Trajectories of psychological adaptation to marital breakup after a long-term marriage

Knöpfli, Bina; Morselli, Davide; Perrig-Chiello, Pasqualina (10 September 2015). Trajectories of psychological adaptation to marital breakup after a long-term marriage (Unpublished). In: 17th European Conference on Developmental Psychology. Braga, Portugal. 08.-12.09.2015.

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While the negative effects of divorce on well-being are well documented in research literature, the large individual differences in psychological adaptation over time are still not well understood. This is especially the case for marital breakup after long-term marriage, which is still a neglected research topic. Against this background, the aim of the present contribution is to shed light on the various trajectories of psychological adaptation to marital breakup after a long-term relationship. Data stem from a longitudinal survey study, which is part of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research ‘LIVES – Overcoming vulnerability: life course perspectives’ (funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation). Our analyses are based on results of an exploratory latent profile analysis performed at the first assessment in 2012 among 308 divorced participants aged 45 – 65 years, who divorced after an average of 25 years of marriage (Perrig-Chiello, Hutchison, & Morselli, 2014). Five different groups regarding psychological adaptation to marital breakup (i.e. life satisfaction, depression, hopelessness, subjective health, and mourning) were identified. They were composed of two larger groups of individuals that adapted quite well or very well (“average copers”, n=151 and “resilients”, n=90) and of three smaller groups with major difficulties to adjust to the new situation (“vulnerables”, n= 18; “malcontens”, n= 37 and “resigned ones”, n=12). Clusters differed statistically significant regarding personality variables, time since separation, current relationship status, and financial situation. In the present contribution, we want to investigate the course of adaptation of the five classes two years later by using latent transition analysis. Furthermore, we aim to examine which variables in terms of personality, relationship status, variables of the context of the separation and socio-demographic variables are crucial for change or stability in levels of adaptation in the different classes. The evaluation of the trajectories of adaptation to this critical life event and the identification of variables that enhance the adaptation over time is essential for developing more differentiated measures in counselling as well as intervention techniques in clinical and social services.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Knöpfli, Bina and Perrig-Chiello, Pasqualina


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology


[4] Swiss National Science Foundation






Bina Knöpfli

Date Deposited:

23 Oct 2015 14:06

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2015 14:06




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