Non-initiator's experience of emotional disassociation prior to and after divorce

Phillip R Pistole, Tennessee State University


The purpose of this research was to determine factors related to the adjustment to an emotional disassociation from the perspective of the non-initiator. The study focused on emotional, cognitive, and behavioral experiences of the non-initiator who will not accept the emotional disassociation. Participants were recruited from weekly DivorceCare seminar/support groups from across the country. The data was obtained from a protocol that was distributed to 300 potential participants of which 158 were returned, accounting for a 52% response rate. This study aimed to examine the perspective of the non-initiator by examining factors correlating with depression, self-esteem, romantic attachment, decision making, and psychological well-being. Using ANOVA's, results revealed the majority of participants reported to be adjusted or very well adjusted (79%). Findings confirmed that a small percentage (21%) of individuals who experienced divorce remained maladjusted, suffered from various psychological problems, have an acute sense of failure, lack of purpose in life, low self-acceptance, low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with their life. This suggests evidence for the Conceptual Model of Emotional Disassociation as theorized in this study. This study failed to find significant differences in adjustment levels, romantic attachment, or decision making skills among participants who reported having children and/or custody of the children.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Phillip R Pistole, "Non-initiator's experience of emotional disassociation prior to and after divorce" (2007). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3277898.