Enhancing Youth Outcomes Following Parental Divorce: A Longitudinal Study of the Effects of the New Beginnings Program on Educational and Occupational Goals

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Abstract

This study examined whether the New Beginnings Program for divorced families led to improvements in youth's educational goals and job aspirations 6 years following participation and tested whether several parenting and youth variables mediated the program effects. Participants were 240 youth aged 9 to 12 years at the initial assessment, and data were part of a randomized, experimental trial of a parenting skills preventive intervention targeting children's postdivorce adjustment. The results revealed positive effects of the program on youth's educational goals and job aspirations 6 years after participation for those who were at high risk for developing later problems at program entry. Further, intervention-induced changes in mother-child relationship quality and youth externalizing problems, internalizing problems, self-esteem, and academic competence at the 6-year follow-up mediated the effects of the program on the educational expectations of high-risk youth. Intervention-induced changes in youth externalizing problems and academic competence at the 6-year follow-up mediated the effects of the program on the job aspirations of high-risk youth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-165
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Volume41
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

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Divorce
Longitudinal Studies
Parenting
Mental Competency
Social Adjustment
Mother-Child Relations
Self Concept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "This study examined whether the New Beginnings Program for divorced families led to improvements in youth's educational goals and job aspirations 6 years following participation and tested whether several parenting and youth variables mediated the program effects. Participants were 240 youth aged 9 to 12 years at the initial assessment, and data were part of a randomized, experimental trial of a parenting skills preventive intervention targeting children's postdivorce adjustment. The results revealed positive effects of the program on youth's educational goals and job aspirations 6 years after participation for those who were at high risk for developing later problems at program entry. Further, intervention-induced changes in mother-child relationship quality and youth externalizing problems, internalizing problems, self-esteem, and academic competence at the 6-year follow-up mediated the effects of the program on the educational expectations of high-risk youth. Intervention-induced changes in youth externalizing problems and academic competence at the 6-year follow-up mediated the effects of the program on the job aspirations of high-risk youth.",
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