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Sense of coherence in young adults with and without childhood experience of parental divorce
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry .
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry .
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Aim: A number of studies show variability in children’s response to parental divorce. The intent of the present study was to look at personal resources as one possible factor explaining differences in mental health among young adults with childhood experience of parental divorce. This factor is examined by also taking into account the effect of traumatic experiences other than the possibly traumatic parental divorce. Method:  A group of persons with childhood experience of parental divorce (divorce group) was compared to a group without this experience, a non-divorce group consisting of persons of the same gender and age and living in the same locations as those in the divorce group. Personal resources were defined in this study as “Sense of Coherence” (SOC) measured with SOC-29, and mental health was assessed by the SCL-90 index General Severity Index (GSI). Traumatic life events were accounted for by using Life Incidence of Traumatic Events (LITE). Results: The results showed a significant connection between a strong SOC-29 and good mental health SCL-90/GSI, but no significant connection between SOC-29 and LITE, and the same pattern was seen in both the divorce and the non-divorce group. Conclusion: Personal resources measured as strong sense of coherence seem to be important in retaining a good mental health and the capacity to deal with life incidences such as parental divorce.

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Keyword [en]
Parental divorce, personal resourses, mental health, traumatic life events
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-54626OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-54626DiVA: diva2:306012
Projects
Grown-up children of divorce: Experiences and health
Available from: 2010-03-26 Created: 2010-03-26 Last updated: 2010-03-26
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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