Effects of parental separation in offspring individual adjustment

Effects of parental separation in offspring individual adjustment

Contenido principal del artículo

Francisca Fariña
Mercedes Novo
Barbara Castro
Dolores Seijo



Background/Objective: In the European Union it is estimated that there are about 800,000 separations per year that involves approximately 500,000 children. The literature has found that parental divorce causes problems for children in academic performance, behavior, social competence, psychological adjustment, self-esteem, but the effects on family adjustment are unknown. Hence, a field study in order to know the effects of parental separation on the family adjustment of the children was designed. Method: 393 children and adolescents, 125 from parents separated in non-contentious proceedings, 122 from parents separated in contentious proceedings and 146 from cohabiting families, responded to a measure of family adjustment. Results: The results exhibited that the children of families in contentious separation reported a greater personal maladjustment than those of cohabiting families, an increase of 15.8%. In addition, the children of couples in contentious and non-contentious separation warned of greater family maladjustment than those of cohabiting families, a quantified increase of 55.9% and 45.1%, respectively. Furthermore, the children of families in the process of contentious separation exhibited greater family maladjustment than those of families in non-contentious separation, an estimated increase of 16.3%. Conclusions: The implications of the results for good professional practices, prevention and intervention are discussed.


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