Parental relationship dissolutions : the influence of parent-child relationship quality and adolescent self-esteem on adolescent wellbeing
This research addresses changes in adolescent problem behaviors and academic achievement following a parental relationship dissolution. It employs a within-group design utilizing two waves of data from the longitudinal National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH). It explores how family processes and adolescent characteristics influence adolescent outcomes for youth who experience parental marital or cohabitation dissolutions. Increases in the age of the child at dissolution, the time since dissolution, and parent-child relationship quality were related to decreases in adolescent problem behaviors over time. Increases in predissolution parental conflict were related to increases in problem behaviors. In addition, parental marital status was related to adolescent problem behaviors with those who experienced marital dissolution being more likely to experience increases in problem behaviors after a dissolution than those who experienced cohabitation dissolution. Higher levels of post-dissolution adolescent self-esteem were related to increases in academic achievement, while older children at the time of dissolution had decreases in academic achievement. In addition, increases in income and increases in parent-child relationship quality were related to decreases in problem behaviors for those youth who experienced lower levels of self-esteem. Increases in the quality of the parent-child relationship were related to increases in academic achievement for those youth who had experienced high levels in predissolution parental conflict. Finally, increases in income were related to increases in academic achievement for those youth who also experienced increases in parent-child relationship quality.