Parental divorce: long-term effects on mental health, family relations and adult sexual behavior

Scand J Psychol. 2000 Jun;41(2):101-5. doi: 10.1111/1467-9450.00177.


Specific long term effects of parental divorce were examined in a sample of 179 Icelanders, 20 to 30 years of age. The participants answered the Borromean Family Index, the Affect Balance Scale and a number of questions on sexual behavior and attitudes towards marriage and divorce. Results showed that compared to adults whose parents remained married, those of divorced parents reported more negative emotional experiences at the time of the study and had looser family ties. They also had greater number of short love affairs, had their first love affair at a younger age, had a greater number of sexual partners, and were younger at the time of their first sexual intercourse than adults whose parents remained married.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Divorce / psychology*
  • Family Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Male
  • Mental Health*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Time Factors