The relationships between adults and their separated parents

Émilie Vivas, division Enquêtes et études démographiques, Insee

Separated blue-collar and white-collar workers have less frequent contact with their eldest children than fathers from more comfortable backgrounds. 46% of eldest children whose father is a blue-collar worker or unskilled white-collar worker never see their father, compared with 13% of children of executives. When the parental couple breaks up, the eldest children also live further away from their parents: the proportion of children of unskilled blue-collar workers living more than two hours journey from their father doubles. While distance is a handicap for all fathers, blue-collar and white-collar workers have greater difficulty overcoming this obstacle. Furthermore, half of eldest children from a broken home stopped living under the same roof as their father before their eighteenth birthday; relationships are thus not as close. However, when separated parents form a couple with a new partner, this only slightly diminishes the frequency with which children have contact with the father and has no influence at all on the relationship with the mother.

Insee Première
No 1196
Paru le : 20/06/2008