Differences in Feelings of Depression
Boer, P. de
Broek, F.P.P. van den
Dijk, M. van
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Research has shown that youngsters with divorced parents have a lower psychological wellbeing than youngsters from intact families. Therefore, this study examines the association between parental conflicts and the quality and quantity of the parent-child relationship, and the internalizing problems – anxiety and depression – by youngsters with divorced parents. Method: The sample for this study consists of 443 youngsters with divorced parents, with a mean age of 13.82 years (SD= 1.01). The correlation between the variables was determined with a bivariate Pearson’s correlation, and a regression model was used to determine which variables are predictors of the internalizing problems in youngsters. Results: Parental conflict before a divorce is significantly positively and negatively correlated with the quantity of contact with, respectively, the mother and father. Parental conflict before and after a divorce shows a significant correlation with the quality of contact with the parents and internalizing problems. The only significant predictor variables for anxiety and depression are the quality of contact with the mother and the degree of parental conflict after the divorce. Conclusion: This research shows that the degree of parental conflict before a divorce correlates with the quantity of contact with either parent after the divorce. Additionally, more parental conflict before the divorce correlates with a lower quality of contact with both parents and more internalizing problems. Furthermore, the quality of contact with the mother and parental conflict after a divorce are predictors for anxiety and depression.