Journal Article Critique
Cheri Green, Dawn Sturdevant, Sabrina Gavaent
February 29, 2016
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Journal Article Critique
The article that is being critiqued is “Mothers and Children: Caught in the War Zone” by
Jacqueline Goodman. In this article the author researches “why mothers are losing to fathers in
contested child custody battles that have occurred between 1980 and 2003.” (Goodman, J, 2015)
In this article the author evaluates a particular geographic region to determine why women are
losing custody battles in the 23 years evaluated. What the author found is that in the areas
receiving federal fatherhood dollars, the father was more likely to have been given custody,
despite abuse, substance addiction and income.
This statement of the article is “why mothers are losing to fathers in contested child
custody battles that have occurred between 1980 and 2003.” (Goodman, J., 2015) This question
was answered in the study. The author did not stick to this issue in the study. The study took
became biased in content and review. The author did show that the Federal equality initiative
backed by advocate groups and religious groups is why the fathers are obtaining custody more.
The author then goes on to make accusations against the initiative and parties involved, hence the
title of the article. The author didn't prove that there was any inequality caused by the equality
initiative; she conducted research to support the initiative. The study is not important as the
interpretation of the data didn’t follow the path chosen for the study, invalidating the study.
Upon reading the article, "Mothers and Children: Caught in the War Zone," I found that
the data that was gathered was significant with the results that were found. The methods they
used to get this data was standard form concerning the subject of custody between men and
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women and the percentages found and used, were quite correct. The size was also good because
it gave quite a few different things to looks at instead of one or two. Quantitative and qualitative
data were used to help deliver a more accurate number for the findings related to this research.
Also, with the open-ended questionnaire that was used, a more accurate reading was given
because of the
Being as more than one research design was used to compile data for this article; I
believe that the designs were quite appropriate to address the research question. It showed the
viewers percentages that came not only one state but five and also used the U.S Census Bureau
and court systems to get the information that was warranted. I believe that any other design
would have been futile because the results would have been off. With the designs they used,
they were able to get a more accurate number on the statistics involved in the research itself.
The article was very articulate in letting the viewers know one thing form the next,
including the independent and dependent variables. In my opinion, the dependent variables were
clearer than the independent variables. I say this because of the data that I read in the report that
was gathered. In this article I observed more results than anything that could, or was,
manipulated. They were observant of all responses whether through online interviews to face-to-
face interviews that were given. With this being said, the dependent variables were clearer to the
reader than the independent variables.
The dependent variables would be the percentages that were found using the different
methods which included U.S. Census Bureau, online interviews, telephone interviews and old
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case histories. The independent variables would be the percentages themselves for the fact that
they could have been manipulated or changed due to different resources that were used.
The study used multiple different methods of descriptive statistics to help describe the
data. The first method is observation study. In the study, it talks about how the different roles of
a mother and father in determining custodial and non-custodial responsibility. An example of this
is mothers had the responsibility to be the caretaker while the fathers were the financial portion
within the household. The study also describes different behaviors action's a person either
mother or father has done is or is doing to gain looking like the better parent. Another method
that was used in the study is a longitudinal study. This study took pieces of data from back in
1980 until 2003 when the study was published. The cohort-sequential study also had to play a
role in this study as it followed many generations of people in this study to receive the data.
The methods used to describe the data are appropriate and sufficient. The study showed
the different areas in which family roles shifted and also how responsibilities has changed in
both single parent household to a two-parent household. The study also talked about the issues
that could underly custody issues like domestic violence, non-custodial paying child support,
affairs in which could either hinder custody or gain the custodial role. They also added data in
which was judge's rulings as well in which was interesting to see and what common judges
would want to see in which shows a pattern of consistency.
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The limitations in this article are the flip side of the scale. This article is showing how
more fathers are obtaining custody that may not be the best-fit parent, but what about the
mothers that did obtain custody, were they the best fit? This research was very biased. There are
examples of the court not being fair and unbiased, but are the incidents in the areas that equality
initiative is being performed? The survey didn’t seem to have a good sample base. The equality
initiative should have shifted the custody arrangements. The study didn't prove that the shift in
custody was unfair or unjust.
The study showed a lot of issues on both sides of the scale. Some ethical issues that were
identified in the article were all gender-based issues both good and bad. They were addressing
this gender-based issue within the article based on the data that was gained by showing how
much within time mothers and fathers responsibilities and roles within the household had
changed and also legislation has changed within the years.
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Jacqueline Goodman. "MOTHERS AND CHILDREN: CAUGHT IN THE WARZONE" In
Studies in Law, Politics and Society. Published online: 09 Mar 2015; 163-196.