Divorced parents and children of divorce: Social, relational, and individual aspects of wellbeing

Anna Bertoni, Raffaella Iafrate, Elisabetta Carrà, Clara Valls-Vidal

Research output: Book chapterChapterpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the past years abundant research analyzed the social, relational, and individual aspects of separated parents to better understand the factors which may protect or make parents and children at risk, but still little research has shown an "integrated perspective" on separation. This study is an attempt to adopt an integrated perspective to improve scientific knowledge on separation. In this study we examined the link between social (social network size, frequency of social contacts, relationships with families of origin), relational (coparenting, parents' alienation, perceived violence, and parentification), and individual factors (anxiety and depression, satisfaction with life, self-esteem, sense of coherence, and generativity) and parents' and children's wellbeing. The results showed that fathers and mothers presented different paths of separation: more conflicting for fathers and less conflicting for mothers. Our data, however, showed a weaker and more complex role of fathers than mothers. The frequency of social contacts was linked to a more positive perception of the former partner's behaviors and to numerous aspects of parents' wellbeing, confirming the protective role of social networks as well as of the support received by the former partner's family of origin. An extremely critical aspect was parentification behaviors that were linked to the malaise not only of the child, but also of the parents. The variables most correlated with parents' and children's well being were one's own and the former partner's coparenting abilities as well as parents' sense of coherence: being cooperative parents, that are able to speak and support each other as well as able to manage and understand their social reality, is clearly a protective factor for children's wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Psychology Research
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Pages61-79
Number of pages19
Volume111
ISBN (Electronic)9781634830102
ISBN (Print)9781634829656
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Coparenting
  • Divorce
  • Generativity
  • Social network

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