Change, disengagement, and renewal: relationship dynamics between young adults and their fathers after divorce

J Marital Fam Ther. 1999 Jan;25(1):61-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.1999.tb01110.x.


Little is known about children's perceptions of their parents' divorce or how children construct meaning around the divorce and their subsequent relationships with their parents. The focus of this study was to learn about the experiences and the meanings young adults had constructed about the divorce process and their relationships with their fathers in the years after the divorce. The findings revealed a broad spectrum of experiences and several key issues that gave meaning to both the disengagement and the reengagement with their fathers. Loss, trust, acceptance, availability, and support are a few of the vital issues addressed. Implications for family therapists are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Divorce / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Family Relations
  • Family Therapy
  • Father-Child Relations*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Nuclear Family / psychology
  • Paternal Behavior
  • Paternal Deprivation
  • Reproducibility of Results