Background: High Intensity Parental Dispute (HIPD) is a universal phenomenon that has grave ramifications on the dyadic and familial cells, which are receiving considerable attention in the research, public and professional discourses. However, a significant gap exists between the intensive involvement of systems in this phenomenon, and their ability to characterize and measure cardinal concepts defining it. Objective: The goal of the present study is to examine how indicators that are recognized in literature on HIPD are manifested in the practice of social workers involved in this sphere. More specifically, three dimensions included in evaluations on families involved in HIPD will be examined: dispute intensity, parent-child relationships, and child functioning. Method: The sample included 199 written reports by social workers on families deemed by the court to be involved in HIPD. First, encoding systems for each dimension were developed using deductive content analysis. Second, the frequency of the indicators was examined and qualitatively different subgroups within each dimension were identified using Latent Class Analysis (LCA) or Latent Profile Analysis (LPA). Results: The findings uncovered two significantly different groups for couples involved in HIPD and revealed the common profiles for parent-child relationships and for child functioning. Conclusions: The findings illustrate that there is no single characterization that can accurately describe different dimensions in the lives of families with HIPD, rather that subgroups with different behaviors should be expected to emerge. Thus, the findings emphasize the importance of using systematic measurements for identification and evaluation that could assist in fine tuning interventions and optimized resource allocation.
- Child functioning
- Encoding systems
- High intensity parental dispute
- Parent-child relationships
- Written reports of social workers