Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





Psychology, Clinical.


Orr, Robert,




The purpose of the present study was to identify several variables (Parental Marital status, interparental conflict, parent-child relationships) related to the divorce process and the association that these variables have on adolescent problem behaviours (sexual activity, alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking). Students (N = 2,087) from all high schools across Windsor and Essex county were included in this study. The age of the participants ranged from 14 year olds or younger to 18 year olds or older, with slightly more females (n = 1125) than males (n = 976) participating in this study. The participants completed a "Teen Health Centre Survey", with only the relevant subsections included in the present study. Overall, adolescents living in divorced and/or separated homes had higher rates of sexual activity, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking. In addition, adolescents living in divorced and/or separated homes with high levels of interparental conflict had higher rates of these problem behaviours compared to adolescents living in married homes with high levels of interparental conflict. Quality of parent-child relationships was not related to these rates of problem behaviours. The current findings suggest that multiple stressors during the divorce process have serious consequences for adolescent's behaviour. Consequently, parental efforts should concentrate on minimizing the number of stressors an adolescent experiences during times of marital transitions.Dept. of Psychology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .L38. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0595. Adviser: Robert Orr. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.