Parental Divorce: Social Workers Reflect on Long-term Effects for Young Adults


Social Work

Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Type of Paper/Work

Clinical research paper


Carol Kuechler


The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term effects of parental divorce on young adults from the perspective of social workers who have worked with this population. In 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau documented that one out of every two marriages ended in divorce. As children with divorced parents reach young adulthood, major concerns include thoughts of betrayal, abandonment and the fear of not being loved (Conway, Christensen & Herlihy, 2009). Eight licensed clinical social workers were interviewed to identify the common problems, needs and interventions relevant to their work with young adults who may be dealing with the effects of a parental divorce. Findings showed that young adults from divorced backgrounds may have problems related to modeling, social skills and romantic relationships. Recommendations for future practitioners to guide their work with this population include: using a client-centered approach, and avoiding assumptions about clients.


divorce, long-term effects, young adults, social learning theory

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.