Fear of abandonment as a mediator of the relations between divorce stressors and mother-child relationship quality and children's adjustment problems

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34 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines whether fear of abandonment mediates the prospective relations between divorce stressors and mother-child relationship quality and adjustment problems of children of divorce. Participants were 216 children, ages 8-12, and their primary residential mothers. Children reported on divorce stressors and fear of abandonment; mothers and children reported on mother-child relationship quality and internalizing and externalizing problems. Structural equation models indicated that Time 1 fear of abandonment mediated the relation between Time 1 divorce stressors and Time 2 internalizing and externalizing problems. Time 1 fear of abandonment also mediated the relation between Time 1 mother-child relationship quality and Time 2 internalizing and externalizing problems. Implications of these results for understanding variability in children's postdivorce adjustment problems and interventions for divorced families are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-418
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2002

Keywords

  • Children's postdivorce adjustment problems
  • Fear of abandonment
  • Mediators of postdivorce adjustment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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