Presentation on theme: "The Comparison of Friendships of Adult Children of Divorce and Adult Children of Intact Families Meghan M. Tweed Jennifer L. Crum Hanover College."— Presentation transcript:
The Comparison of Friendships of Adult Children of Divorce and Adult Children of Intact Families Meghan M. Tweed Jennifer L. Crum Hanover College
Introduction Existing research has examined the effects of parental divorce on adult children of divorce (ACD) - When compared to children from intact families, ACD have been shown to be impaired in their ability to have healthy and long-lasting intimate relationships as adults (Kitson, 1992). - ACD have an impaired ability to trust others, a hunger for love and acceptance, and have a fear of commitment (Berman, 1991).
Introduction, cont. Much of the literature focuses on how intimate relationships of ACD are affected. There is little research on the effects that divorce has on ACD’s friendships. - Are there differences in the friendships of ACD and adult children from intact families?
Introduction, cont. Studies have shown that higher levels of interparental conflict are associated with adjustment problems for children. - ACD who were exposed to high levels of interparental conflict have less close and affectionate friendships (Dunn et al., 2001). -Will the combination of high interparental conflict and divorce have the most impact on ACD’s friendships?
Introduction, cont. Studies have shown that males have more problems immediately following parental divorce (Wallerstein, 1985). These studies also suggest that females have more long-term effects following parental divorce (Wallerstein, 1985). - Are females more likely than males to have more problems in their friendships?
Hypotheses We hypothesized that ACD would have more difficulties (degree of trust, security, etc.) within their friendships than children from intact families. Adult children that experienced high interparental conflict would have more difficulties in their friendships than children that experienced low interparental conflict. Adult children who experienced both high interparental conflict and divorce would have the most difficulties within their friendships. ACD females would have more difficulties in their friendships than ACD males.
Methods Participants -101 undergraduates(29 males, 72 females) - 27 were ACD - 74 were from intact families
Methods, cont. Procedure – Surveys were given to participants who signed up for extra credit and to sororities and fraternities on campus.
Methods, cont. Measures - Relationships Scales Questionnaire (Griffin & Bartholomew, 1994) - 30 statements, 5 pt. Likert scale - 4 subscales (secure, fearful, preoccupied & dismissing) - Secure item: I find it easy to get emotionally close to others. - Fearful item: I find it difficult to trust others completely. - Preoccupied item: I worry that others don’t value me as much as I value them. - Dismissing item: It is important to me to feel independent.
Methods, cont. The Children’s Perception of Interparental Conflict Scale (Grych, Seid, & Fincham, 1992) - 49 true, somewhat true, & false statements - 3 subscales (conflict properties, threat, & self-blame) - Conflict properties item: When my parents have an argument they yell a lot. - Threat item: I get scared when my parents argue. - Self-blame item: It is my fault when my parents argue.
Methods, cont. Friendship Characteristics Questionnaire – Consisted of 10 questions – Asked participants about specific characteristics of their friendship networks, such as size, length, and time spent with friends during a normal week. – Demographics (age at time of divorce, remarriages, etc.)
Results T-test comparing divorce status & the fearful subscale - A significant relationship was found for divorce and the fearful subscale (t= 2.43,p<.05). - Indicates that ACD reported feeling more fearful in their relationships (M= 3.18) than adult children from intact families (M= 2.74).
Results, cont. T-test comparing divorce status & the secure subscale – A significant relationship was found between divorce status and the secure subscale (t= -3.55, p<.01). – Indicates that ACD reported feeling less securely attached (M=2.94) than adult children from intact families (M=3.35).
Results, cont. T-test comparing conflict median & fearful subscale - A relationship between conflict and the fearful subscale was found (t =-2.60, p<.05). - Participants who experienced high conflict were more fearful in their friendships (M= 3.07) than participants who experienced low conflict (M=2.66).
Results, cont. T-test comparing conflict median & the secure subscale - A relationship between conflict and the secure subscale was found (t = 2.15, p<.05). - Participants who experienced high conflict were less secure (M= 3.12) in their friendships than participants who experienced low conflict (M=3.35).
Results, cont. T-test comparing gender and the fearful subscale – A significant difference between gender and the fearful subscale was found (t =-2.92, p<.01). – Females were found to be more fearful in their friendships (M= 3.00) than males (M= 2.50).
Results, cont. T-test comparing gender and the secure subscale – A significant difference was found between gender and the secure subscale (t =2.10, p<.05). – Females were found to be less secure in their friendships (M=3.17) than males (M=3.41).
Results, cont. There were no significant interactions found for divorce and interparental conflict. There were no significant interactions found for gender and divorce.
Discussion As previous research found ACD were impaired in their intimate relationships, we also found that ACD are more fearful and less securely attached in their friendships. Research also suggested that high levels of interparental conflict impaired adjustment in children. We found that participants who experienced high levels of conflict are more fearful and less secure in their friendships.
Discussion/Limitations, cont. Had a limited number of ACD. How does the death of a parent affect friendships? Future research may want to use a measure that looks specifically at friendships.