Award Date

December 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marriage and Family Therapy

First Committee Member

Stephen T. Fife

Second Committee Member

Katherine Hertlein

Third Committee Member

Ryan B. Seedall

Fourth Committee Member

Colleen M. Peterson

Fifth Committee Member

Jared Lau

Number of Pages



Due to the current high rates of divorce, many young adults have experienced the effects of parental divorce. Although a variety of research has investigated both the positive and negative implications of divorce for individuals, relatively little research has looked at the relationship effects of parental divorce. Yet divorce likely influences both parent-child relationships (especially with a non-custodial parent) and young adult romantic relationships. The purpose of this study was to explore more fully how parental divorce affects young adult relationships by investigating the relationship between divorce and parent-child relationship quality, perceived comfort within close relationships (i.e., attachment), romantic relationship satisfaction, and individual distress (depression, anxiety, and stress). Data analysis revealed that those who experience parental divorce are more likely to have lower parental regard, lower relationship satisfaction and they are 2.5 times more likely to experience relationship distress. It is hoped that the results of this study can help identify specific intervention points for clinicians who work with individuals, couples, and families where divorce has occurred.


couple satisfaction; Divorce; Divorce adjustment; Parental Divorce; relationship distress; Young Adults


Family, Life Course, and Society

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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