A long-term study of U.S. teenagers has found that while divorce did not seem to alter the closeness between children and their mothers it did lead to an increased sense of separation between children and their fathers. The children were interviewed at the beginning and end of a five-year period and the results from those whose parents stayed married were compared to the results from those whose parents divorced over the course of the study. All the children became less close to their parents as a natural part of adolescence but the proportion of children who reported a consistently close relationship with their father was much higher among those with still-married parents than among those with divorced parents. However, there was no significant difference in the change in closeness to mothers reported by youths in either group. Those children who maintained a close relationship with their father had a stronger bond with their mothers as well and a greater sense of overall well-being.
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