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Children's Adjustment Following Divorce: Risk and Resilience Perspectives

Joan B. Kelly and Robert E. Emery
Family Relations
Vol. 52, No. 4 (Oct., 2003), pp. 352-362
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3700316
Page Count: 11
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Children's Adjustment Following Divorce: Risk and Resilience Perspectives
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Abstract

The empirical literature on the longer-term adjustment of children of divorce is reviewed from the perspective of (a) the Stressors and elevated risks that divorce presents for children and (b) protective factors associated with better adjustment. The resiliency demonstrated by the majority of children is discussed, as are controversies regarding the adjustment of adult children of divorce. A third dimension of children's responses to divorce, that of lingering painful memories, is distinguished from pathology in order to add a useful complement to risk and resilience perspectives. The potential benefits of using an increasingly differentiated body of divorce research to shape the content of interventions, such as divorce education, by designing programs that focus on known risk factors for children and that assist parents to institute more protective behaviors that may enhance children's longer-term adjustment is discussed.

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