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"Feeling caught" as a mediator of adolescents' and young adults' avoidance and satisfaction with their parents in divorced and non-divorced households

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Numerous researchers have argued that divorce may not have as much of an impact on children's relationships with their parents as the degree of interparental con.ict (e.g., Ahrons & Rodgers, 1987; Amato, Loomis, & Booth, 1995). In the current model the degree to which adolescents and young adults felt caught between their parents was tested as a mediator between divorce and children's avoidance and satisfaction with them. The results revealed that divorce was largely associated with avoidance and satisfaction through children's feelings of being caught, which were a function of their parents' demand--withdraw patterns, communication competence, and other variables. When divorce was removed from the model, the specific relationships in the model applied to children of divorced and non-divorced households. Nevertheless, children of divorce reported greater avoidance, feelings of being caught, greater parental demand--withdraw patterns, less parental communication competence, less closeness, and less satisfaction than children from first marriage families. The .t of the model as a function of the age of the child is also discussed.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2003


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