Inappropriate parental divorce disclosures, the factors that prompt them, and their impact on parents' and adolescents' well-being

Tamara D. Afifi, Tara McManus, Susan Hutchinson, Birgitta Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent research has shown that parents' inappropriate disclosures about the divorce process can be stressful for adolescents. However, little is known about the conditions that prompt parents to disclose inappropriate information about the divorce to them. The current study examines factors (a lack of social support, a lack of control over divorce stressors, and the severity of the divorce stressors) that potentially influence parents to reveal inappropriate information about the divorce to their adolescents. It also explores the impact that these inappropriate disclosures have on parents' and adolescents' well-being. Surveys were gathered from 118 custodial parent-adolescent dyads. The results suggest that a lack of social support and the severity of the stressors did not influence parents' inappropriate disclosures. Custodial parents' lack of control over their divorce-related stressors was the only factor associated with their inappropriate disclosures. When a lack of control over divorced-related stressors was considered, parents with less stressful interparental conflict were likely to be distressed by their inappropriate disclosures, whereas parents who had a strained relationship with their former spouse were not. Adolescents' perceptions of the inappropriate disclosures were also a stronger predictor of adolescents' well-being than the parents' perceptions of their own disclosures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-102
Number of pages25
JournalCommunication Monographs
Volume74
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Inappropriate parental divorce disclosures, the factors that prompt them, and their impact on parents' and adolescents' well-being'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this