The association between divorce and patterns of child adjustment
Nicoll, Mark John
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Previous research has indicated that although children from divorced families on average are not as well adjusted as children from intact families, there is a great deal of variability in how these children adjust to the divorce of their parents. In an effort to investigate the within-group variability of children of divorced families the generalizability of clusters of adjustment found by E. M. Hetherington (1989, 1993) was investigated. Data were gathered from 137 boys and girls primarily between the ages of 12-14 years. Participants came from both divorced and intact families. Measures included the Child Behavior Checklist - Youth Self-Report (YSR), the Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory: Youth Version (EQ-I: YV), a measure of students' sense of school values and competence (SSVC), and an interview focusing on parents' marital histories. Data for the main sample were submitted to a squared Euclidean cluster analysis using Ward's method of agglomeration. The stability and validity of the derived clusters was investigated via internal replication and a double-cross validation using multiple discriminant analysis. The clusters obtained from the main sample did not evidence a high level of consistency across different subsets of the sample and the correct classification rates were low thus indicating a lack of homogeneity within clusters and discreteness between clusters. No evidence was found for distinct patterns of adjustment within the sample. Possible explanations for the findings are discussed along with the issue of obtaining an adequate sample of children from divorced families.