Lying With Statistics Yet Again

LYING WITH STATISTICS YET AGAIN….When parents divorce and one parent gets primary custody of the kids, what happens if that parent then moves out of town, thus cutting the children off from their other parent? Well, according to a new study, they are “significantly less well off on many child mental and physical health measures compared to those children whose parents don?t relocate after divorce.”

Sounds bad, doesn’t it? But there’s a teensy weensy little detail that the researchers have inexplicably left out of this summary. Ampersand has the scoop.

And now that you’re back, can I register a small complaint with Ampersand’s closing comment? He says:

What’s galling is, this study will be brought into court and used by father’s-righters to argue that non-custodial dads should be able to prevent custodial moms from moving, “for the good of the child.” In fact, if this study’s findings have any validity at all, they seem to show that it doesn’t cause children in mother’s custody any significant harm to live more than an hour from their father; and that fathers who sue to prevent moves aren’t improving the lives of their children, they’re just exerting control over their ex-spouse.

I don’t doubt that this is true of some fathers, but surely there are plenty of others who genuinely want to stay near their children, want to assist in their upbringing, and believe that this is good for both themselves and their kids? Ampersand’s brush seems a bit overbroad here.