ADAPTATION VARIABLES FOR WOMEN DURING SEPARATION AND DIVORCE (STRESS, SOCIAL SUPPORT, ADULT DEVELOPMENT, SELF ESTEEM, MOTHERS)
CARLSSON, JAN MARIE
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The focus of this study was the relationship of self-esteem, social support, age, and additional demographic variables with multiple dimensions of adaptation to life for women recently divorced and/or separated. Eight hypotheses defined this study. It was hypothesized that chronological age (Hypothesis 1) and the number of children residing with a woman (Hypothesis 6) impact her ability to adapt to life during separation and divorce. It was further hypothesized that the higher a woman's self-esteem (Hypothesis 2), the more positive her social support system (Hypothesis 3), the longer her separation time (Hypothesis 4), and the higher the level of her education (Hypothesis 7) and income (Hypothesis 8), the better able she is to adapt to life during separation and divorce. It was also hypothesized that the longer a woman was married pre-separation, the more difficult it would be for her to adapt to life (Hypothesis 5).;Participants had been divorced and/or separated within the last three years, had at least one child from the marriage, and were not yet remarried or living with a man in an intimate relationship. They completed four questionnaires, which were analyzed by the calculation of a correlation matrix, including all variables studied, and regression tables for each of the 11 dependent variables forming the adaptation scale and the independent variables of self-esteem and social support. Due to the intercorrelations among the dependent variables and among the independent variables, the results of this study were probably confounded and were thus qualified.;Of the eight independent variables studied, self-esteem correlated positively and significantly with the greatest number of dimensions of adaptation, followed by age, social support, time married, education, and income. Time divorced and/or separated related significantly to none of the adaptation variables, raising the issue of how long it takes for an increase in adaptation ability to surface after separation or divorce. It was suggested that further research be done on the impact of time separated, using women divorced one to ten years, and that the current study be duplicated with more subjects, for men, and with interviews as an additional means of gathering data.