Family Structure and Warmth Growing Up Relates to Personal Adult Relationships

Topics: Interpersonal relationship, Family, Marriage Pages: 10 (3326 words) Published: October 13, 2008
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Family Structure and Warmth Growing Up
Relates To Personal Adult Relationships
Northern Arizona University

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The relationship between family environment at an adolescent age and younger and current adult personal relationships was explored, including degree of warmth and the structure in the family. This was measured in a survey structure with 2 levels of scales, one yes/no and the other a likert scale of 1-5. Our purpose for the research was to find a correlation with family structure growing up and current satisfaction of relationships. Our study did not indicate a relationship with family environment and satisfaction of relationships, unfortunately. Our study was not supportive with previous research conducted due to limitations.

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Family Structure and Warmth Growing Up
Relates To Personal Adult Relationships
Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the effects of childhood experience on adult life not only in the past three decades since Psychology has gained some popularity but reverting back centuries. Although those studies may not be scientific in method they have helped pave the way for psychological research. One earlier report consists of research done by Jill Mathews Thies. “Nearly one million American adults crowd divorce courts annually to sever their marital bonds, while some 800,000 rush to the alter to re-tie the knot, hoping this time to capture the promise of “happily ever after”. As their parents scramble in the pursuit of connubial happiness, children often encounter events of staggering psychological complexity” (Thies, 1977). While Thies’ journal may not have been based on an experiment her words came from her life experience and professional experience as a clinical social worker. Her familiarity with divorce and remarriage is showcased in her depth of knowledge in childhood anguish and confusion due to parental divorce, separation or remarriage. One can assume that for a child these issues would be impactful whether positive or negative. A child’s parents are a main influence, focus, and source of guidance for children; children are very impressionable in their actions, life choices, and opinions. Not only is adolescent mental health in jeopardy but also physical health too. Troxler & Matthwes (2004) performed a professional article search on a basis of how a young child’s relationship with their parents and the amount of conflict in the marriage relates to the child’s physical health. They found that greater amount of dissolution in the parental relationship and more conflict present the greater risk the child is at for unhealthy physiological pathway reconstruction. The articles that made up the backbone of this study were

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discussing stress responses, neurological pathways, and risky health behaviors all affected by conflict in the home and child’s life caused by the parent’s divorce/separation/conflict. A sample of 207 young adults at a university health clinic volunteered for an investigation into the effects of marital conflict, remarriage, amount of parental conflict, post-divorce living styles, and of what age the child was when divorce occurred (Frank, 2007). This study also examined the gender of the participant in relation to sibling relationships and parent-child relationships. Frank discovered, like many others, that divorce has a significant impact on personal relationships no matter what gender the child may be. She also found that the father-daughter or father-son relationship is much more fragile to divorce when compared to the more positive found relationship of the mother-daughter or mother-son. Through a twenty year longitudinal study Constance R. Ahrons drew data from a binuclear family study of 178 grown children twenty years after their parents had...

References: Ahrons, C. R. (2007). Family ties after divorce: Long-term implications for children. Family Process. 46(1), 53-65.
Aro, H. M., & Palosaari, U. K. (1992). Parental divorce, adolescence, and transition to young adulthood: A follow-up study. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 62(3), 421-429.
Davis, J. L., Petretic-Jackson, P. A., & Ting, L. (2001). Intimacy dysfunction and trauma symptomatology: Long-term correlates of different types of child abuse. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 14(1), 63-79.
Frank, H. (2007).Young adults ' relationship with parents and siblings: The role of marital status, conflict and post-divorce predictors. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage. 46(3-4), 105-124.
Huurre, T., Junkkari, H., & Aro, H. (2006). Long-term psychosocial effects of parental divorce: A follow-up study from adolescence to adulthood. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience. 256(4), 256-263.
Shulman, S., Scharf, M., Lumer, D., & Maurer, O. (2001). Parental divorce and young adult children 's romantic relationships: Resolution of the divorce experience. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry. 71(4), 472-478.
Thies, J. M. (1977). Beyond divorce: The impact of remarriage on children. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology. 6(2), 59-61.
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