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Fifteen years after parental divorce: mental health and experienced life-events
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry . Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, ISSN 0803-9488, E-ISSN 1502-4725, Vol. 63, no 1, 32-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The children who experienced their parents divorce when the divorce rate in Sweden had begun to grow to higher levels than in preceding decades are today adults. The aim of this study was to investigate if adults who had experienced parental divorce 15 years before the time of our study, differed in mental health from those with continuously married parents, taking into account life events other than the divorce. Instruments used were the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) measuring mental health and the Life Event questionnaire capturing the number and experience of occurred events. Forty-eight persons, who were 7-18 years old when their parents divorced, constituted the divorce group, and 48 persons matched on age, sex and growth environment formed the study groups. The SCL-90 showed a limited difference between the groups, but not concerning total mental health. A main finding was a difference with regard to sex and age; women aged 22-27 in the divorce group displayed poorer mental health than other participants in both groups. The results from the Life Event questionnaire showed that the divorce group had experienced a significantly larger number of events, and more life events were described as negative with difficult adjustment. A regression analysis showed a significant relation between the SCL-90, Global Severity Index and life events experienced as negative with difficult adjustment, divorce events excluded, but not with the divorce itself. It seems highly desirable to pay more attention than has thus far been paid to girls with experience of childhood divorce at age 7-12.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 63, no 1, 32-43 p.
Keyword [en]
Age differences, Gender differences, Life-events, Mental well-being, Parental divorce
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-16725DOI: 10.1080/08039480802098386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-16725DiVA: diva2:160507
Note
This is an electronic version of an article published in: Teresia Ängarne-Lindberg and Marie Wadsby, Fifteen years after parental divorce: mental health and experienced life-events, 2009, NORDIC JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, (63), 1, 32-43. NORDIC JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY is available online at informaworldTM: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08039480802098386 Copyright: Taylor & Francis http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/default.asp Available from: 2009-02-26 Created: 2009-02-13 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Grown-up children of divorce: Experiences and health
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Grown-up children of divorce: Experiences and health
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The comprehensive purpose of the thesis was to study the health and experiences, with a main focus on mental health, of a group of grown-up children of divorced parents in comparison to a group of persons without this experience. Mental health, experienced life events, narratives of divorce related experiences and personal resources were therefore examined in a group of young adults (age 22-33 years) whose parents divorced 15 years before the start of the first three studies. In addition to this, the presence of a child/adolescent and/or an adult psychiatric record and ten years of diagnosed physical health visits in the same but extended group (age 21-38 years) was examined 20 years after parental divorce. The outcomes of these examinations were compared with the outcomes of a group with married parents still living together, matched with the divorce group on age gender and living area. The results showed no major differences in mental health between the divorce and the non-divorce group, with the exception of women age 22-27 showing poorer mental health than the others in the study. Personal resources in this case SOC (Sense of Coherence) followed the same pattern, with no significant differences between the divorce and the non-divorce group, but with women age 22-27 showing lower SOC. The experiences/narratives told by the divorce group fell into one of two categories: one disappointment, the other contentment, with the first indicating non-optimal chances for adjustment to parental divorce and the other good. The run-through of psychiatric records showed no significant differences between the number of persons in need of adult psychiatric care in the divorce and the non-divorce group. A significant difference was present, however, in child- and adolescent psychiatric care pointing to a larger need for psychiatric care in the divorce group, a need most pronounced among girls. As concerned the number of diagnosed physical health care visits, only small differences between the groups were found. The main conclusion of the study was that experience of parental divorce in childhood is not found for a majority to be an experience determining poorer mental or somatic health in young adulthood.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2010. 58 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 1173
Keyword
Parental divorce, mental health, somtic health, narratives
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-54630 (URN)978-91-7393-428-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-04-29, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Campus US, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2010-03-30 Created: 2010-03-26 Last updated: 2010-03-30Bibliographically approved

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Ängarne-Lindberg, TeresiaWadsby , Marie

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