Lisa E Stone



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Recent research has focused on how divorce can potentially cause and contribute to adjustment problems in children, such as behavioral and emotional problems (Donahue, et. al, 2010; Hetherington & Stanley-Hagan, 1999; Price & Kunz, 2003). Multiple factors can mediate and moderate the relationship between divorce and negative outcomes, causing certain children to be more susceptible to the effects of divorce than others. Parenting can change drastically after divorce, such as decreased amount and quality of time spent with parents. Researchers suggest that this change in parenting can mediate the relationship between divorce and negative child adjustment, with negative parenting characteristics increasing the likelihood of negative adjustment (Forehand, Thomas, Wierson, Brody, & Fauber, 1990; Martinez & Forgatch, 1999; Lansford, 2009). The present study examined how parenting is related to the relationship between divorce and juvenile delinquency and the relationship between divorce and depression. It was hypothesized that parenting, as measured by maternal emotional support, would mediate the effects of divorce on both delinquency and depression. Data came from an extensive, nationally representative longitudinal study, consisting of both mothers and their offspring, totaling approximately 11,500 participants. Analyses explored both the direct relationship between divorce and delinquency/depression and the indirect relationship between divorce, parenting, and delinquency/depression. Results indicated that divorce predicts lower levels of maternal emotional support, which predicts higher levels of delinquency. Results also indicated that there is a direct relationship between divorce and delinquency, meaning that parenting only accounted for a portion of the effects of divorce on delinquency. Results also showed that there was not a mediated relationship between divorce, maternal emotional support, and depression, meaning that divorce and parenting did not predict levels of depression. It is important to identify what factors moderate and mediate the effects of divorce because identification of the factors can lead to potential positive interventions.

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Project Designation

Independent Research - Undergraduate

Primary Advisor

Jackson A Goodnight

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium poster

The Relationship between Divorce, Parenting, and Childhood Outcomes