While a body of research finds evidence supporting the notion that divorce can have negative effects on a child’s life, more recent queries on the topic have suggested that certain mediating factors, often associated with divorce, might better predict negative outcomes for children than the event of the divorce itself (Amato, 2010). Despite these recent discoveries, there appears to be a standing perception that ties divorce to social-emotional distress in children (Guttman et al., 2008). This perception was tested using ratings on child disruptive behavior of 112 college-aged students. Participants were provided brief background descriptions of two siblings that varied in how their parents’ marital status was reported. Participants watched a video of the children playing and were asked to rate each child’s level of disruptive behavior. After controlling for participants personal experiences of parental divorce, results indicated that no significant differences were found between how parental marital status was reported and overall rating of the children’s disruptive behavior. However, results indicated a notable interaction between personal experience of parental divorce and condition on overall disruptive behavior ratings. Further implications of a potential shift in perception of the effects of divorce on children are discussed.
|Commitee:||Jewell, Jeremy, McKenney, Elizabeth|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Clinical psychology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Children, Divorce, Marital status, Perceptions|
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