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The Complex Relationship Between Parental Divorce and the Sense of Control
Journal of Family Issues (2011)
  • Joongbaeck Kim
  • Hyeyoung Woo, Portland State University

How does parental divorce influence the sense of control in adult offspring? Numerous studies have examined the implications of parental divorce on adult psychological well-being. However, little attention has been paid to the long-term consequences of parental divorce for adult sense of control. Using data from the Survey of Aging, Status, and the Sense of Control, we investigate whether or not, and how, parental divorce is associated with offspring sense of control. The results show that parental divorce has mixed relationships with offspring sense of control, indicating both positive and negative mechanisms. On one hand, parental divorce significantly increases adult sense of control. This positive association holds even when we adjust for socioeconomic attainments and social relationships. On the other hand, parental divorce is associated with decreased levels of sense of control through higher economic hardship, lower educational attainment, and nonparticipation in volunteering. The authors discuss the implications of these results.

  • Divorced parents -- Psychological aspects,
  • Divorced parents -- Social conditions,
  • Divorce -- Psychological aspects
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
Citation Information
Joongbaeck Kim and Hyeyoung Woo. "The Complex Relationship Between Parental Divorce and the Sense of Control" Journal of Family Issues Vol. 32 Iss. 8 (2011)
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