Long-term psychosocial effects of parental divorce: a follow-up study from adolescence to adulthood.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this 16-year follow-up study was to investigate whether 32-year-old adults who had experienced parental divorce before 16 years of age (n = 317) differed in psychosocial well-being or life trajectories from those from non-divorced two-parent families (n = 1069).
The data were obtained from a follow-up survey of a Finnish urban age cohort from the age of 16 till 32 years (n = 1471). The long-term impact of parental divorce on a variety of outcomes in adulthood, including psychological well-being, life situation, health behaviour, social networks and support, negative life events and interpersonal problems, was assessed.
Females from divorced compared to non-divorced families reported more psychological problems (higher scores in the Beck Depression Inventory, General Health Questionnaire and Psychosomatic Symptoms Score) and more problems in their interpersonal relationships. These differences were not found among males. Shorter education,unemployment, divorce, negative life events and more risky health behaviour were more common among subjects of both genders with a background of parental divorce.
The study revealed that parental divorce is an indicator of sufficient stress in childhood for its influences to persist well into adulthood, possibly with wider scope among females. It is important to recognise specific needs of children in the divorce process in order to prevent or minimize negative consequences and chain reactions during their subsequent life.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Former studies have shown increased mental health problems in adolescents after parental divorce all over the Western world. We wanted to see if that still is the case in Norway today when divorce turns to be more and more common. METHODS: In a prospective study design, two samples were constituted, adolescents at a baseline survey in 2001/02 (n = 2422) and those at follow-up in 2003/04 (n = 1861), when the adolescents were 15/16 and 18/19 years-old, respectively. They answered self-administered questionnaires in both surveys of Young-HUBRO in Oslo. Early parental divorce was defined as that which occured before age 15/16 years, and late divorce occured between age 15/16 and 18/19. Internalized and externalized mental health problems were measured by the Hopkin's Symptom Check List (HSCL-10) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). RESULTS: After linear regression models were adjusted for gender, ethnicity, family economy, social support, and mental health problem symptoms measured at baseline before parental divorce occured, late parental divorce did not lead to significant increase in mental health problems among adolescents in the city of Oslo. Early parental divorce was associated with internal mental health problems among young adolescents when adjusted only for the first four possible confounders. CONCLUSIONS: It seems that parental divorce in late adolescence does not lead to mental health problems in Norway any more, as has been shown before, while such problems may prevail among young adolescents. This does not mean that parental divorce create less problems in late adolescence than before but these youths might have developed adjustment abilities against health effects as divorce have turned to be more common.BMC Public Health 04/2013; 13(1):413. · 2.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: We assessed mobility in different life stages over a 29-year period from adolescence through adulthood and its correlation with psychosocial stress and vital exhaustion at ages 32 and 42 years.Methods: Data were derived from the Amsterdam Growth and Health Longitudinal Study, an observational longitudinal study of 420 boys and girls from age 13 to 42 years. Measurements included cumulative frequency of geographic relocation (CFGR), psychosocial stress (measured by a Dutch scale of experienced stress, VOEG-13), vital exhaustion (measured by the Maastricht Questionnaire, MQ), demographics, socioeconomic status, and other background characteristics.Results: From 1976 to 2006, total CFGR was 3.56 ± 1.89 (range 0-13). Frequent geographic relocation during 2 life stages (age 22-32 years and 33-42 years) was significantly interrelated; however, this was not evident at age 13 to 21 years, which suggests a unique exposure to relocation during adolescence and youth. After adjusting for anticipated confounders, higher cumulative frequencies of residential changes during adolescence and youth were markedly associated with psychosocial stress and vital exhaustion at ages 32 and 42 years.Conclusions: Frequent geographic relocation during adolescence and youth was an indicator of psychosocial stress and vital exhaustion in the transition to middle adulthood. Further consideration of the pathways in this web of causation may aid in stress prevention and minimize negative consequences.Journal of Epidemiology 08/2012; 22(5):469-76. · 2.11 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Prospective evidence about whether the association of childhood adversity and psychopathology attenuates across the lifecourse and whether effects on mid-life psychopathology are mediated through adolescent and early adulthood psychopathology is limited. Data were from the 1958 British Birth Cohort, a 45-year study of 98% of births in 1 week in 1958 in England, Scotland, and Wales. Outcomes included International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) diagnoses for affective and anxiety disorders at 45 years and psychopathology at 16 years and 23 years. Multiple multi-informant measures of childhood adversity were available at 7, 11, and 16 years, with additional retrospective measures of parental sexual and physical abuse at 45 years. Analyses were determined on the basis of N = 9377; 59% of the surviving sample. After adjustment for socioeconomic covariates, childhood adversities were associated with adolescent, early adulthood, and mid-life psychopathology: most associations did not attenuate with age. Mid-life associations were significantly fully or partially mediated by early adulthood psychopathology: cumulative adversity, illness, sexual abuse, and physical abuse remained significantly associated with mid-life psychopathology. The findings confirm the importance of preventing exposure to adversity and suggest that effects of adversity on mid-life psychopathology may operate through psychopathology in early adulthood. Future research is needed to examine other intermediary factors which may explain these associations.Annals of epidemiology 05/2010; 20(5):385-94. · 2.95 Impact Factor