Thuisgevoel bij jongeren na scheiding en de samenhang met ouder-kind relatiekwaliteit, contactfrequentie en stiefgezinkenmerken
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Background: Yearly, around 70.000 children and adolescents in the Netherlands experience a parental divorce. Research consistently shows that this can negatively impact their adjustment. Family belonging can help reduce those consequences and therefore have a positive effect on the wellbeing of youngsters with divorced parents. This study explores several factors that may be associated with a sense of belonging in adolescents after a divorce and whether there is a difference between mother and father. Method: Data were used from the ‘Where do I belong?’ study from University Utrecht. Participants were 188 adolescents from 11 to 19 years old with divorced parents. Regression analyses were used to examine if parent-child relationship quality, contact frequency, and/or stepfamily characteristics can predict sense of family belonging in adolescents after a divorce for father and mother separately. Results: The results indicate that parent-child relationship quality is the best predictor of family belonging in adolescents after a divorce. A higher parent-child relationship quality is related to a higher sense of belonging and vice-versa, for both mothers and fathers. Contact frequency is, for both fathers and mothers, also positively related to sense of belonging in adolescents. Stepfamily characteristics are negatively related to the sense of belonging in adolescents regarding father. This is especially true for the presence of half- or stepsiblings. Conclusion: Parent-child relationship quality seems to be strongly related to family belonging for both mother and father. When all the predictors are taken into account, mother-child contact frequency is considered to be highly related to belonging, whereas in relation to belonging with father, stepfamily characteristics play an important role. This study shows several factors related to family belonging. Furthermore it implies that there are differences between father and mother when it comes to predictors related to family belonging and this should be taken into account in follow-up research.