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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 1991 Feb;19(1):97-111.

A short-term longitudinal examination of young adolescent functioning following divorce: the role of family factors.

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  • 1University of Georgia, Athens 30602.


The purposes of this study were to examine young adolescent functioning over a 2-year period after divorce and to assess the role of two family factors, interpersonal conflict and the parent-adolescent relationship, in predicting such functioning. One hundred and twelve young adolescents, their mothers, and their social studies teachers served as participants. One-half of the adolescent were from recently divorced families and one-half were from married families. Mothers completed measures concerning interparental conflict and the parent-adolescent relationship, adolescents completed a measure of the relationship, and teachers completed measures assessing four areas of adolescent functioning. The results indicated that adolescents from divorced families were functioning less well than those from married families. There were no changes in adolescent functioning and the parent-adolescent relationship from the first to second year postdivorce. High levels of interparental conflict in divorced families were associated with more parent-adolescent relationship problems. In turn parent-adolescent relationships problems served as the best predictor of concurrent and subsequent difficulty in adolescent functioning.

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