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Children of divorce and their parents
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
1993 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Behavioural disturbances and symptoms of poor mental health in Swedish children were examined in conjunction with parental divorce and 2 years later, and in a group of immigrant and refugee children of divorced parents, on the basis of a semi-structured interview-instrument. The association between children's mental well-being and a number of background variables was analyzed. Children's self-image, charted by astandardized instrument, school achievement as assessed by final grades from compulsory school, and reactions to and experiences of divorce were studied. The reasons for the divorce, and differences in men's and women's experiences of changes a consequence of divorce were also studied. The study was based on a one-year-sample of divorcing couples and their young children, and 27 divorced irnmigranl/refugee families.

The presence of behavioural disturbances and symptoms of poor mental health was similar in children of divorce and in children of intact homes, although Swedish boys <5 years of age at the time of the divorce emerged a vulnerable group two years following the event Compared to Swedish children of divorce, immigrant children and especially refugee children of divorce displayed poorer mental health. Children 7-12 years of age reacted strongest to the divorce compared to younger and older children. Parental psychiatric vulnerability alcohol abuse, and a heart-rending divorce were factors associated with children's mental well-being. Especially a heart-rending divorce was noted to be a crucial variable in predicting the mental well-being of young boys at the time of divorce.

The self-image of children of divorce was similar to that of children of intact homes as assessed by standardized norms. Academic achievement was similar in' children of divorce and in children of intact homes.

Children devoted more thoughts to the divorce than their parents had realized, and boys and young children accepted the divorce less than the parents believed. The results indicated a lack of information and communication about the divorce between children and parents.

The divorce experience differed between men and women in several areas, especially with regard to the financial situation, relations with friends, work, physical health, mental well-being, and self-confidence, mostly favouring the women.

The main conclusion of the study was that the mental health of children of divorce is similar to children of intact homes at the time of divorce and two years later.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 1993. , 46 p.
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 405
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-28649Local ID: 13805ISBN: 91-7870-945-8OAI: diva2:249460
Public defence
1993-12-10, Berzeliussalen, Universitetssjukhuset, Linköping, 09:00 (Swedish)
Papers, included in the Ph.D. thesis, are not registered and included in the posts from 1999 and backwards.Available from: 2009-10-09 Created: 2009-10-09 Last updated: 2012-07-23Bibliographically approved

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