The Effects of Parental Divorce on Psychosocial Adjustment of Adolescents (The Case of Two Schools of Hossana Town in Hadiya Zone)

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of parents' divorce on adolescents' psychological and social adjustments. To this end, psychological and social measures of adolescents were developed. Single-mother, s tepmother, and intact family types were identified from the responses of adolescents using the screening questionnaire distributed in two secondary schools of Hossana town in Hadiya zone. One hundred twenty adolescents, 40 from each family type (20 males and 20 females) participated in the s tudy. The analyses were conducted on the basis of different combinations of family types. Fi rs t, a 3 by 2 multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was computed to find the effect of the independent variables, family type and sex. It revealed that there was a significant multivariate main effect and interaction effect (p<.05) of the group as a whole. In addition, subsequent univariate tests revealed significant group differences on both dependent measures. Follow-up tests indicate s ignificantly higher scores between the divorced and the non-divorced groups. It shows that adolescents, whose parents had experienced a marital dissolution, were significantly worse off than those whose p a rents had not. Moreover, the effects of parents' divorce tend to differ for those whose custodial parent remarried and for those whose custodial parent remained single. The most important finding, the refore, was that adolescents in the stepmother families reported more psychological problems significantly than adolescents in the singlemother family,. which suggests that the pare nts' remarriage created more problems. Similarly, a significant main effect for sex also obtained from the MANOVA. The social measure of univariate test implies that divorce has a more negative impact on boys than on girls. Later on, the effect of the adolescents' age at the time of divorce and their adjustment status was examined. The findings disclosed that the effects of parents' divorce are higher for those who were younger at the time of divorce. Finally, based on the findings, it is recommended that the society has to be informed on the impa,.ct of divorce on children and adolescents