Cognitive moderators of children's adjustment to stressful divorce events: The role of negative cognitive errors and positive illusions

Elizabeth Mazur, Sharlene A. Wolchik, Lynn Virdin, Irwin N. Sandler, Stephen G. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined whether children's cognitive appraisal biases moderate the impact of stressful divorce-related events on psychological adjustment in 355 children ages 9 to 12, whose families had experienced divorce within the past 2 years. Multiple regression indicated that endorsement of negative cognitive errors for hypothetical divorce events moderates the relations between stressful divorce events and self- and maternal reports of in internalizing and externalizing symptoms, but only for older children. Positive illusions buffer the effects of stressful divorce events on child-reported depression and mother-reported externalizing problems. Implications of these results for theories of stress and coping, as well as for interventions for children of divorced families, are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-245
Number of pages15
JournalChild development
Volume70
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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