Young Adults' Committed Romantic Relationships: A Longitudinal Study on the Dynamics among Parental Divorce, Relationships with Mothers and Fathers, and Children's Committed Romantic Relationships
KeywordsFamily & Consumer Sciences
AdvisorChristensen, Donna H.
Barber, Bonnie L.
Committee ChairChristensen, Donna H.
Barber, Bonnie L.
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.
AbstractRomantic relationship qualities are important for individuals' psychosocial adjustment. This dissertation focuses on how young adults' committed romantic relationships are related to experience of parental divorce and relationships with parents during adolescence. Also, how this relationship may be different by four dyads of parents and children - father/daughter, father/son, mother/daughter, and mother/son - is examined.The conceptual paper proposes parent-child relationships as a main family process affecting children's romantic relationships. Social learning theoretical perspectives is used as a guide that children observe, model, learn, and then apply the behaviors or patterns of relationships with parents to their own romantic relationships. Two potential roles of parent-child relationships are addressed in the dynamics among parental divorce, parent-child relationships, and children's romantic relationships. The first role of parent-child relationships is a mediation role between parental divorce and children's romantic relationships. The second role of parent-child relationships is a moderation role between parental divorce and children's romantic relationships. How one variable, parent-child relationships, can be a mediator as well as moderator is addressed in the conceptual paper. Also, the need to examine four dyads of parents and children in these models is addressed.Two empirical studies examine a potential mediation and a moderation model respectively. The data for these studies were taken from Wave 6 (high school senior) and Wave 8 (age 24) of the Michigan Study of Adolescent Life Transitions (MSALT). The mediation model is tested using a multi-group mediation model using SEM. The results suggest that there is indirect effect of parental divorce on children's romantic relationships, specifically for father-daughter dyads. The moderation model is tested using hierarchical regression analyses and the results show that there is interaction between parental divorce and relationships with parents. For example, relationships with fathers in always-married families are significantly related to children's satisfaction in their romantic relationships.In the conclusion chapter, implications of the findings, limitations and contribution of the studies, and direction for future research are addressed.
Degree ProgramFamily & Consumer Sciences