A phenomenological analysis of attitudes to long term relationships and marriage amongst adults whose parents divorced during childhood
(2014) A phenomenological analysis of attitudes to long term relationships and marriage amongst adults whose parents divorced during childhood, no. 77.
The experiences of the children of divorced parents are often neglected by academic literature on the impact of divorce on those directly involved. This is accompanied by a lack of a set definition of what constitutes a 'family'. Family studies have not only overlooked the numerous forms a family can take, but there has been very little attention paid to the impact parental divorce holds upon the family unit, the familial relationships and the children. At the time of this research there has been no investigation into the long lasting implications parental divorce holds upon the children, with particular attention to their attitudes towards long term relationships and marriage. It is for this reason that the research aims to provide an account of six adult children of divorce and their lived experiences and relationships with their parents, pre- and post-divorce. This will then inform the discussion of their attitudes towards long term relationships and the idea of marriage. This research begins by discussing the previous literature that surrounds both the family and divorce. A subjective, phenomenological approach has been adopted in order to provide in depth accounts of the adult children of divorce's experiences and their attitudes towards love and commitment. The results indicate that being an adult child of divorce holds many implications on not only the attitudes of the children towards long term relationships and marriage, but also their willingness to enter into such relationships.