Het Sociaal Functioneren van Adolescenten uit Intacte en Gescheiden Gezinnen en de Rol van de Kwaliteit van de Ouder-Kind Relatie
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Background: Each year about 70.000 young people, under the age of 22, living with their parents experience parental divorce. A divorce can lead to several negative consequences for the children involved, among which problems in social functioning. Aim: This study aimed to examine whether there is a difference in social functioning between adolescents from intact and divorced families and what role the quality of the parent child relationship has in this connection. Method: 975 children between the ages of 10 and 19 filled in a questionnaire at school. Subscales of the Dutch “Co-parenting Behavior Questionnaire” were used to measure maternal and paternal warmth. The subscales perceived peer acceptance and close friendships of the “Competentiebelevingsschaal Adolescenten” were used to measure social functioning. To answer the research questions two ANOVAs, an ANCOVA and a correlation analysis were done. Results: Against expectations no significant difference was found between the social functioning of adolescents from intact and divorced families. However, a significant difference was found between the quality of the parent-child relationship in intact and divorced families. In intact families the quality of the parent-child relationship was higher. As expected, this difference was stronger for the father-child relationship than it was for the mother-child relationship. Additionally, as expected based on the other findings, the quality of the parent-child relationship was not found to explain the difference between divorce and social functioning of adolescents. However, a positive connection was found between the quality of the parent-child relationship and social functioning of adolescents. Conclusion: No direct connection was found between divorce and social functioning, this might be explained by the resilience of the child. More research is needed to look into this. A significant difference was found in the subjective experience on the quality of the parent-child relationship rated by adolescents. On top of that, there was found to be a positive connection between the quality of the parent-child relationship and social functioning of the adolescent.