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Adult daughters of parental divorce : constructing current relationships with nonresidential fathers Miller, Adena B. K

Abstract

In Canada, divorce is an important individual and societal issue. With 38% of all marriages projected to end in divorce before their 30th wedding anniversary (The Vanier Institute of the Family, 2004) and half of all divorces involving dependent children (Statistics Canada, 2005) it is not surprising that the short and long term repercussions of experiencing parental divorce is of concern to researchers, practitioners, and families alike. Previous research has suggested that experiencing divorce can have a wide array of consequences on close relationships (Amato, 2003), one of which is parent - child relationships. Divorce has the potential to impact parent - child relationships throughout the life course for both children and their parents (Booth & Amato, 1994; Cooney & Uhlenberg, 1990; Lye, Klepinger, Hyde, & Nelson, 1995; Zill, Morrison, & Coiro, 1993). Consequentially, the importance of understanding parent - child relationships within the biographical context of parental divorce, and their entire relational history, is becoming increasingly apparent. The present study examines whether a model of parent - child interactions within the context of the entire relationship outlined by Lollis and Kuczynski (1997) is useful in examining and understanding the current adult daughter - nonresidential father relationship. In order to accomplish this, interviews were conducted with 9 women who experienced parental divorce in childhood and who were between the ages of 19-24 at the time of interview. Analysis borrowed from a biographical (Rosenthal, 2004) and grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1994). Results indicate the presence of themes of relationship construction, in particular relational damage, repair and maintenance within the daughters' accounts. Therein, the research provides empirical support for the usefulness of Lollis and Kuczynski's (1997) model.

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