An Online Preventive Intervention for Youth Exposed to High-Conflict Parental Divorce/Separation
AuthorO'Hara, Karey L.
AdvisorBeck, Connie J. A.
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.
AbstractThis study investigated efficacy of an online, preventive intervention program, Children of Divorce-Coping with Divorce (CoD-CoD; Boring, 2011). It extends previous findings to a sample of eight youth from high-conflict families who recently initiated legal divorce proceedings. CoD-CoD is a cognitive-behavioral intervention that targets coping efficacy, coping strategies, and divorce-related cognitive appraisals. A multiple-baseline single case experimental design evaluated change in daily use of active and avoidant coping strategies and corresponding coping efficacy ratings. Individual patterns of change were inspected for the program’s putative mediator variables and overall mental health functioning. Results indicate that daily coping efficacy ratings increased for four participants and decreased for the three participants who reported the highest levels of exposure to interparental conflict. The majority of participants increased use of at least one type of active coping strategy and half decreased use of at least one type of avoidant coping strategy. There were no observed patterns of systematic change in divorce-related cognitive appraisals and changes in mental health functioning were mixed. An exploratory analysis found that youth were classified as "high-risk" on a psychometrically-sound risk index in 100% of cases with documentation of two or more conflict-indicative legal events in the family court file. The study findings are consistent with previous evidence of a moderated program effect on coping efficacy, although positive effects on youth-reported mental health functioning were not replicated. Findings are discussed within the context of a high-conflict sample with temporal proximity to the legal divorce and in light of study limitations. Research directions toward effectively connecting at-risk youth with evidence-based prevention services are detailed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College