AuthorFriedman, David Samuel.
Committee ChairKahn, Marv
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe mental health costs of divorce are staggering: no variable has been more consistently associated with the distribution of psychopathology in the population. Although the literature contains many descriptive guides for the treatment of the divorced, few empirical investigations of specific intervention strategies exist. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of one such treatment program, Divorce Recovery of Tucson. Three hypotheses were tested in the study. The first predicted that participants in Divorce Recovery would make greater progress in completing the social and psychological tasks of divorce adjustment than would a contrast group of divorced individuals. The second hypothesis posed a similar advantage for Divorce Recovery participants in the area of general psychological health, as measured by a symptom checklist, the SCL-90-R. The last predicted a moderately strong negative correlation between levels of symptomatology and adjustment to divorce, in the hope of aiding in the validation of a new instrument, the Fisher Divorce Adjustment Scale (FDAS). The study's treatment group consisted of 46 participants in Divorce Recovery, while the contrast group of 45 was drawn from separated or divorced volunteers residing primarily in Ventura County, California. Both groups completed the FDAS and SCL-90-R at ten week intervals, treatment group subjects doing so before and after attending a support group. The results provided partial support for the study's first hypothesis. In general, participation in Divorce Recovery facilitated the intrapersonal, rather than the social, tasks posed by divorce. More specifically, results obtained using the analysis of variance indicated a statistically significant advantage for the treatment group in the area of disentanglement from the love relationship, and clinically significant trends favoring the treatment group in the areas of self-esteem and resolution of anger. The second hypothesis found very mild support, with some weak trends present which favored the treatment group. The study's third hypothesis was confirmed, as moderately strong negative correlations were obtained between the FDAS and the SCL-90-R. Implications of the results for both theory and treatment are discussed, issues of internal validity and generalizability are explored, and suggestions for future studies are made.