The Effects of Divorce on the Perception of Cohabitation

Whitney Hacker, Berea College

Full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v10/hacker.html

Abstract This study examines the relationship between a college students’ experience with the divorce of a parent or guardian and their perception of cohabitation. Results of this study show that a majority of students who have experienced parental divorce feel that cohabitation is circumstantial, as opposed to being purely positive or negative. However, a majority of those students who have negative feelings toward cohabitation are also those students who have not experienced the divorce of a parent. Although intervening variables may have existed, the study supported the position that college students who have experienced the divorce of a parent have a different perception of cohabitation than college students who have not experienced the divorce of a parent.

Introduction Kurt Cobain once said, “I had a really good childhood up until I was nine, then a classic case of divorce really affected me (Brainy Quote, 2010).” He used “classic” to describe an act that can be emotionally, physically, and intellectually draining to nearly all who experience it. Although a divorce is incontestably difficult for all, it is the children of the family who truly suffer the consequences. Similar to Cobain, many children admit that a parent’s divorce is a particular event that deeply affected them. Currently, over 50 percent of all marriages result in divorce (Office of Information Services, 2009). Those from the same group who remarry are 67 percent likely to experience divorce in a second marriage; and 74 percent likely to experience divorce in a third marriage (Office of Information Services, 2009).

Read the full manuscript: www.kon.org/urc/v10/hacker.html