provider (Narusk & Hansson, 1999).
1.4 Various data sources, e.g. nationally representative surveys "Estonia '98: Work, Family and Leisure"
and "Estonia 2003: Work, Family and Leisure" (for more detail, see Hansson 2007) indicate that it is
common practice in Estonia for divorced and separated parents to follow traditional parenting patterns. In
practical terms it means that after parents' divorce children stay with their mother, and nonresident father's
obligation is to pay child support. However, the population survey "Estonia 2003" revealed, that only 40 per
cent of divorced mothers were financially supported by nonresident father (Hansson, 2007). Another
characteristic feature of post-divorce Estonian families was fathers' reduced involvement in their children's
life. The above mentioned population survey revealed that 38 per cent of divorced mothers and 36 per cent
of children with divorced parents had no contacts with nonresident fathers, whereas 24 per cent of children
met their fathers only once or twice a year (ibid.). Is disengagement of ties with nonresident parents and
possible alienation unavoidable, or are there any possibilities to maintain contacts with both biological
parents also in the post-divorce period? This is the question often posed by researchers dealing with the
issues of children from divorced families.
Theoretical framework
2.1 In the majority of European countries the last decades of the 20th century were marked by significant
changes in family models as well as in gender relations. Although there are country specic differences
caused mainly by cultural and religious norms as well as by differences in legislation, divorce rates are
growing practically everywhere. Family sociologists link changes in the family behaviour and increase in
the divorce rates mostly to the processes of individualization and secularization related to post modernism,
to growth of female employment and development in gender equality (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 1995;
Beck-Gernsheim, 2002; Kalmijn & Poortman, 2006). Increasingly common combination of gainful
employment and motherhood has led to women's increasing expectation to more equal share of parental
obligations (Narusk & Kandolin, 1997; Greenstein, 2000; Skevik, 2006). On the other hand, gainful
employment has made married women economically less dependent on their husband's income and
economic independence in turn has made it easier to dissolve an unsatisfactory marriage (Furstenberg,
1990; Kalmijn & Poortman, 2006).
2.2 Empirical studies on the changes in the cultural images of parenthood have presented conflicting
results. Several studies have revealed that due to increasing participation of women in the labour force
cultural images of women's roles have changed and they are no longer so strictly linked with domestic
sphere and motherhood (Edwards et al., 2005). There are also studies that point to a notable cultural shift
in the images of fatherhood and to the emergence of so-called "new fathers", who have taken an egalitarian
and more involved role in relation to children and family life (Gregory & Milner, 2008; Wall & Arnold, 2007;
Toming, 2007; Skevik, 2006). However, a number of studies suggest the opposite ? that due to
stereotypical cultural images traditional understandings of motherhood and fatherhood are still largely
prevailing actively employed mothers performing a disproportionate share of childcare, and fathers being
'secondary parents' with limited role in child care practices (Hochschild 1989; Narusk, 1992; Wall & Arnold,
2007).
2.3 Marital separation breaks the routine of family life and changes parenting practices. While till the 1970s
divorce was mostly dealt with as family disorganisation that resulted in broken ties between family
members, then in the 1990s rather as family reorganisation (Wang & Amato, 2000; Skevik, 2006). In the
light of family disorganisation approach fathers, who no longer reside with their children, retreat from
parental responsibilities (Furstenberg, 1990). Family reorganisation approach in turn states that divorced
parents, who are no longer joined by a shared residence, remain connected through coparental obligations
and parent-child relationships (Markham et al., 2007). When it comes to dependent children, there seems
to be a shared agreement across cultures that in the family reorganisation process parents should make
their choices according to children's best interest. But how are children's best interest defined, is not quite
clear. Is it better for a child to stay with one parent, usually the mother, or is it better to commute between
"everyday parent", and "weekend parent" (Beck-Gernsheim, 2002)? There are personal preferences,
cultural norms and social expectations that not always match the actual situation in the post-divorce
families.
2.4 Anne Skevik (2006) has studied the patterns of contacts between nonresident fathers and their children
in Norway. Like other Nordic countries, Norway is characterized by high female employment and legislation
that facilitates fathers' involvement with their children. However, the study revealed that post-divorce
parenting patterns are still quite traditional in Norway ? following divorce women mostly become sole
parents and men nonresident fathers. Skevik suggests that traditional arrangements are outcomes of
parents' own choices "shaped by strongly held notions of 'normality' and 'good parenting' " (Skevik, 2006,
117). Similar results were obtained also in the studies carried out in Sweden (Eriksson, 2008) and in
Finland (May, 2005).
2.5 Several family researchers have given mother a special role in the post-divorce parenting arrangement
as mother's attitudes towards the parenting competence of her former husband play significant role in
nonresident father's involvement with his children in the post-divorce period (Madden-Derdich & Leonard,
2000; Fagan & Barnett, 2003; Markham et al., 2007). Furthermore, the studies have also revealed that in
post-divorce families mother may serve as a gatekeeper, i.e. using her position of residential parent mother
can control the level of involvement that nonresident father has in his children's life (Fagan & Barnett,
2003).
2.6 The above mentioned studies were based on data gathered in the advanced western countries. Jennifer
Utrata (2008) has carried out a qualitative study on nonresident fathers in post-Soviet Russia. Her study
revealed that although the old Soviet standards of fatherhood limited to economic provision are no longer
as dominant as they were during the Soviet period, and the ideals of involved fatherhood are spreading
among younger generation, Russian nonresident fathers are still minimally involved with their children
(Utrata, 2008).

2.7 In Estonia the situation under the Soviet regime was at large similar to that in Russia. In her studies on
the standards of motherhood and fatherhood in Soviet Estonia Anu Narusk (1992) came to the conclusion
that like in Russia, in Estonia parental relationships were built on a traditional family model with work-
oriented father and home-oriented (although employed) mother. Narusk (ibid.) concluded that during the
Soviet period Estonian mothers were seen as having main responsibility for bringing up children whereas
fathers were treated as secondary parents whose role in the family life and childrearing was
underestimated.
2.8 Traditional attitudes towards parental roles were rather strong and the situation did not change much
after Estonia regained independence in 1991. According to Narusk and Kandolin (1997), traditional gender
roles and underestimation of father's role in the family found even stronger support in the mid-1990s. The
traditional notion of 'normality' and 'good parenting' were held both by Estonian men as well as by Estonian
women. Gender equality issues in parenting and re-evaluation of 'male' and 'female' roles did not befit the
time. In the 1990s just the opposite happened ? actively employed women did everything to fit to the
traditional 'female' role of a perfect home-maker and good mother (ibid.). Some latest studies (e.g. see
Toming 2007; Pajumets, 2007) have revealed that step-by-step the attitudes are changing and in young
Estonian families with minor children parents are redefining the 'male' and 'female' parenting roles.
Unfortunately we cannot see any major changes in post-divorce families where the division of gender roles
has remained traditional. In Estonia it has been common that divorced parents decide between themselves
with whom the children should live and how often the nonresident parent should meet his children. As it
was mentioned, the existing survey data indicate that it is quite characteristic of Estonian nonresident
fathers that they are not involved with their children and many of them do not support their children
nancially (Hansson, 2007).
The study
3.1 The goal of the study was to shed some light on the post-divorce parenting issues in Estonia, and to
understand how cultural norms and traditions affect both divorced mothers expectations concerning
nonresident fathers' roles as well as their own decisions and behaviour.
3.2 Data presented in the article was collected in 2000-2001 in the framework of a larger study on post-
divorce parenthood in Estonia. Motivated by an interest in understanding how divorced parents had
arranged post-divorce parenting, especially how nonresident fathers' involvement in their children's life was
perceived by divorced mothers, we interviewed 16 divorcees including two former couples. The general
interview guide approach (Patton, 1990) was used, i.e. a set of issues to be explored in the interviews were
specied in outline form, and the interviewers could decide the order and exact wording of questions in the
course of each particular case.
3.3 Search for participants was carried out in two phases. As our initial aim was to interview divorced
parents who had at least one child under the age of twelve, the female interviewees were approached using
the assistance of teachers of day-care centres and elementary schools in the capital city Tallinn.
Involvement of teachers in nding potential interviewees was justied because the teachers were well
informed about the family background of their pupils and marital status of their pupils' parents. Since
initially our goal was to interview both divorced parents, in the second phase of the study attempts were
made to approach the ex-husbands of the mothers we had interviewed in the first phase of the study.
However, for a variety of reasons (interviewed mothers did not have contact information concerning ex-
husbands, nonresident fathers refused to be interviewed, etc), only in two cases the post-divorce families
were represented by both parents. The remaining male interviewees were found using the already
established contacts with the teachers, and the snowball method.
3.4 Thus, there were in total 16 interviews with divorcees carried out ? eight interviews with divorced
mothers and eight interviews with divorced fathers. Each interview lasted a maximum of one and a half
hour. The interviews with divorced mothers were conducted by the author in the participant's home in the
absence of children or other household members, except one interview that was conducted in a coffee bar.
The interviews with nonresident fathers were conducted by a male research assistant either in respondent's
home or in the ofce. The interviews were tape recorded and fully transcribed. Names and identifying
details were changed in the transcripts to ensure the confidentiality of the interviewees. The interviews
were conducted and transcribed in Estonian and the transcripts were translated into English for the present
article.
3.5 In the article I am analyzing the transcripts of the interviews with divorced mothers. As one of the
mothers we interviewed had been married and divorced twice, and she had two children ? one from her first
and the other from her second marriage ? the sample of the present study consists of nine different divorce
histories. The age range of the interviewees was from 28 to 41 years, and the interviewees had at least one
child under the age of twelve living in the household. Four interviewees had established new permanent
partnerships but non of them were formally remarried. All the interviewees lived in the capital city and they
were ethnic Estonians. The interviewees had secondary or higher educational level, they were actively
employed and worked fulltime. Profile of the interviewees is presented in Table 1.
3.6 In analyzing the interview data, the interviews were first coded and analysed case by case to identify
the themes and issues arising from the divorced mothers' accounts about the parenting issues and
paternal involvement in the post-divorce period. In the next stage, the transcripts were reviewed to
determine possible similarities among the cases. Based on the analysis, the cases were grouped into
broader analytical categories. As the sample of the study was rather small ? nine divorce histories ? the
results cannot be generalized to the whole population of Estonia.
Findings
Pathways leading to post-divorce parenthood
4.1 The divorced mothers selected for the study were informed that although the interviews touched their
former marriage, the main focus of the study was on parenting issues in the post divorce period. The

interviewees were encouraged to tell their stories with a general start-up question, "How long had you been
married before you decided to divorce?" Although the idea of the question was not to encourage divorced
mothers to comment on their former marriage or problems that had inflicted divorce, the interviewees
usually started with accounts describing the circumstances under which they had got married. In most
cases the accounts given by the interviewees in response to the start-up question reflected the role that
the circumstances had played in the breakup of marriage as well as in parenting practices following
divorce.
4.2 Earlier studies have revealed that people who marry very young or after a short period of knowing each
other are more likely to divorce (Kalmijn & Poortman, 2006; Amato et al., 2009). Population statistics
demonstrate that there is a characteristic feature of family formation in Estonia ? transition to parenthood
takes place in relatively younger age than it is characteristic of the majority of European countries (Katus
et al., 2007). Among the interviewees, there were several women who admitted that they had married too
young. The decision to marry had often proceeded from unplanned pregnancy and their parents' negative
attitudes towards extramarital childbirths. Several divorced mothers we interviewed presented examples of
strong cultural norms and social pressure. For example, one interviewee described her parents' and
grandparents' reactions when they had learned about her extramarital pregnancy:
Wedding ? Of course they [relatives] wanted to get a wedding party. I was the one who told
them that I was not going to church with my big tummy ? /---/ At rst they were very
disappointed and all. My godmother, she's ? 81 now, it was a terrible shock for her ? that 'Oh
god, how could such a thing happen in our family' ?
4.3 Several interviews revealed that being young parents-to-be the interviewees would have been ready to
continue as cohabiting couples. However, they were talked over by their parents and made to convert
cohabiting relationship into ofcial marriage. One of the interviewees, who had got married being a second
year college student, described the situation she and her partner were put into:
As a matter of fact, we were not so very eager to get married, it was more like ? dictated by
our parents. /---/ They [parents] were pushing things on ? that we have to get married for the
sake of the baby, and so on ? /---/ If they had given us more time to think it over, the
decision might have been different. One is not supposed to get married like that of course,
it's quite clear.
4.4 The interviewees who had married very young admitted that they had not been ready for marriage, and
totally unprepared for parental obligations. Furthermore, young spouses, who were continuing their studies,
had usually no financial resources to obtain a home of their own. Accordingly, they had to stay at their
parents' or in-laws' place. The interviewees stressed that their parents and in-laws were nice and
understanding people and coresidence had helped them to reduce expenditures on housing and cut child
care costs. On the other hand, the interviews also revealed that in such a situation young parents could
not take full responsibility of the family and children, or as one of the interviewees put it ? they did not feel
like being parents but rather like 'acting' parental roles. The situation can best be illustrated in the following
extract:
There was my mother ? we were still living at my parents' place ? and there was my
husband's mother, and also my godmother ? You see, I had so many advisors and baby-
sitters that ? Sometimes I even thought that I would be glad if I were allowed to spend a few
minutes with my baby.
4.5 The extract gives us a useful clue to understanding traditional gendered nature of parenting practices
still characteristic of Estonian families. All the helping hands at babysitting mentioned by the interviewee
were female family members ? even the father of the baby was upstaged and not mentioned.
Parenting issues in post-divorce families
4.6 Estonian divorce legislation is quite liberal, and it is not difficult to divorce a marriage. The spouses
who have decided to divorce may choose between divorce court or simplified divorce proceedings.
Simplified proceedings mean that the spouses have to le a joint written application stating that they want
to divorce their marriage, sign a statement that there are no disputes over property, children's living
arrangements or support payments, and after a waiting period of a month the marriage can be divorced in a
local registry office. Divorce matters are usually brought to court only when there are disputed issues the
spouses cannot agree upon.
4.7 The majority of women we interviewed had preferred to use simplified divorce proceedings, i.e. they
had applied for divorce in a registry ofce. In practical terms it meant that the parents had settled
beforehand the problems related to children's living arrangements and visiting issues, and there was no
disagreement about support payments. In her words, an interviewee described her decision:
It was quite easy [to get a divorce]? we did not go to court ? there was nothing like that. We
did not have any property to quarrel about ? the house we were living in, it was not ours ?
there was nothing to split. The child's father said that he would pay for his schooling, and that
was all. Due to that I did not apply for any alimony or anything.
4.8 As it was mentioned, in Estonia it is a deeply rooted tradition that in case of divorce children should
stay with their mother. Accordingly, it was not a surprise that the interviewees considered the traditional
post-divorce living arrangements of children fair and normal. In the majority of interviews mother was
positioned as the parent primarily responsible for meeting children's needs both during the marriage as well
as in the post-divorce period. The interviewees stressed that staying with mother served the best interest
of children. Moreover, the interviewees were mostly convinced that divorced fathers were not interested in
sharing parental obligations. The interviewer's question about a theoretical possibility of gendered parenting
roles being reversed, i.e. child custody being granted to father, was by the interviewees sometimes not
even taken seriously. For example, the following response by an interviewee to the interviewer's question
concerning role reversal presented a rather stereotypical gendered image of parenting:

concerning role reversal presented a rather stereotypical gendered image of parenting:
Oh no! [laughs] Have you ever seen a man, who would like to voluntarily raise a kid! If, then
only because of some special circumstances, when something has happened to the mother
or something ... Or to get back at his ex-wife or something like that.
4.9 Thus, the mothers we interviewed mostly supported traditional gendered parenthood images. Role
reversal, i.e. father being given custody rights following divorce was not considered acceptable or normal.
However, although the interviewees were convinced that in the post-divorce period mother should be the
person primarily responsible for the children, father?children contacts were still considered important. For
example, a single mother with two children from two divorced marriages described her understanding of
nonresident father's involvement with his children:
An ideal case? Theoretically, we all know how things should be ? That father should visit his
kids regularly and ? and be interested in ? and take part in raising children in some way. Well,
in some way ? That he'd be a part both in the financial and other ways.
4.10 In the majority of cases the interviewees visualized the role of father in the post-divorce parenting rst
of all in terms of father's traditional role, i.e. that of economic provider. Although theoretically understanding
the importance of nonresident father's involvement with children, several interviewees stressed that in their
particular case the general good ideas of coparenting or father's increased role did not work out. The
accounts by the interviewees provided an overview of different problems associated with the post-divorce
contacts between children and nonresident father, and allowed us to distinguish between three types of
post-divorce parenting practices: cooperative parenting, distant parenting and sole parenting practices.
Post-divorce parenting practices: cooperative parents
4.11 There were three interviews in which the parenting practices following divorce were characterized by
several cooperative parenting elements. Cooperative parenting was defined here as normal communication
between the ex-spouses, shared financial responsibilities and nonresident father's involvement in decision
making.
4.12 It was characteristic of a cooperative parenting case that contacts between divorced parents were
frequent, and nonresident father not only supported his children financially and spent time with them, but
he also took part in the decision making concerning children, their education, hobbies, etc. There were two
characteristic features of the interviewees of cooperative post-divorce parenting cases. First, due to
unplanned pregnancy the interviewees had married very young, and second, they did not mention any
major divorce related quarrels. Furthermore, in these cases both parents seemed to be interested in normal
communication and father-child contacts. One of the mothers we interviewed, who represented a
cooperative post-divorce parenting case, gave the following account for her communication with her ex-
husband, and her ex-husband's contacts with his child:
[We meet]? sometimes more frequently ? sometimes ? there are weeks when we do not
meet each other and there are weeks when we meet every other day? And what are the
mobile phones meant for? When we have to discuss something or talk, we can use a phone.
/---/ He [ex-husband] is still mostly devoted to his business but ? now he can also take a day
off. When we were married, then he couldn't. /---/ Now we have spent some holidays together,
we have been in Lapland, in the Santa Clause places, and we have visited his mother and ?
We have been in Legoland and in Cyprus and ? We have tried to make her [daughter]
understand that she has still got both parents, she has got her Mom and her Dad, they just
happen to live in separate places.
4.13 Among the ex-spouses who followed the pattern of cooperative parenting, there were no special
visiting arrangements, xed schedules or disputes over 'dad time'. The interviews revealed that cooperative
parents tried to do their best to help their children to adjust to new living arrangements as well as possible.
However, the interviews also revealed that although in the cases of cooperative parenting father?children
contacts were frequent; the children had still one home ? at their mother's place. It was not common for
children to sleep over at nonresident father's place, not speaking of staying for a longer period. Father-child
contacts took place at a neutral territory, not at father's home. Interviewed mothers of the cooperative
parenting group seemed to be satised with the situation as it was. They shared the widespread in Estonia
understanding that it was better for a child to have stability in his/her life, i.e. rm ground at mother's place.
Residing at mother's place and a visiting father were considered a better option for a child than commuting
between two homes. In other words, the interviewed mothers' understandings of the best interest of
children were compatible with traditional gendered images of parenthood with mother as the primary parent
and father as a 'helping hand'.
4.14 Previous studies (e.g. Furstenberg, 1990; Manning & Smock, 1999; Amato & Meyers, 2009) have
revealed that if one of the former spouses establishes a new relationship and most certainly if there is a
baby born within the new union, nonresident fathers disengage from their nonresident children and invest in
their new families and new coresident children at the expense of their children from the former marriage.
Particularly noteworthy in the interview cases defined in the present study as cooperative parenting ones
was the fact that neither the divorced mothers we interviewed nor their ex-husbands had remarried. A
mother we interviewed explained her decision not to remarry:
I haven't even thought of that [re-marriage]. I got married when I was very young and ? Now I
can enjoy being who I am and what I am, and doing what I like to ? And as to my daughter ?
she needs both me and her father ? I don't want her to have another shock ? I mean a
stranger in the house, someone who is trying to take her father's place or something ? one
day when she's grown-up may-be I would consider it [remarriage].
4.15 And as put by another interviewee:
When it comes to getting married again, then... that's a complicated issue. It's not only my

Citations
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Journal Article
TL;DR: In Reinventing the Family: In Search of New Lifestyles, Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim argues that uncertainty has arisen since the 1960s and 1970s regarding the family, that is, the definition and boundaries of the family.
Abstract: Reinventing the Family: In Search of New Lifestyles. Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim. Maiden, MA: Blackwell. 2002. 170 pp. ISBN 0-7456-2214-3. $26.95 (paper). In Reinventing the Family, Elisabeth BeckGernsheim focuses on the social, economic, and political changes since the 1970s that continue to shape family configurations today. The author directs her attention primarily to Germany and occasionally to the United Kingdom and the United States. Academics interested in a treatment of the changing family in the United States may feel a bit shortchanged, though the book does address some trends relevant to America. Beck-Gernsheim identifies changes in the family since preindustrial times: the separation of sex and reproduction, female gains in education, the basis of marriage (more on romance and less on economic considerations), higher divorce rates, a decline in the traditional nuclear family, and greater social and legal rights for same-sex couples. The new family forms arising from these trends are explained by the author's theory of individualization. Her perspective essentially argues that traditional relationships have weakened alongside an increase in personal freedom granting greater control over one's life. The author is primarily interested in the consequences of these two forces for the family. In Chapter 1, Beck-Gernsheim argues that uncertainty has arisen since the 1960s and 1970s regarding the family, that is, the definition and boundaries of the family. In her discussion of some examples of this uncertainty, the author acknowledges that the traditional family is one of many different forms throughout history, and that the Industrial Revolution led to the changing basis of the family-from "a working unit to an economic unit" (p. 13). I suspect that the author's individualization perspective informs her assertion that although "external circumstances" were the driving force behind different family configurations in the past, today they are a matter of individual choice. Many family scholars would agree that though individualism is a relevant force today, "external forces" are still responsible for a great many changes in the family. Regarding divorce trends (Chapter 2), the author presents a debate between two opposing viewpoints: Divorce trends indicate both a continuing stability in the family and a major transformation of the family. Although the author presents a sound discussion of the consequences of divorce for all parties concerned, a broader crossnational comparison of social policy on child support and alimony would have been helpful. Her argument on how divorce contributes to stability in the family needs strengthening. In Chapter 3, Beck-Gernsheim discusses the insecurity that comes with individualism and modernity. In light of this growing insecurity, the author suggests that people plan more for the future-cohabitation, premarital counseling, etc. The structures of contemporary life, she argues, "are no longer set by class, religion, and tradition, but rather by the labour market, the welfare state, the educational system, the judicial system, and so on" (p. 44). She argues that contemporary society is based more on achievement than ascription when compared with preindustrial society, but how does this comparison of pre- versus postindustrial society inform us about changes over the past few decades? …

129 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is shown how qualitative researchers can conduct ‘big qual’ analysis while retaining the distinctive order of knowledge about social processes that is the hallmark of rigorous qualitative research, with its integrity of attention to nuanced context and detail.
Abstract: Archival storage of data sets from qualitative studies presents opportunities for combining small-scale data sets for reuse/secondary analysis. In this paper, we outline our approach to combining multiple qualitative data sets and explain why working with a corpus of 'big qual' data is a worthwhile endeavour. We present a new approach that iteratively combines recursive surface thematic mapping and in-depth interpretive work. Our breadth-and-depth method involves a series of steps: (1) surveying archived data sets to create a new assemblage of data; (2) recursive surface thematic mapping in dialogue with (3) preliminary 'test pit' analysis, remapping and repetition of preliminary analysis; and (4) in-depth analysis of the type that is familiar to most qualitative researchers. In so doing, we show how qualitative researchers can conduct 'big qual' analysis while retaining the distinctive order of knowledge about social processes that is the hallmark of rigorous qualitative research, with its integrity of attention to nuanced context and detail.

80 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore ethical and practical issues encountered by UK-based psychologists utilising open qualitative datasets and propose a context-consent meta-framework as a resource to help in the design of studies sharing their data and/or studies using open data.
Abstract: To date, open science, particularly open data, in psychology has focused on quantitative research. This article aims to explore ethical and practical issues encountered by UK-based psychologists utilising open qualitative datasets. Semi-structured telephone interviews with eight qualitative psychologists were explored using a framework analysis. From the findings, we offer a context-consent meta-framework as a resource to help in the design of studies sharing their data and/or studies using open data. We recommend secondary studies conduct archaeologies of context and consent to examine if the data available are suitable for their research questions. This research is the first we know of in the study of “doing” (or not doing) open science, which could be repeated to develop a longitudinal picture or complemented with additional approaches, such as observational studies of how context and consent are negotiated in preregistered studies and open data.

16 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2018
TL;DR: In this paper, a discussion of the USA-commissioned Belmont report (1979) is presented, which offers guidelines for the practice of ethics in biomedical and behavioral research, which have been highly influential in the way in which Institutional Review Boards (or ethics review committees) worldwide review/regulate the work of researchers proposing to conduct any kind of research involving human participants.
Abstract: In this chapter I develop further my references to responsible social research practice which I have introduced in earlier chapters and I explore in more depth various aspects hereof. I link this to a discussion of the USA-commissioned Belmont report (1979). This report offers guidelines for the practice of ethics in biomedical and behavioral research, which have been highly influential in the way in which Institutional Review Boards (or ethics review committees) worldwide review/regulate the work of researchers proposing to conduct any kind of research involving human participants. The Belmont research delineates three principles and translates these into suggested applications in the realm of research ethics. The principles are “respect for persons”, “beneficence”, and “justice”. In this chapter—with reference to various authors’ engagement with this report and with reference to the illustrations which I extrapolate from Chaps. 2 to 6—I suggest ways in which these principles can be reconfigured. The reconfigurations are an attempt to make provision for alternative understandings (other than those encapsulated in the Belmont report) of how social research can be responsibly exercised. I also offer some thoughts on how Institutional Review Boards can be geared to operate with flexibility when reviewing proposed research projects.

1 citations

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TL;DR: The Nature of Qualitative Inquiry Theoretical Orientations Particularly Appropriate Qualitative Applications as mentioned in this paper, and Qualitative Interviewing: Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis and interpretation.
Abstract: PART ONE: CONCEPTUAL ISSUES IN THE USE OF QUALITATIVE METHODS The Nature of Qualitative Inquiry Strategic Themes in Qualitative Methods Variety in Qualitative Inquiry Theoretical Orientations Particularly Appropriate Qualitative Applications PART TWO: QUALITATIVE DESIGNS AND DATA COLLECTION Designing Qualitative Studies Fieldwork Strategies and Observation Methods Qualitative Interviewing PART THREE: ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION, AND REPORTING Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation Enhancing the Quality and Credibility of Qualitative Analysis

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"Parenting in Post-Divorce Estonian ..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...The general interview guide approach (Patton, 1990) was used, i.e. a set of issues to be explored in the interviews were specified in outline form, and the interviewers could decide the order and exact wording of questions in the course of each particular case....

    [...]

Journal Article
TL;DR: The Nature of Qualitative Inquiry Theoretical Orientations Particularly Appropriate Qualitative Applications as mentioned in this paper, and Qualitative Interviewing: Qualitative Analysis and Interpretation Enhancing the quality and credibility of qualitative analysis and interpretation.

22,714 citations

Book
01 Jan 1989
TL;DR: Hochschild found that men share housework equally with their wives in only twenty percent of dual-career families as mentioned in this paper and that women tend to suffer from chronic exhaustion, low sex drive, and more frequent illness as a result.
Abstract: In this landmark study, sociologist Arlie Hochschild takes us into the homes of two-career parents to observe what really goes on at the end of the "work day" Overwhelmingly, she discovers, it's the working mother who takes on the second shift Hochschild finds that men share housework equally with their wives in only twenty percent of dual-career families While many women accept this inequity in order to keep peace, they tend to suffer from chronic exhaustion, low sex drive, and more frequent illness as a result The ultimate cost is the forfeited health and happiness of both partners, and often the survival of the marriage itself

2,699 citations


"Parenting in Post-Divorce Estonian ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…traditional understandings of motherhood and fatherhood are still largely prevailing actively employed mothers performing a disproportionate share of childcare, and fathers being 'secondary parents' with limited role in child care practices (Hochschild 1989; Narusk, 1992; Wall & Arnold, 2007)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article summarized and organized the empirical literature on the consequences of divorce for adults and children, and drew on research in the 1990s to answer five questions: How do individuals from married and divorced families differ in well-being? Do these differences reflect a temporary crisis to which most people gradually adapt or stable life strains that persist more or less indefinitely? What factors mediate the effects of divorce on individual adjustment? And finally, what are the moderators (protective factors) that account for individual variability in adjustment to divorce?
Abstract: I use a divorce-stress-adjustment perspective to summarize and organize the empirical literature on the consequences of divorce for adults and children. My review draws on research in the 1990s to answer five questions: How do individuals from married and divorced families differ in well-being? Are these differences due to divorce or to selection? Do these differences reflect a temporary crisis to which most people gradually adapt or stable life strains that persist more or less indefinitely? What factors mediate the effects of divorce on individual adjustment? And finally, what are the moderators (protective factors) that account for individual variability in adjustment to divorce? In general, the accumulated research suggests that marital dissolution has the potential to create considerable turmoil in people's lives. But people vary greatly in their reactions. Divorce benefits some individuals, leads others to experience temporary decrements in well-being, and forces others on a downward trajectory from which they might never recover fully. Understanding the contingencies under which divorce leads to these diverse outcomes is a priority for future research.

2,560 citations


"Parenting in Post-Divorce Estonian ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...While till the 1970s divorce was mostly dealt with as family disorganisation that resulted in broken ties between family members, then in the 1990s rather as family reorganisation (Wang & Amato, 2000; Skevik, 2006)....

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 1995
TL;DR: In this article, the authors discuss Free Love, Free Divorce and All For Love of a Child: Love, Our Secular Religion, Love or Freedom, Love to Liaison and Eve's Late Apple.
Abstract: Introduction. 1. Love or Freedom. 2. From Love to Liaison. 3. Free Love, Free Divorce. 4. All For Love of a Child. 5. Eve's Late Apple. 6. Love, Our Secular Religion. Notes. Bibliography. Index.

1,426 citations


"Parenting in Post-Divorce Estonian ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…in the family behaviour and increase in the divorce rates mostly to the processes of individualization and secularization related to post modernism, to growth of female employment and development in gender equality (Beck & Beck-Gernsheim, 1995; Beck-Gernsheim, 2002; Kalmijn & Poortman, 2006)....

    [...]

Frequently Asked Questions (2)
Q1. What have the authors contributed in "Parenting in post-divorce estonian families: a qualitative study" ?

Based on qualitative interviews with divorced mothers the study focused on the attitudes of mothers towards fathers ' involvement in parenting following divorce. 

Accordingly, some future research is needed to examine the reasons and motivations underlying divorced mothers ' decisions that support traditional gendered parental roles rather than facilitate fathers ' involvement with their children.