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When Love Hurts – Mental and Physical Health Among Recently Divorced Danes

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

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The last decades of research have consistently found strong associations between divorce and adverse health outcomes among adults. However, limitations of a majority of this research include (a) lack of “real-time” research, i.e., research employing data collected very shortly after juridical divorce where little or no separation periods have been effectuated, (b) research employing thoroughly validated and population-normed measures against which study results can be compared, and (c) research including a comprehensive array of previously researched sociodemographic- and divorce-related variables. The current cross-sectional study, including 1,856 recently divorced Danes, was designed to bridge these important gaps in the literature. Mental and physical health were measured using the Short Form 36 (SF-36)-2. Analyses included correlational analyses, t-test comparisons, and hierarchical multiple regression analyses. The study found that the health-related quality of life of Danish divorcees was significantly worse than the comparative background population immediately following divorce. Across gender, higher levels of divorce conflict were found to predict worse mental health, and worse physical health for women, even when controlling for other socio-demographic variables and divorce characteristics. Among men, lower age and higher income predicted better physical health, while more children, more previous divorces, participant divorce initiation, new partner status, and lower levels of divorce conflict predicted better mental health. Among women, higher income, fewer previous divorces, new partner status, and lower levels of divorce conflict predicted better physical health while higher income, participant divorce initiation, new partner status, and lower levels of divorce conflict predicted better mental health. The findings underscore the relevance of providing assistance to divorcees who experience higher levels of divorce conflict immediately following divorce, in seeking to reduce potential long-term negative health effects of divorce.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer578083
TidsskriftFrontiers in Psychology
Vol/bind11
Antal sider11
ISSN1664-1078
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2020

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