In the current study 45 university students with either divorced or continuously married parents were surveyed about their romantic attachment, positive emotionality, depressive symptomology, self-esteem, and, when applicable, their retrospective beliefs about their parents' marital dissolution. Findings revealed that parental divorce did not predict attachment insecurity, depression, or low self-esteem. In fact, adult children of divorced parents (ACDP) reported increased compassion, awe, enthusiasm, and perspective taking. Among ACDP, a composite factor representing increased fear of abandonment, peer rejection, and maternal blame was positively associated with adult attachment anxiety, even while controlling for parental conflict and divorce-related socioenvironmental disruption. Results are discussed in terms of their support of a complex understanding of the long-term effects of parental divorce, and in their inconsistency with a purely pathogenic model of parental divorce.
- parental divorce
- positive outcomes
- romantic attachment
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)