Adult Children of Divorce and their Views of their Parents' Divorce and Intimacy

by Dornak, Terry, Psy.D., THE CHICAGO SCHOOL OF PROFESSIONAL PSYCHOLOGY, 2013, 101 pages; 3515247


Previous research has found that adult children of divorce have a different perception of intimacy and marriage than adult children from intact families. This study focuses on the experiences of a selected sample of adult children of divorce. Three men and three women were interviewed about their perceptions of intimacy, marriage, love, and divorce and their experiences of their parents' divorce. The interview data was then analyzed through object relations theory. The participants' beliefs of love, intimacy, marriage, divorce, and sex varied; however, some similarities were found. Reoccurring descriptions of love involved acceptance and trust. Common factors of intimacy were sharing, communication, and love. Attitudes and beliefs regarding sexuality were the most varied among participants. Viewed from an object relation's theory, it was understood that many of the participants had antilibidinal egos that feared rejection and libidinal egos that needed attention and emotional connection. The findings of this study may lead to applications in therapy that may be preventative for children during and after the divorce process or may address relationship difficulties that adult children of divorce may have.

Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsDevelopmental psychology; Psychology; Clinical psychology
Publication Number3515247

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