Vanuit het onderzoek Scholieren en Gezinnen: Een vergelijking in internaliserend en externaliserend gedrag tussen adolescenten uit intacte en gescheiden gezinnen.
Dijk, I.D.E. van
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Background: This research focuses on the differences in internalizing and externalizing behavior among adolescents from divorced and intact families in the Netherlands and the possible changes in these differences compared to a decade ago. More specifically, the comparison consists of differences in anxiety, depression, delinquency, and aggression. Moreover, these differences between adolescents from intact and divorced families will be compared to differences in an earlier wave of the study, ten years ago. Method: To answer the research questions, data has been collected in 2006 (N = 1659) and 2016 (N = 518) from students of high schools all over the country (Students and Families). Results: There appears to be a significant difference between mean level of internalizing behavior among adolescents from divorced and intact families. Adolescents from divorced families appear to experience significantly more anxiety and depression than their peers from intact families. No significant difference appears between externalizing behavior among adolescents from divorced and intact families. A significant interaction of family structure and wave for internalizing behavior has been found. Compared with the data from 2006, internalizing behavior has increased among adolescents from both divorced families and intact families. There also appears to be a significant interaction of family structure and wave for delinquency, but not for aggression. Externalizing behavior decreased among adolescents from divorced families and intact families as well, compared with the data from 2006. Discussion: The pointedly findings of this research are the increase of internalizing and decrease of externalizing behavior between 2006 and 2016. The differences between intact and divorced families became bigger for internalizing, but smaller for externalizing behavior. Since this was the first study to date on this theme, we recommend replication of these findings in a larger sample. Further, possible explanations for this result are suggested to be found among experts in the field. Altogether, this study shows that divorce and adolescents remains an important topic of investigation.