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10-07-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 2/2016

Journal of Child and Family Studies 2/2016

Parental Divorce and Emerging Adults’ Subjective Well-Being: The Role of “Carrying Messages”

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 2/2016
Auteurs:
Sagrario Yárnoz-Yaben, Alaitz Garmendia

Abstract

Parental divorce is assumed to negatively affect diverse aspects of emerging adults’ functioning. The aims of this study were to analyze the effects of parental divorce and to identify divorce-related factors that may have an impact on the well-being of emerging adults from divorced families. Participants were 964 Spanish emerging adults (45 % women). One hundred and twenty-five of them were from divorced families. They completed an anonymous survey that included measures of subjective well-being (satisfaction with life, positive and negative affect), romantic status, length of the current relationship, age at onset of the divorce, parental remarriage and the experience of “carrying messages” between their divorced parents. Preliminary results revealed small differences in satisfaction with life and no differences in positive affect between emerging adults from divorced and non-divorced families. However, emerging adults from divorced families showed significantly higher levels of negative affect. Negative affect was not related to gender, romantic status or parental remarriage, but it was related to parental demands to carry messages. Children, who were older when their parents divorced, and females were more likely to have been asked to carry messages and showed the highest levels of negative affect. In fact, controlling for gender and age at onset of the divorce, carrying messages was the main predictor of negative affect for the emerging adults in this sample. The implications of these findings for work with divorced families and their children are discussed.

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