Skip to main content
Article
Reaching Resilience: A Multiple Case Study of the Experience of Resilience and Protective Factors in Adult Children of Divorce
Doctoral Dissertations
  • Denis' A Thomas, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
Date of Award
12-2009
Degree Type
Dissertation
Degree Name
Doctor of Philosophy
Major
Counselor Education
Major Professor
Marianne Woodside
Committee Members
Trena Paulus, Shawn Spurgeon, Pricilla Blanton
Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to describe the experiences of resilience following parental divorce for university freshmen. Five participants were interviewed using a multiple case study methodology and Richardson’s (2002) resilience model as the theoretical framework. It examined how the three needs of Self-Determination theory (autonomy, relatedness, and competence) and the three categories of protective factors (individual, family, and community) contributed to resilience. Data were collected through demographic surveys, divorce artwork, resilience artwork, and interview transcriptions. General themes, typological self-determination need themes, and typological protective factor themes were developed for each individual and across cases. The findings suggested that autonomy needs and individual protective factors were the same, competence needs and most community factors were the same, and relatedness needs and family protective factors, along with the community protective factor of friends, were same. Therefore, this study linked the empirical support of protective factor research to the tenet of self-determination theory that stated that by facilitating the three self-determination needs, optimal positive psychological, developmental and behavioral outcomes occur (Deci & Ryan, 2008). Findings also revealed a) the importance of cognitive coping strategies, b) the benefit of helping others, c) the significance of the relatedness need, and d) the value of multiple types of relationships. Implications for counselors and recommendations for future research on resilience in children of divorce were provided.

Citation Information
Denis' A Thomas. "Reaching Resilience: A Multiple Case Study of the Experience of Resilience and Protective Factors in Adult Children of Divorce" (2009)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/denis_thomas/1/