Adult Children of Divorce and Relationship Education: Implications for Counselors and Counselor Educators

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Abstract

This article explores the impact of relationship education on young adults’ optimism about relationships and attitudes toward marriage whose parents were divorced and offers implications and suggestions for counselors and counselor educators. Previous research in the area of intimate and family relationships has demonstrated that adults who have experienced a parental divorce in childhood often enter their own intimate relationships with altered expectations and perceptions about their chances for success. A pilot study was conducted exploring whether participating in an intimate relationships course impacted attitudes toward marriage and optimism about relationships among those who experienced a parental divorce as compared with those who came from nondivorced homes. While no significant changes in attitude or optimism were found upon completion of the course, post hoc analyses found significant differences between students who perceive their family of origin as healthy as compared with students who perceive their family of origin as unhealthy, regardless of parental divorce. Conclusions and recommendations for future research are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-29
Number of pages8
JournalThe Family Journal
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Keywords

  • adult children of divorce
  • attitudes toward marriage
  • intimate relationships
  • relationship education
  • relationship optimism

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