Responding to concerns about a study of infant overnight care postseparation, with comments on consensus: Reply to Warshak (2014)

McIntosh, Jennifer E., Smyth, Bruce M. and Kelaher, Margaret A. 2015, Responding to concerns about a study of infant overnight care postseparation, with comments on consensus: Reply to Warshak (2014), Psychology, public policy, and law, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 111-119, doi: 10.1037/h0101018.

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Title Responding to concerns about a study of infant overnight care postseparation, with comments on consensus: Reply to Warshak (2014)
Author(s) McIntosh, Jennifer E.ORCID iD for McIntosh, Jennifer E. orcid.org/0000-0003-4709-5003
Smyth, Bruce M.
Kelaher, Margaret A.
Journal name Psychology, public policy, and law
Volume number 21
Issue number 1
Start page 111
End page 119
Total pages 9
Publisher American Psychological Association
Place of publication Washington, DC
Publication date 2015-01-01
ISSN 1076-8971
Keyword(s) parental separation
infants
young children
attachment
shared parenting
Summary © 2015 American Psychological Association. Richard Warshak (2014) published a "consensus report" in this journal (Vol. 20, No. 1) documenting a policy position on infants and overnight care following parental separation. He asserts that "[t]here is no evidence to support postponing the introduction of regular and frequent involvement, including overnights, of both parents with their babies and toddlers" (p. 60). To support this assertion, Warshak presents a series of detailed concerns about an Australian study the authors conducted, some of which involve serious misrepresentations of our aims, methodology, and findings. In this reply, we clarify the purpose, context, and limitations of our study, and refute one of Warshak's central theses: that our study's design and results favor primary maternal care of young children and discourage overnights and shared parenting for fathers. We appraise the Warshak article, and consider whether other approaches to consensus statements and to policy dialogue might better serve families involved in the family law system, particularly when emotive debates such as the overnight care of young children cannot yet be resolved by science.
Language eng
DOI 10.1037/h0101018
Field of Research 1605 Policy And Administration
1701 Psychology
1801 Law
170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, American Psychological Association
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072182

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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