Abstract A study was designed to tap children's perceptions of the divorce situation as opposed to adults' perceptions of the child's response to the parental divorce. Subjects were 75 boys and 75 girls from mother- and father-headed families. Using an individual structured interview procedure children were encouraged to reconstruct both positive and negative dimensions of their interactions with the custodial parent. Through factor analyses of the contents of interviews four negative and two positive factors involving 20 specific items were identified in the children's perceptual data. Subsequently, chi-square analyses were done to compare differences in girls' and boys' perceptions between and across father- and mother-headed families. Results are discussed in terms of their relationship with the existing literature and their clinical and educational relevance to children, single parents and professionals.