Breakup after long-term marriage: How the past and ongoing relationship to the ex-partner is linked to psychological adaptation

Knöpfli, Bina; Brodbeck, Jeannette; Perrig-Chiello, Pasqualina (12 July 2016). Breakup after long-term marriage: How the past and ongoing relationship to the ex-partner is linked to psychological adaptation (Unpublished). In: 24th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development (ISSBD). Vilnius, Litauen. 10.-14.07.2016.

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While negative effects of divorce on well-being are well documented in research literature, the role of relationships with the ex-partner after marital breakup on adaptation remains unclear. This is especially the case for marital breakup after long-term marriage, which is still a neglected research topic. This research focuses on the relationships with the ex-partner (past and ongoing), and the extent to which the quality of these relations are linked to psychological adaptation to marital breakup (i.e., life satisfaction and depressive symptoms) over time. Therefore, we take into account socio-demographic variables (i.e., age, gender, financial resources), personality variables (i.e., personality traits, resilience) as well as the current relationship status. Data stem from two waves (2012, 2014) of a longitudinal survey-based study, which is part of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research ‘LIVES – Overcoming vulnerability: life course perspectives’. Our analyses are carried out on a subsample of 501 divorcees (349 females, 152 males) aged 40 – 65 years (M= 51 years, SD= 6.7). The average length of their former relationship was 21.6 years (SD= 8.1) and participants experienced the separation on average 3.8 years ago (SD= 2.8). Half of the participants (n= 255; 49%) were in a new relationship, the majority (71%, n= 360) were still in contact with their ex-partner. Of those persons, 29% reported ‘tense to very tense’ contact to the ex-partner, 29% responded with ‘partly tense, partly good’ and 41% reported of a ‘good to very good’ contact. Preliminary results by multiple linear regression analysis demonstrate that for those who are still in contact with the former partner, ongoing conflicts are related to worse adaptation (i.e., lower life satisfaction, higher depressive symptoms), even when the participants are in a new relationship. Variables related to the ex-relationship (i.e., length of and happiness with former relationship, initiator status of separation, time passed since separation) only play a limited role for adaptation. In a next step, we will examine longitudinal associations using structural equation modelling. These results offer important insights into the process of adaptation to martial breakup, which can be used for counselling.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Developmental Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Knöpfli, Bina; Brodbeck, Jeannette and Perrig-Chiello, Pasqualina

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

Funders:

[85] NCCR LIVES

Language:

English

Submitter:

Katja Margelisch

Date Deposited:

05 Aug 2016 16:34

Last Modified:

13 Feb 2017 11:16

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.85157

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/85157

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