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Parental separation and overnight care of young children, part I: consensus through theoretical and empirical integration
journal contributionposted on 2014-04-01, 00:00 authored by M K Pruett, Jennifer McintoshJennifer Mcintosh, J B Kelly
The AFCC Think Tank on Research, Policy, Practice, and Shared Parenting was convened in response to an identified need for a progression of thinking in the family law field, removed from the current polarizing debates surrounding the postseparation care of infants and very young children. We share this goal as our research and commentaries have been centrally implicated in the current controversies. Our collaboration over this empirical paper and its clinical counterpart endorses the need for higher-order thinking, away from dichotomous arguments, to more inclusive solutions grounded in an integrated psycho-developmental perspective. We first critically appraise the theoretical and empirical origins of current controversies relevant to attachment and parental involvement research. We then describe how attachment and parental involvement contribute complementary perspectives that, taken together, provide a sound basis from which to understand the needs of very young children in separated families. As a companion piece, Part II offers a collective view of a way forward for decision making about overnights for infants and young children, toward the integration of theoretical and empirical with clinical wisdom.