Date of Award:

1999

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Family, Consumer, and Human Development

Department name when degree awarded

Family and Human Development

Advisor/Chair:

Scot M. Allgood

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was an association between current level of conflict between divorced parents and their attendance or nonattendance at the divorce education pilot program. A telephone interview was used to examine current level of postdivorce conflict. The first portion of the telephone interview used questions that were taken from the Family of Origin Scale (FOS). Questions were selected as they related to various stages of divorce. The second portion of the questionnaire obtained sociodemographic data. as well as information regarding relitigation. The telephone interview was administered to 160 individuals who participated in the divorce education pilot program and to 59 individuals who did not participate.

Hypothesis one stated that attendance at the divorce education program will not be associated with the current level of postdivorce conflict. This hypothesis was rejected as a statistically significant association between postdivorce conflict and class attendance was demonstrated. Both males and females in the nonattendance group had higher mean conflict scores than the attendance group. Also, females in both groups had higher mean conflict scores than their male counterparts.

Hypothesis two stated that attendance at the divorce education program will not be associated with the number of custody and visitation legal issues since the initial custody arrangement. Hypothesis two was also rejected as attendance at the divorce education class was found to be weakly associated with whether a subject will return to court or not. A demographic summary for subjects returning to court was also created.

The need for continued research on postdivorce conflict was addressed. The theoretical implications of the study were highlighted. as well as other recommendations concerning the role of marriage and family therapists who work with families experiencing divorce.

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