AdvisorChristensen, Donna Hendrickson
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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.
AbstractThis study used a grounded theory approach to develop a model of courtship following divorce. To be included in this study, individuals had to be: (1) divorced; (2) have a child or children; and (3) currently involved in a committed heterosexual relationship. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten individuals. Data analysis consisted of open coding, axial coding, and selective coding (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). Desire for connection is the basic social process underlying the model of courtship after divorce. Three stages which describe this process emerged in the current study: reconnecting with self, reconnecting with others, and reconnecting with a partner. The first stage, reconnecting with self, was a time when people stepped back and reflected on their divorce/separation experiences and started redefining themselves outside of the marriage relationship that had ended. The second stage, reconnection with others, was when people began going out with potential partners after divorce. For most, this stage was not marked by a conscious decision to start dating again, but it did include feelings of anxiety about dating. The experience of going out with different individuals helped people realize what they were searching for in a relationship and in a partner. This process was described in the intervening condition of realizing what you want, which facilitated movement from the stage of reconnecting with others to the final stage of reconnecting with a partner. Personal support, companionship/friendship, and similarity were the factors that emerged in realizing what you want. The final stage of the model, reconnecting with a partner, described people's involvement in committed postdivorce relationships. This stage involved a conscious effort not to repeat past mistakes and, for many, a belief that there was no need to get remarried. It included cohabitation for some couples, but not for others. Decisions regarding cohabitation were influenced by the presence or absence of children living with them. Children emerged as a contextual condition in the model. Age of the children, the relationship between the partner and children, and a belief that children come first were the key factors that comprised the contextual condition of children in the model.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Family and Consumer Sciences