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A retrospective study of the long-term effects of divorce on the wellbeing of young adults

Cammiss, Megan (2016) A retrospective study of the long-term effects of divorce on the wellbeing of young adults. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study aims to qualitatively explore the long-term effects of experiencing divorce in childhood upon wellbeing in early adulthood. Previous research supports a link between parental divorce and wellbeing with explanations to why experiences differ focusing on the presence and severity of protective and risk factors (Amato and Sobolewski, 2001). The majority of previous research focuses on quantitative methods to produce correlations; therefore this current study adopts a qualitative approach to explore the reasons why individuals’ experiences differ to provide a deeper understanding of the effects of parental divorce. Eight participants aged 18-25 took part in a semi-structured interview. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) following guidelines from Smith et al (2009) was used to generate themes from interview transcripts. The four key themes were: ‘wellbeing’, ‘self-blame’, ‘family bonds’ and ‘relief’. The qualitative data method provided an alternate and more personal insight in to the experiences of individuals emanating from divorce. Concluding findings support a link between parental divorce, wellbeing, and education suggesting that experiences differ due to age and surrounding circumstances. Furthermore, findings could be valuable to future researchers in informing support techniques for parents, carers and teachers for children undergoing parental divorce.

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