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Married and Recently Divorced Mothers' Stressful Events and Distress: Tracing Change Across Time

Frederick O. Lorenz, Ronald L. Simons, Rand D. Conger, Glen H. Elder, Jr., Christine Johnson and Wei Chao
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 59, No. 1 (Feb., 1997), pp. 219-232
DOI: 10.2307/353674
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/353674
Page Count: 14
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Married and Recently Divorced Mothers' Stressful Events and Distress: Tracing Change Across Time
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Abstract

We examined the relationship between divorce and psychological distress in adult women by combining data from two studies, one of divorced mothers with adolescent children (n = 188) and another of married mothers (n = 306). The data were modeled using latent growth curves to chart change over time. Change in depressive symptoms paralleled changes in stressful events. For divorced mothers, stressful events and depressive symptoms increased significantly soon after the divorce and then diminished over the next 3 years, although not to the same levels reported by married women. The data were consistent with a proposed model that incorporated aspects of both the social causation and the selection perspectives.

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