Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Arnold Stolberg


While the Best Interest of the Child (BIOC) standard has been used since the 1970’s, alternatives such as the Approximation Rule have recently been proposed to remediate perceived weaknesses in BIOC. This study examines the applicability of the Approximation Rule using cross-sectional data collected from 517 children (age 10-18) of divorced parents using the Co-Parenting Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ). Data for all co-parenting and parenting variables (n = 517) were analyzed to determine relationships by time since divorce and custodial relationship. Physical custody was associated with significant differences in children’s’ ratings of both co-parenting and parenting effectiveness. Results for time since divorce revealed only one significant relationship with all divorcing parents showing significant decreases in ratings of inter-parent conflict over time with the most substantial reductions occurring 5 years after the separation. Findings were then used to measure the accuracy of the assumptions in both the Approximation Rule and in BIOC.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2009

Included in

Psychology Commons