This study will examine the effects of parental separation and divorce on the children involved as seen through the indicators of sense of self-esteem, social interactions, and academic performance/cognitive development while controlling for the time lapsed since the divorce. The review of literature closely examines the correlation between divorce and these indicators . Following the collection of the literature, the general conclusion of this document is that parental separation and divorce negatively affect the children involved as seen through the specified indicators. To further explore the relationship of parental separation and divorce on the development of the child, several theories were applied, including a through examination of the broad Theory of Symbolic Interactionism. In addition, the sub-theories of the "looking glass self," Systems Levels theory, and the Frustration and Aggression theory were also discussed. For completion of the Senior Independent Thesis, two-hundred College of Wooster students were randomly administered surveys. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences edition Ten was applied to analyze the data. The results of the collected data show that although the patterns of self-esteem, social interaction, and academic performance/ cognitive development of children of divorce were consistently lower than those of children from intact families, the percentage of difference was not statistically significant. However, this study was not able to allow for several intervening variables: social desirability, age, and sample size.


Kershaw, Terry


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1993 Christine Gueulette