Project Title

The Impact of Divorce on College Students from Appalachia

Presenter Hometown

Belfry, KY

Major

Psychology

Department

Psychology

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Steffen Wilson

Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if being raised in Appalachia, a region that holds generally high divorce rates, is correlated with more negative outcomes for children of divorce compared to children of divorce raised outside of Appalachia. In this study, grade point average, ACT scores, self-esteem, support systems, university connectedness and familial tethering were assessed in relation to parental divorce in college students that were raised both in and out of the Appalachian region. Participants completed an online survey composed of several demographic questions, open-response questions and various scales to measure the six outcomes listed above. The results showed that child outcomes only vary slightly between the two groups. However, post hoc results found that if college students rated their parents as having managed the impact of the divorce well, they also indicated a higher rating (more positive) on a question asking how they felt that their parent’s divorce affected them. Additionally, there was a negative correlation between the answer on the aforementioned question and college students rating of their parents arguing frequency. These findings prompted an ongoing study to investigate the concept of a “reconciled parental divorce”.

Presentation format

Poster

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The Impact of Divorce on College Students from Appalachia

The purpose of this study was to determine if being raised in Appalachia, a region that holds generally high divorce rates, is correlated with more negative outcomes for children of divorce compared to children of divorce raised outside of Appalachia. In this study, grade point average, ACT scores, self-esteem, support systems, university connectedness and familial tethering were assessed in relation to parental divorce in college students that were raised both in and out of the Appalachian region. Participants completed an online survey composed of several demographic questions, open-response questions and various scales to measure the six outcomes listed above. The results showed that child outcomes only vary slightly between the two groups. However, post hoc results found that if college students rated their parents as having managed the impact of the divorce well, they also indicated a higher rating (more positive) on a question asking how they felt that their parent’s divorce affected them. Additionally, there was a negative correlation between the answer on the aforementioned question and college students rating of their parents arguing frequency. These findings prompted an ongoing study to investigate the concept of a “reconciled parental divorce”.