and Teacher-Reported Problems of Children in Divorced Chinese
far lower than in western countries, divorce rates in Mainland
China are rising rapidly. To assess possible associations between
divorce and children's problems, a team of Chinese and Japanese
researchers used CBCL/4-18 and TRF data from a stratified random
sample of 4,862 Chinese children (Liu et al., 2000).
Children of divorced parents were demographically matched to
control children from nondivorced families. After adjusting
for differences in family income, Liu et al. found that
children from divorced families scored significantly higher
than control children on all CBCL problem scales and on TRF
Social Problems, Attention Problems, and Total Problems scales.
In addition, odds ratios showed that significantly more children
from divorced families than control children scored above the
Chinese clinical cutpoint on the TRF Attention Problems scale.
Parents' ratings may have shown more pervasive differences between
the two groups of children because stresses in the home were
more intertwined with parent than teacher reports. Nevertheless,
the significantly elevated proportion of children from divorced
families scoring above the cutpoint on the TRF Attention Problems
scale, as well as their higher mean scores on the TRF Attention
Problems, Social Problems, and Total Problems scales, indicated
that important differences in problems were seen by teachers
as well as by parents. Although Liu et al. pointed out
that no causal link could be established from their cross-sectional
data, they concluded that public health officials and clinicians
need to attend to the potential problems of children in divorced
families even in Chinese culture, where divorce rates are low.
Reference: Liu, X., Guo, C., Okawa, M., Zhai,
J., Li, Y., Uchiyama, M., Neiderhiser, J.M., & Kurita, H.
(2000). Behavioral and emotional problems in Chinese children
of divorced parents. Journal of the American Academy of Child
& Adolescent Psychiatry, 39, 896-903.