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Effect of timing of parental divorce on the vulnerability of children to depression in young adulthood.

Parental divorce is a stressful experience for children at any age and most children exhibit short-term developmental disruptions, emotional distress, and behavior problems. The age at the time of parental divorce has been found to affect the child’s short-term reactions to the separation (Hetherington, 1981; Richards & Dyson, 1982; Wallerstein & Blakeslee, 1989).

The impact of a child’s age and developmental phase at the time of divorce on later adaptation has received less attention than the impact on short-term reactions. Most studies have been designed to explore the impact on adolescents’ adaptation (Hetherington, 1972; Kalter & Rembar, 1981; adverse reactions adverse reactions,

n.pl unfavorable reactions resulting from administration of a local anesthetic; responsible factors include the drug used, concentration, and route of administration.  associated with the timing of parental divorce. Frost & Pakiz (1990) have suggested that many adversities associated with parental divorce tend to diminish over time. In their follow-up study they found more Oedipal phase oedipal phase

n.

In psychoanalytic theory, the stage in psychosexual development, usually occurring between the ages of 3 and 7, characterized by manifestation of the Oedipal complex.  than among younger and older girls and also among boys in general (Kalter & Rembar, 1981).

psychosomatic psychosomatic /psy·cho·so·mat·ic/ (-sah-mat´ik) pertaining to the mind-body relationship; having bodily symptoms of psychic, emotional, or mental origin.

psy·cho·so·mat·ic

adj.

1.  symptoms at the age of 16 (Aro & Rantanen, 1992). They were puberty puberty (py`bərtē), period during which the onset of sexual maturity occurs.  on average at the age of 13.

The questionnaires included a checklist of symptoms, age-appropriate versions of questions about personal characteristics, behavior, education, family background, personal relationships, life situation, life events, and social support (for details, see Aro, 1988). A Finnish modification for population studies of the short 13-item Beck’s Depression Inventory was used as a screening instrument for depression (Mattlar et al., 1987; Beck, Rial, & Rickels, 1974). It is otherwise identical with the 13-item Beck’s Depression Inventory, except that it includes introductory questions and an additional positive choice of answer for each item. S-BDI score five was used as a cut-off point. The additional positive choices do not affect the scoring of depression.

Comparison of the participants and nonparticipants indicated that the latter were more often males. Poor school performance was also more frequent among nonparticipants. No significant differences were found in parental divorce, parental socioeconomic status, or in the symptom scores at the age of 16. The preliminary statistical description was based on cross-tabulations, and loglinear modeling was used as a multivariate technique.

RESULTS

In the study population about one percent experienced parental divorce every year. In the group whose parents had divorced before school age (females n = 79, males n = 55) the majority (80%) had experienced divorce at the age of three to six. In the latency group (females n = 74, males n = 55) the frequency distribution was more or less even throughout the period, and in the adolescent group (females n = 39, males n = 32) it declined with age. Persons in different time-of-divorce groups did not differ from each other in terms of socioeconomic background.

Among males at the age of 22, depression was significantly more prevalent (24%) among those who had experienced parental divorce in latency as compared with those who had experienced it before school age or in adolescence. The prevalence in the two latter groups was very close to that of males from nondivorced families (7.8%). Among females, the time of parental divorce was not associated with the prevalence of depression in young adulthood. Depression was significantly more common in all groups than among females from nondivorced families (11.5%). Further, marital status marital status,

n the legal standing of a person in regard to his or her marriage state. , and employment status were minimal in both genders. No group differences were found in psychosomatic symptoms, self-esteem, or interpersonal problems.

There was no evidence of adaptation differences in adolescence; only minor differences were observed in psychosomatic symptoms and in self-esteem among girls. At the age of 16, girls tended to have fewer symptoms and higher self-esteem if they were older at the time of separation. Further, school performance, heavy alcohol consumption, and dating behavior did not differ significantly by the time of parental divorce.

Attempting to find an explanation for the increased prevalence of depression among latency-aged boys, school performance, alcohol consumption, and interpersonal problems in adolescence were examined. The inclusion of these factors in the model was supported by earlier research on the impact of parental divorce and by preliminary analyses. Earlier results indicated that school performance declines for some time after parental divorce (Bisnaire, psychopathology psychopathology /psy·cho·pa·thol·o·gy/ (-pah-thol´ah-je)

1. the branch of medicine dealing with the causes and processes of mental disorders.

2. abnormal, maladaptive behavior or mental activity.  because it may reduce the impact of the risk and negative life-chain reactions, or open new opportunities (Rutter, 1987). Heavy alcohol consumption by adolescents is often associated with developmental risk, and recent theories on the absolute terms (Alg.) such as are known, or which do not contain the unknown quantity.

See also: Absolute . The stress in latency may disturb psychological development in these respects (Camara & Resnick, 1989). Difficulties in leaving home and starting school may continue as difficulties in interpersonal relationships at age 16 and as depression in young adulthood. On the other hand, it is possible that the life remarriage Re`mar´riage   

n. 1. A second or repeated marriage.

Noun 1. remarriage – the act of marrying again , career prospects, and financial situations vary between families with children of different ages.

Latency-aged children may be more involved in parental disputes and more confused about the issues than are children of other ages (Johnston, Campbell, & Mayes, 1985). Compared with boys whose parents divorced in early childhood, the latency-aged boys may also have had a longer exposure to family Orthopsychiatry or·tho·psy·chi·a·try

n.

The psychiatric study, treatment, and prevention of emotional and behavioral problems, especially of those that arise during early development.  62, 421-429.

Aro, H., & Rantanen, P. (1992). Parental loss and adolescent development. In C. Chiland, & G. Young (Eds.), New approaches to mental health from birth to adolescence. The Yearbook of the International Association for New Haven New Haven, city (1990 pop. 130,474), New Haven co., S Conn., a port of entry where the Quinnipiac and other small rivers enter Long Island Sound; inc. 1784. Firearms and ammunition, clocks and watches, tools, rubber and paper products, and textiles are among the many , CT: Izard Iz´ard

n. 1. (Zool.) A variety of the chamois found in the Pyrenees. , & P. B. Read (Eds.), Depression in young people; Developmental and clinical perspectives (pp. 71-134). Child Psychiatry child psychiatry

Branch of medicine concerned with mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders of childhood. It arose as a separate field in the 1920s, largely because of the pioneering work of Anna Freud. , 24, 563-574.

Kalter, N., Rembar, J. (1981). The significance of a child’s age at the time of parental divorce. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 51, 85-100.

Karasy, T. B. (1990). Toward a clinical model of psychotherapies This is an alphabetical List of Psychotherapies. It is an incomplete list and new or minor approaches are still being added.

See the main article Psychotherapy for a description of what psychotherapy is and how it developed. . American Journal of Psychiatry, 147, 133-147.

Klerman, G. L., Weissman, M. M., Runsville, B. J., & Chevron, E. S. (1984). Journal of Clinical Psychology The Journal of Clinical Psychology, founded in 1945, is a peer-reviewed forum devoted to psychological research, assessment, and practice. Published eight times a year, the Journal , 47, 361-367.

Mattlar, C. E., Raitasalo, R., Putkonen, A. R., Hyyppa, M. T., Englund, C., Helenius, H., & Knuts, L. R. (1987). The prevalence of depression in a random sample of Finns, and the association of depression with various cognitive functions. In Department of Health and Social Security The Department of Health and Social Security was a ministry of the British Government in existence for twenty years from 1968 until 1988, and was headed by the Secretary of State for Social Services. .

Rutter, M. (1987).

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