Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marriage and Family Therapy

First Committee Member

Patricia A. Markos

Number of Pages



The most dramatic change in family life in contemporary society is the divorce rate (Amato, 2000), with numerous studies analyzing and examining divorce and its implications (Rao, 2002). According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 50% of marriages are terminated (Bowles, 2005). In addition, Martin, Specter, Martin, and Martin (2003) reported that the United States has the highest remarriage rate in the world, and second marriages account for nearly half of all current marriages (Wallerstein, 2005). Children who experience divorce are subjected to more stressful life changes, such as relocation (Harris, 1995), economic decline (Hetherington, 1989; Nelson, 1993), a decrease in social support networks (Bouchard & Drapeau, 1991), and changes in the arrangements of childcare (Laird & Hamilton, 1995). This can deleteriously affect the environment where children are socialized and nurtured (Martin et al.), and produce multiple changes within the family system (Cox, 1997). The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth analysis of divorce by comparing levels of depression, anxiety, self-esteem, and availability of resources between professional adult dancers who were children from divorces considered "negative", divorces considered "positive/neutral", and professional adult dancers raised in two-parent households; Overall, the results of this study indicated that dancers who were raised in divorced families reported more depression, more anxiety, lower levels of self-esteem, and less perceived availability of resources than those who were raised in intact families. Additionally, results indicated that those who were raised in neutral to positive divorced families reported less depression, less anxiety, higher levels of self-esteem, and more perceived availability of resources than those stemming from negatively divorced families. Those who were raised in neutral to positive divorced families reported higher levels of self-esteem than those from intact families. Implications for treatment and directions for future research are discussed.


Adult; Dancers; Divorce; Effects; Long; Professional; Term

Controlled Subject

Clinical psychology; Social psychology; Dance

File Format


File Size

2611.2 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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