ERIC Number: ED243060
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Children at Risk: Vulnerability/Resiliency to Psychopathology after Parental Separation/Divorce.
McPhee, Jeffrey Thomas
This study explored factors within a child's social, familial, and intrapsychic system that mediate the effects on the child of parental separation/divorce. Using a sample of 52 children and 28 parents involved in contested divorce cases, structured interviews lasting 1.5 to 3 hours were conducted. Information about the separation, parental conflict/cooperation, and the child's response to separation was gathered. The Louisville Behavioral Checklist was utilized as a measure of psychopathology. Analysis revealed that boys experienced greater stress and pathology after parental separation than did girls. Younger school-aged children had higher stress levels and general "severity" levels than did their older cohorts, and high levels of parental conflict were also associated with increased pathology. Siblings and birth order were found to have strong influences on the effects of separation/divorce for children, as was their level of "concurrent stress." Children with high levels of stress were found to experience less severity than children with very low stress scores. The findings indicate not direct causality, but co-variation between certain factors (age, sex, self-confidence) and pathological functioning for children following separation/divorce. Resiliency and invulnerability to pathology are developmental characteristics which can be fostered in children. (Author/BL)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Masters Theses; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Louisville Behavioral Checklist
Note: Master's Thesis, Purdue University. Figure 4-02 is marginally legible due to small print.