College crisis: An examination of the relationship between timing of parental divorce and a predispostion to depression among college undergraduates

Suzanne Normand Blackwood, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The current study examined the relationship between timing of parental divorce and a predisposition to depression among college undergraduates and whether this potential relationship is moderated by sex and/or sibling status. College undergraduates from two public universities completed a Demographic Questionnaire (Oatis-Ballew & Popkin, 2008), the Painful Feelings About Divorce Scale (Laumann-Billings & Emery, 2000), and the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (Weissman, 1979). Using multiple regression analyses, the author studied potential relationships between various predictors—parental marital status, age of the participant at the time of his or her parents' divorce, sex and sibling status of the participant, and type of household in which the participant was raised—and two criteria, dysfunctional attitudes and painful feelings about divorce. The author also measured the mediating effect of conflict and the relationship between painful feelings about divorce and dysfunctional attitudes. The hypothesis was that, although a clinical diagnosis of depression may not have fully developed, parental divorce predisposes children to depression. Additionally, females without siblings are more vulnerable to depression, especially during their college years and if they were between the ages of 1 day and 12 years (Erik Erikson's first four stages) when their parents divorced. Although parental divorce, timing of parental divorce, and sibling status were not related to a predisposition to depression, results showed a relationship between parental conflict and a predisposition to depression, with males showing a stronger predisposition to depression. Additionally, parental divorce, timing of parental divorce, parental conflict, and type of household were all related to painful feelings about divorce, with males indicating they had more painful feelings about divorce. Results also showed a relationship between painful feelings about divorce and a predisposition to depression.^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Mental Health|Psychology, Counseling|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Suzanne Normand Blackwood, "College crisis: An examination of the relationship between timing of parental divorce and a predispostion to depression among college undergraduates" (2013). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI1547301.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI1547301

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